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.
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.
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.
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.
Spring is a good time to photograph wildlife and nature and is a time when new life emerges. The Spring season can be full of surprises and this will provide good opportunities for the nature and wildlife photographer.
It is during one of these days I was out to capture some local wildlife at Sandwell Park in West Bromwich that I encountered Mallard duckling chicks. It was a great experience watching them at a close distance without scaring them away. Here is a selection of images I shot on that day.
Time-lapses are very easy to create. For this you will require to set the camera on a stable tripod, compose the scene and using an intervalometer, use the following settings which are only as a guideline.
There are a number of ways to shoot sunsets. Here I will talk about how to shoot HDR sunsets. A tripod may be required depending on the shutter speed. All that needs to be done is bracket 3 different shots at different exposure levels and merge them in Lightroom or Photoshop. One shot will be underexposed at for example -2EV, one shot overexposed at +2EV and one at standard 0EV.
If one wants to shoot long exposures of over 30 seconds then it will be necessary to shoot in bulb mode. What bulb mode allows us to do is to increase the shutter time from 30 seconds to infinity and for this task, we need a steady tripod, an ND filter and a remote release shutter cable. With an ND filter, we will know how much light we are blocking and then it becomes easier to calculate the new shutter speed. For example when composing the initial frame, if the shutter is 1/4 second and aperture is set to f/11, on using a 10 stop ND filter will increase the shutter to 4 minutes 16 seconds. For this we will need a shutter remote.