Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Slow start for 2011

Finally, after three weeks I’ve been able to get out and about this weekend.  I didn’t get out for the sole purpose of taking photographs, rather than to stretch my legs and get some exercise after such a while of inactivity.  The weather is back to ‘normal’ – cold, damp and grey.  I think I prefer the snowy weather, for some reason it didn’t feel so cold.

I basically decided to walk around and photographed whatever was about – which wasn’t much as seems to be the case at this time of year.  The few animals that were around were less timid than usual so I could approach them quiet closely which is just as well as I didn’t feel like doing my usual hanging around and letting them approach me.  Lots of Pheasants around sun up – ten at one time – but it was too dark to take decent images of them, only managing one who stayed still and posed for me as did the only one Grey Squirrel that came down from the trees.

Where I walked, it varied between sheltered areas still covered in snow, to heavy frost to open areas which were just wet and icy.  All areas of still water were frozen over though the river was still flowing, which is were I came across a Heron which I approached slowly and managed to get closer than I would have at any other time of year, but it didn’t seem too bothered by me as it continued to preen, stretch, yawn and the occasional alertness when it must have seen or heard some possible prey.

Despite getting quite close I still had to put a converter on the 500mm lens and, although on a monopod, the lens was shaking quite badly as I was shooting in an awkward position due to having to shoot through branches trees which prevented a clear view and which the auto focus focused on so had to manual focus.  I also had to use spot metering and exposure compensation due to the lighting conditions and light plumage of the Heron.  After about an hour of obliging me with photographs, it eventually flew a hundred metres upriver and, although a better viewpoint for me, I decided to leave it in peace and called it a day.



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