December arrives

Although I am making slow and steady progress through the backlog of photos from months past, I thought it was time to share something a little more up to date. Winter, it seems, has been switched on in the UK. This week I am not sure that temperatures have made it more than one degree above freezing where I live. However, combined with a week of working on an evening shift pattern, this means fun with the macro lens in our icy garden. I am starting to get the measure of both this lens (although I curse it for not having IS) and my own ability to hold completely still whilst taking a macro shot. It’s still a skill very much in need of practice, but these shots are some of the sharpest i’ve managed yet and I’m quite proud of them.

100mm, f/6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

100mm, f/6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

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Photos from another garden

I like taking garden photos. This is because I have a garden that I quite like, generally. I also like my in-laws garden, which has recently had a bit of a horticultural make-over that looked fantastic when we visited in August (yes, still on the backlog…) This wasn’t long after I’d got the macro lens and I wanted to have a play with the f2.8 aperture it offered.

100mm, f/2.8, 1/160 sec, ISO 640

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Autumn in the garden

In an effort to be more timely than I have recently (hello, 3 months of silence & belated posting), I thought I would share some photos from our garden recently. Autumn – in fact, winter now – is definitely upon us and there have been a good few days of blue skies and impressive colours. This has also been good for getting the new-ish macro lens out, although I am dependent on it not being too windy. It’s bad enough that I have to carefully time a macro shot as per my own, apparently in-built, sway, without Mother Nature joining in the game.

However, when she did make an appearance in bird-form, the 70-300mm lens was more appropriate.

300mm, 1/400 sec, f/8.0, ISO 1600

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Pond life

This post may mark a slightly new style of blogging here, for various reasons. I’ve been blogging here for a few months, but my post rate hasn’t been high – I began by writing my posts in a discussion style, but this has become hard to maintain as I simply feel like I am repeating myself, and I also tend to work in a compartmental sort of way which means I don’t necessarily recall everything I did to get a photo when I get around to writing about it.  The writing hasn’t flowed freely as a result, and it’s taken me a long time to grind out a post, and it hasn’t read back well either. However, I have enjoyed the platform for sharing photos, and raising questions and discussions on specific issues. So my intention for the time being is to begin posting more photos without as much writing, if indeed any at all beyond a simple introduction to time/place/event should I have nothing particularly worthwhile saying.

As such, I now bring you: our pond and it’s inhabitants on a sunny May afternoon. I shot Aperture Priority, having progressed a bit since my last few posts. First up, the frogs:

Av, 300mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640

Av, 300mm, 1/100sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Av, 300mm, 1/250sec, f/8.0, ISO 800

Av, 300mm, 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Then, and I don’t want you to be too excited by this (really. REALLY.) but I seem to have accidentally documented some pond skater porn. And I am quite worried about the search terms that may bring people to this page as a result.

Av, 300mm, 1/500sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

Av, 300mm, 1/160sec, f/8.0, ISO 800

Newts, and what looks alarmingly like a small dinosaur…

Av, 300mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Av, 191mm, 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 160

But for the most part, I went to town on the large quantity of damsel flies that like our iris.

Av, 300mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

Av, 300mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Av, 300mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Av, 300mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

Av, 300mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100

Av, 300mm, 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 500

I have to say, I am feeling now like I am using the camera much more instinctively. I think I’ve got to the place of using various options – as with all new technology – as second nature instead of having to hunt and think carefully about each process. It’s a nice place to be, and I am looking forward even more to several good photo opportunities looming on the horizon.

Wistman’s Wood

36mm, 1/100sec, f/8.0, ISO 100

Wistman’s Wood, still on Dartmoor, is somewhere I’d heard about and never been, so as we were looking for another walk of a not enormously taxing nature, we stopped here for some exploration and for me to argue with my camera about white balance. Continue reading

Previous work

I may have mentioned some time ago now that although this blog has only just begun, I have been taking photos with an active interest in the process for a few years now – 8 years I believe, which I date to seeing a photo of misty mountains and deciding I had to know enough about how to capture such an image if I were ever to see it. What’s been posted here so far is more about using a new camera and rediscovering photography after a year of slight disinterest and less opportunity, and so I thought it might be nice to share some photos I’ve taken in the past.

From my bridge camera years

Notting Hill Carnival

Using the lovely Tamron 90mm macro lens on a Pentax *istDL

Ardnamurchan lighthouse, post-processed to add grain

Taken in Scotland, a photographer's mecca

One of my personal favourites

All this posing for photos is tough work for a cat

Bridge camera again, experimenting at work

70-300mm lenses mean I can try my hand at some sports photography

Post-processed with filters in Photoshop

I like an abstract angle

So there is a smattering of some of the photos I’ve been more proud of than others in the last 8 years. There are more to be found on my Flickr page (here) should you want to explore a little further, I may do another similar post in the future with some of my other favourites.