Saturday, 28 November 2009

1 in 10

After missing last weekend due to the normal grey, wet and windy weather, today I planned on a trip to one of my favourite 'haunts', a local wood where no dogs are allowed. So without them running around barking and chasing the wildlife (not to mention them coming up to you and sniffing various parts of your anatomy), you have a very good chance of seeing deer and foxes, even during the middle of the day.

The last time I was here, was in September where I was fed off by a particularly aggressive strain of blood sucking mosquitoes, but despite their best efforts I was able to get a few decent shots before beating a hasty retreat.


Young Roe Deer - September

I arrived just after sunrise on a dull and misty morning - not ideal weather.  Temperature was around 3c and no wind, making the wood seem a quiet, eerie place, the silence only broken by my footsteps in the leaf undergrowth.

Unfortunately, this crunching sound got the attention of a Magpie which started mobbing me which resulted in my first deer sighting being a fleeting glimpse of it white, rear end, as it fled into the underbrush.  I scowled at the Magpie.  Eventually, it decided it had better things to do and left me in peace.  A cold two hours later resulted in another deer's rear end, a rabbits rear end (after nearly treading on it) and a pheasant flying out of nowhere and taking about five years off my life!  The only signs of life that could be photographed was a spider in its web and a Sparrowhawk strike.



I decided to make the most out of the atmospheric light and take a few photographs of what was around.



Eventually the sun came out so I went to the nearby lake to see what was around - not much but I did take a few more pictures.


Finally, I decided to call it a day.  After over four hours I had little to show for it and as I walking the final leg back through the woods, thinking of what I was going to have for lunch, when I stumbled across two Roe Deer, only to see them bounding away.  Needless to say, I was kicking myself for being more concerned about my rumbling stomach than concentrating on what was around me.

One of the reasons I wanted to have a blog, was to show photographs I might not otherwise show on my website because I don't think they are very good.  For me wildlife photography is a challenge.  Simply seeing some wildlife is difficult.  Being able to photograph it is even more difficult.  Photographing it so that it is technically good is even more so and photographing wildlife so that it is also visually pleasing is the ultimate aim for me and that I find, if I'm lucky, is about 1 in every 10 attempts.  

Thursday, 12 November 2009

First post

Despite being off on holiday from work this week, I've found myself getting up earlier than I would have had it been a normal work week - all in the name of photography. For wildlife this is the best time to catch a lot of animals. For landscapes, it's part of the 'golden hour', where the light is just right.


Today I decided on the former option as the forecast was for 'sunny' weather and so decided to visit one of the local hides there is in the area, which I hadn't been to for some time, in the hope of photographing the often elusive Kingfisher. When I arrived it was dull, damp and grey - not good photography weather, but soon after I settled, the Kingfisher appeared on the pond the hide overlooked. Unfortunately, it was spending most of its time out of sight around the edges, despite there being a couple of conveniently positioned poles directly in front of the hide, for it to fish from, so I could get a good photo.


After three hours patiently waiting and photographing the other, not so shy wildlife, I got a lucky break in both the weather and the Kingfishers posing, when the sun came out and it stopped for a few minutes, just where I needed it, and managed to take a few half decent pictures.