Photographing Red Deer at Lyme Park

Lyme Park which is located near Stockport is a short train journey away from where I live and it forms part of the Peak District. I had visited here just last September mainly to photograph Red Deer which is the largest land mammal in the UK. October is the peak time where the Deer rut takes place across various parks in the UK and I will be visiting Richmond Park and also Bradgate Park which is not only good to experience the Deer rut but also good for bird photography. Overall this was a great experience to observe and photograph Red Deers in large number up close. However during Deer rutting season, getting very close to male stags can be quite dangerous as they are high on testosterone and very aggressive.

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Yorkshire Coast Landscapes and Seascapes

Flamborough lighthouse at sunset

I had booked a trip to Bempton for two nights during the first week of August mainly to photograph Puffins, Gannets and other seabirds around the RSPB Bempton site and also do some landscape photography which you could read here. However I decided to further check out other places around Bempton and on doing so, I came across a blog post titled “A guide to photographing Flamborough Head“.

I was impressed by the images and I took this as a photography challenge to visit those spots and a few more and photograph them and for this reason, I then planned to stay for an additional 3 nights.

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Visit to RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Puffin at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Having visited RSPB Bempton Cliffs early August, here is a selection of images taken over the few days I was there. It is home to not only Gannets but also Puffins however Puffin numbers are less in August since they go out at sea and return early spring. Gannets remain until October. There was also some sighting of Tree Sparrows and other common birds such as Blackbirds but did not get to see any Hares or Barn Owls as they are resident to the area. The nature reserve is located on the Yorkshire Coast overlooking the North Sea.

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Badger Watching at Hoo Farm

Badger at Hoo Farm. Shot at ISO-3200 with shutter of 1/60 sec.

I had decided to visit Hoo Farm which is a small zoo located in Telford. They do have a number of captive birds and animals and they play an important role in conservation. I have visited the zoo on two occasions mainly to photograph wild badgers from a hide located within the zoo. There is a badger sett within the zoo where a group of badgers reside forming an underground network. Every Saturday the zoo organizes a badger watch from within the hide from 5pm to 8pm. There is also other wildlife to be seen as well like foxes however on both occasions, the foxes did not appear. The first visit was good as I got some good sightings of the badger and was the first time I had ever seen a badger.

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Photographing Seals at Blakeney Point

Common seal

Blakeney Point is a nature reserve in Blakeney village in the county of Norfolk. During the summer, many common seals assemble at Blakeney Point to give birth to seal pups. I had planned this trip a few months back and decided to visit in July. At the Blakeney Point, there are not only common seals but also Grey Seals and various seabirds such as Sandwich Terns and Oyster Catchers.

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Why use back button focusing?

Shot using Sony Ultra XA2
Here I use both the AF-ON and * button to focus on moving or still subject

Back button focusing is taking focusing away from the shutter button and assigns it to one of the buttons on the back of the DSLR. Focusing using the back button of the DSLR is a very useful feature. It can be used to shoot moving subjects as well as still subjects. With the shutter button half pressed in AI Servo mode, it will refocus each time as the camera tracks the moving subject and this results in a lot of wasted out of focus images and one will need to switch from “One Shot” mode to “AI Servo” and vice versa (Canon cameras) when subject stops and starts moving randomly. There is no point in the camera having a high frame rate if it simply cannot lock focus using the shutter button and this reason is enough to use the back button to lock focus.

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