Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year !!!

Whooper Swan (Cygnus Cygnus) Nikon D3s 600mm F4 VR Nikkor

Just a very quick preview of our last photo session of 2010, which is now all down loaded and backed up... We spent the day close to home, at the WWT Martin Mere Reserve and despite the thick mist and fog which hung around all day, we had a great time doing some in flight shots of the Whooper Swans.

Also wanted to say.....

"Happy New Year to you all. Hope it brings you health, peace, and success in all you do"

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas Eve at Arnside Cumbria


We have some close friends who are fortunate enough to live in Arnside in Cumbria, and each time we visit the view over the estuary looks stunning but I have never been there at just the right time for photography.

So on Christmas Eve we had planned a trip to see my parents in Morecambe combined with a visit to Arnside around sunset.

The plan worked very well and we enjoyed a few hours of photography around the stunning little Cumbrian village.




I also managed to get a 14 shot panoramic image of the scene. A really stunning location and one Im sure we will be visiting again in the near future.


Finally here is a view of the village just as we were about to leave.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

I Love This Weather !!!


The snow and ice over the last few days has kept me much busier than I thought it would be for this time of year. I have been out shooting images most days and the post production backlog is is building.

I have covered a good few miles, capturing images for both stock and "Art Print" sales and thanks to the Land Rover the driving has been a pleasure!!!

Here is one of the first images, finished at about 2am today. I decided to revisit a few areas over the past few days, to record just how quickly the landscape changes in these conditions.

So this image was taken a few yards from the previous frost covered trees. For the photographers the image was taken on a Nikon D3s Body with the amazing 14-24mm Lens and Lee ND 0.3 Grad Filter. Post Production was using Nikon Capture NX2 and the fantastic Nick 64Bit Silver Efex Pro Software.

I promise many more images over the next few weeks, once I start to make headway with the post production work. Also I am planning some interesting changes to the blog, with many more technical reviews and technical articles. Im in the final stages of sorting out details with a major equipment supplier and I hope to be able to bring some really interesting articles about some items of equipment used in Landscape and wildlife photography.

In the last few days I have had work accepted into three more art galleries and the "Art Print" sales are becoming a really important aspect of the business.

Anyway Xmas shopping calls and with luck back out shooting again on Thursday.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cold & Frosty Weather

Yesterday I set off to spend some time at my local fox site, but on route I got distracted by the amazing hoarfrost covered landscape. The trees looked amazing and I found myself drawn to small frost covered detail in the landscape.


In all I spent about three hours driving the local lanes looking for images. This type of frost also often called radiation frost forms when objects become colder than the surrounding air. These conditions have a dramatic effect on the landscape.


My interest in black and white landscapes is getting stronger day by day and I seem to be seeing more images in Mono so there are a few variations here.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

More From The Feeders Yesterday

MP64546 (1)
Nikon D3s Nikkor 600mm F4 VR iso 1000 F4 AP
Nikon D3s Nikkor 600mm F4 VR iso 1000 F4 AP
Nikon D3s Nikkor 600mm F4 VR iso 1000 F4 AP

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A day at the Feeding Station

Long Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

I spent today building up stock images of our more common bird species on mu feeders. The arrival of a flock of about 30 Long Tailed Tits was a real bonus and I managed some really nice images. Bird feeder photography is so interesting, you just never know what will turn up next. The image above was taken with the Nikon D3s and the Nikkor 600mm F4 Shooting in some gloomy conditions at 1,000iso at F4.0

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Yorkshire Dales Video

Baga Beach

Given the really bad spell of weather we seem to be having, it was nice to look at some images from slightly warmer part of the world. These two images have just been prepared for a travel client.... seems they are being used in some some well known guide book!!

Goa Beach

Goa Beach

Friday, 12 November 2010

A Change Of Pace

This week we spent a couple of days in the Yorkshire Dales looking at suitable locations for our landscape courses next year. It was great have a change of pace and swap the 600mm lens for the wide angles.

The area produced some really interesting and contrasting images ranging from dramatic B&W moody landscapes to beautiful soft evening panoramas.

We have two great venues for the courses next year, more details to follow very soon. In the meantime here are a few images from our visit to this amazing area and our take on the dramatic landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

More Waxwings.

I had a few hours spare today, so decided to try and catch up with a few more of the Waxwings which are currently invading the UK. There has been a flock of 30+ birds at one location in the Ribble Valley for a few days now and they proved easy to track down.

The Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) is one of those birds that you can't resist photographing no matter how many images you have on file, there will always be room for a few more.

Still not able to get the best lighting conditions today as I was pressed for time, but non the less I was pleased with the images from today.

For the photographers these were all taken on the Nikon D3s with the 600mm F4 VR Nikkor.


Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Storm Clouds Over Havana

Another image just processed ready for a client.Really please to have sold to this image to a major publisher. I remember the day well, a freezing cold and very windy day in Cuba. Hope you enjoy the image.

