At the end of September I started a Masters course in Biological Photography and Imaging. This has meant a huge shift in terms of comfort levels when using my camera. My obsession with AV mode on the Canon EOS 5D Mk III has been fixed!
We have a number of assignment deadlines coming up already, but I have managed to get out and about both on the incorporated field trips and in my spare (haha) time. Here are a few images from our various trips and my own trips out.
I found a new hide yesterday. Great little find nearby, with so many species frequenting the feeders – including two Great Spotted Woodpeckers at one point! I was excited, it’s true, and spent an hour or so with the camera trying to get some decent captures. However, I was limited in light levels as, by the time I found the hide, it was beginning to darken. To up my shutter speed meant losing depth of field, and I do like my DoF… so I left the camera in AV mode and did my best with low light.
Many blurred images later, I have concluded I need to visit this hide in lighter hours, and use TV mode more for wildlife shots to obtain the really sharp results I want! I managed to get a few sharp(ish) shots, however, and have used LR to adjust the sharpness and shadows in the relevant areas. Here is a small selection – a Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), a Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major pinetorum).
I took the new (second-hand) lens out into the garden to try to capture a closer shot of the moon than my very old 75-300mm lens used to allow. I stacked three of the clearest shots in Z stacker. I’m not sure how effective that was, as the stacked final only looks marginally clearer than the original sharpest image. I have compared it with an old shot of the moon I took in September with my old 75-300mm lens.
I’m looking forward to taking more images of the moon, on clearer night than this (it was a bit hazy).
The original images (below) was f/9, 1/100, ISO 100, at 400mm on a semi-cloudy night.
STACKED. Canon 100-400mm lens. Three images stacked. 28/12/2017.
OLD. Canon 75-300mm lens. f/5.6. 1/250. ISO 100. 02/09/2017.
So I started editing a bit to give my macro plant images a bit more character and unique quality. I liked the idea of toning everything down into moody blues and greys. I’ve done that with a few images and I’m really pleased with the results. In fact, some of these are almost the first images I’ve produced that I can say I’m actually happy with. Are these suitable for canvas? Maybe a couple. Would anyone buy them? Probably not! It would be nice to sell some.
I’m in it for the art…
I never liked dahlias when I was studying horticulture at Royal Horticultural Society levels and learning all the plant names. I found them blousy and showy and over-the-top – not subtle in any way, unlike my favoured hardy geraniums. Well, they are all of those things… but I have grown to appreciate their blousiness and brashness! Their symmetry is impressive and can stop you in your tracks and lead you to wonder how nature achieves such perfection in a flower. And they are great to take macro captures of.