Saturday, 11 June 2011

A cold, damp day in June…

…so, it’s a typical summer weekend then!  One step out of my door at 6:00 am this morning and I nearly went back in for my gloves and scarf.  A quick mental check  to remind myself that it was indeed June and I continued on my journey.  A bit of researching and messing around with my camera focusing settings, wanted me to put these into practice and see if they would make any difference to capturing birds in flight – in this case Turns – but first a stop off at the woods to see what was stirring.



Quite a bit of growth had taken place since my last visit when the ferns were just taking hold. They now carpeted the woodland floor, making spotting my first photographic hopeful, Roe Deer, more difficult, as I just stumbled upon the first five encounters, wondering how on earth I manage to miss them.

I decided to just sit down and hopefully let them come to me, so with my back to a tree and netting over my camera, lens and monopod I made myself ‘comfortable’.  The lighting was very poor, despite picking a relatively open area and so had to crank up the ISO to 1600, though even this wasn’t enough as when my first opportunity came along – a male Roe – I had only 1/60th but managed to get him to stop with the sound of my shutter.  Later, I tried the same trick with a female Roe but she either she didn’t hear it or ignored it and continued on her way, as a result of which most of the shots were blurred due to movement..

All the Roe Deer had now traded in their dull dark grey/brown winter coat for a more attractive reddish brown summer one.






I had hoped that by the time I reached my next destination, the light would have improved as the forecast was for a bit of sun!  Not a chance, if anything it was becoming gloomier.  I started off with a few ‘still’ shots including a rather damp looking Mallard, a Little Grebe with its catch and a few others before my first real opportunities, Terns, came along.

As it turned out, this didn’t really give me the opportunity and had hoped for a number of reasons.  The blanket greyness gave little contrast for the AF system to work at its best.  Exposure was a problem for a white birds flying against a pale grey background would need exposure compensation but it also flew across a background of trees which, if leaving the first exposure compensation, caused the Tern to come out overexposed.  The slight underexposure was causing increase digital noise, so I felt what could have been some really good images, turned out disappointing.  On top of this, the Tern decided to do all his hovering and best moves with their back to me.

In the end then, I didn’t really manage to test anything, so will have to try again if and when we get some summer sunshine.



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