Cuba 1802

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Latest Images

Most of the last few days has been spent doing paperwork,post production and dealing with image requests.A lot of my shooting plans this week have been hit by bad weather, but at least the editing is all finished.

I have just finished a few images ready for clients, so thought I would share them with the blog readers.





Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Waxwings In Burnley

Whilst out doing a spot of location finding I heard reports of a flock of Waxwing in Burnley, so a quick visit to the site produced a really nice group of c30 birds. It was very late in the day and not the best conditions for photography, but I did manage a few record shots.

There seems to be good numbers of waxwings showing all over the UK so with luck I will be able to get some more images in the coming weeks.

Waxwing Burnley Lancashire

Waxwing Burnley Lancashire

Waxwing Burnley Lancashire

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A Frosty Start

Kingfisher 1

An early pre sunrise start found me sat in the Eric Morecambe hide at the Leighton Moss RSPB reserve. I had a few target species for the day mainly Green Shank and possibly the Great White Egret.

However its a long time since I have visited the reserve at weekend, I normally make my visits midweek and aim to be long gone before the reserve opens. Now I know why.... by 7.70am the hide was full of the loudest birders I have come a cross in a good few years.

The constant shouting across the hide about the ID of Shoveler, which in fact were Mallard made any real photography impossible.

But all was not lost, the sight of a stunning Kingfisher on a frosty perch can make any trip worth the effort. I was drawn by the amazing contrast of the bird against the cold, blue and frosty background. Not my best photograph ever but a superb memory.

Later in the day I decided to take a look at the Bearded Tits on the main causeway. They were there but again a lot of birders were on the path and the birds seemed to be keeping a low profile.

In the end I resorted to walking the reserve with just my binoculars and doing some good old fashioned birding... and as ever Leighton Moss delivered the birds. I saw a Cettis Warbler on the main causeway along with a great view of a Bittern from the lower hide. All in all a goods days birding. Hope to make a return visit later this week but possibly will wait until after the schools go back next week.

On the drive home the pager alerted me to reports of a Waxwing in Wray. So a quick drive to the location did in fact produce not one but three Waxwings. By the time I arrived it was just going dark so again no photography possible, but a great bird to see regardless.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Bird Feeders for Photography.


Whilst we all get drawn to rare and exotic wildlife, its really important to learn what is close to home. My back garden bird feeders are very busy at the moment and it makes the editing and admin work at the computer so much easier when I can sit with a 600mm focused on the seed logs.

Whilst most commercial bird feeders don't add to a photograph a simple home made seed log is a great addition. Simply find a suitable piece of old tree stump or branch, drill out some good sized holes and pack with suitable bird food. I tend to seal the bird seed in with lumps of fat. This makes the food that bit harder to get out, so the birds stick around that bit longer.

These logs can be positioned against a suitable background and even transported out into the field. The great thing with type of bird photography is you can do it anytime and you don't need massive long lenses. Its also amazing just how quickly the birds find the food, even in new locations.

If you decide to make a portable feeder log its a great idea to add an old tripod plate to the log. Then it can be mounted on any old tripod legs and positioned in the exact position you meed. They no time to make and will supply a source of endless images.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Some new gear arrived today.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was in the process of re evaluating my equipment. For some time I have been using a Nikkor 500mm F4.0 lens for the majority of my wildlife work.However finding a need for the ability to capture wider, more environmental images combined with a strong emphasis on bird photography in the UK as opposed to extended foreign trips led me to look at the Nikkor 200-400mm F4 lens along with the 600mm F4 Nikkor, which would become a practical lens when working in the UK and able to escape airline weight restrictions to some degree.

So after much research and testing the two lenses were ordered. Both arrived today and have now been fitted with suitable Wimberly replacement lens plates.

I will be posting more information on these new lenses over the next few weeks, along with detailed information on new tripods and heads which have also been updated to cope with the new heavyweight lenses. In the meantime here are the two new lenses just out of the box!!!

New Long Glass

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Red Deer

Last week I made a trip to Tatton Park in Cheshire to capture some Red Deer images. There was very little activity with the stags, so it looks like the warmer weather over the last week or so is delaying the start of the rut. I only managed to get to Tatton late in the day and as expected lighting conditions were not the best.

I don't often use black and white in wildlife images but it seemed to work well on some of these pictures. I will be returning to the Red Deer over the next few days.

All images were captured using the new Nikkor 200-400mm Lens which is proving to be a great addition to my equipment.

Talking of photographic equipment I have received a few e-mails and comments on the blog asking what equipment I use for my wildlife and bird photography. The truth is at this time I am revising my equipment in terms of long lenses. The Nikkor 200-400mm is the first of two major additions. The second big purchase is a 600mm F4 Nikkor which is on its way to me as I write this posting.

I intend to do a blog posting on my equipment in the next week or so, keep your eyes peeled and as ever if you have any equipment related questions please drop me a line.

Here are a few more images from this trip.