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Friday, 25 March 2011

Recent work

Well its been a busy couple of months and sadly this blog has taken a back step. Over the last couple of months I have started a new project on a farm and hopefully soon I will have some results to show you.

Over the last two weeks I have been following a two pairs of grebes locally to me and have had surprisingly good results. Doing this has really allowed me to get to grips with the 1D MKIV and its autofocus system. If you have any questions about it don't hesitate to email me.

Greater Crested Grebes

All of the images have been shot at 400 iso and at either F4 or 5.6 on the 1D MKIV and 300mm + 1.4 and 500mm all attached on a gitzo tripod with a wimberley head

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Extract From RPS Nature Group Code of Conduct

Below is the start of the Codes of Conduct form the RPS Nature Group you can veiw the rest online see link to the right.

The Nature Photographers' Code of Practice
Produced by The Nature Group of The Royal Photographic Society.
Revised in 1997 and 2007 in consultation with the RSPB and the three Statutory Nature Conservation Councils.

There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times -

"The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.”

  • Photography should not be undertaken if it puts the subject at risk. Risk to the subject, in this context, means risk of disturbance, physical damage, causing anxiety, consequential predation, and lessened reproductive success.

  • Photography may be seen as a criminal offence with relation to some species, since disturbance will be occasioned.

  • Many species are afforded special legal protection. The Law as it affects nature photography must be observed. For Great Britain the main legislation is listed at the end of this leaflet. In other countries one should find out in advance any restrictions that apply.

  • Apparent lax or absence of local legislation should not lead any photographer to relax his/her own high standard.

  • The photographer should be familiar with the natural history of the subject; the more complex the life-form and the rarer the species, the greater his/ her knowledge must be. He/ she should also be sufficiently familiar with other natural history subjects to be able to avoid damaging their interests accidentally. Photography of uncommon creatures and plants by people who know nothing of the hazards to species and habitat is to be deplored.

  • With reference to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs): anyone who intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages any of the flora, fauna, geological or physio-graphical features by reason of which a site is of special interest, or intentionally or recklessly disturbs any of those fauna, is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine.

  • It is important for the good name of nature photography that its practitioners observe normal social courtesies. Permission should be obtained before working on private land and other naturalists should not be incommoded. Work at sites and colonies which are subjects of special study should be coordinated with the people concerned.

  • Photographs of dead, stuffed, homebred, captive, cultivated, or otherwise controlled specimens may be of genuine value but should never be passed off as wild and free. Users of such photographs (irrespective of the purpose for which it is thought they will be used) should always be informed, regardless of how little they may seem to care.

Morals and Ethics of Wildlife Photography

An issue that always surrounds wildlife photography is the issue of how and when and by what means was a image of a wild creature captured. Most wildlife photographers always put the subject first and picture second however there are some out there that do not and these in my opinion are harming the industry. Recently I found this extract from a Article in Wildlife Magazine by the photographer Mark Carwardine. The article was on integrity of photographers and also they use of captive animals in wildlife shots. The extract that I want to put in here is about codes of conduct when photographing wild animals.

These code of conducts have been put together by conservation groups and photography associations that are getting concerned about these issues

Code of Conduct

Most recommendations are common sense - the welfare of the subject is more important than getting the photo. Here are a few key points to remember.

  • Always photograph animals from a safe and respectable distance.

  • If an animal shows signs of stress, move further back or leave altogether.

  • Be patient and never try to force and animal to due something. Remember that the impact of many people si cumulative: you may be the 100th person that day to yell “Hey moose” while the poor creature is trying to feed or care for its young.

  • Never encrouch on nests and dens during the breeding season.

  • Treat the habitat to the same regard that you have for the animals themselves.

  • Respect local cultures and customs when you are working abroad.

  • Check published recommendations such as the excellent code of conduct produces by the nature group of the Royal Photographic Society:

  • Finally, always be honest and truthful when captioning your photos.

Monday, 10 May 2010

New Website

Just thougth I would let you all know my website is now up and running, check out the link below

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Hare to day gone tomorrow

Hare today gone tomorrow

Just before I left I bumped into Martin - fair dues to him when I am in the hide he does not come up, and he leaves me to it. He said that they had coppiced some of the reeds the other day and with this they found 8 + Hares. I couldn’t believe it when he told me, so he took me to the location. No signs of them, however there were signs that they had been there recently. Need to look into photographing hares and when best to do it. This will be a task this week.

To do list for this week:

Visit farm at first light and last light to see what is about that time of the morning

Check out the new fields more closely to see if I can find these lizards

Establish a second hide in the oak field next to the location where the hares have been seen so that I can watch and wait for them.

Feed the birds.

Keep and eye on the weather forecast for the next couple of weeks.

Day 7 at the hide and the results

Up early again today to get to the hide before sunrise. Earlier start than last time as it starts getting light by 6 in the morning. Again the car was frozen which is a good sign as it means its going to be a good day. I suppose I am going to have to get used to getting up this early, as I will to do this regularly when I finish my degree.

Got to hide about 06.30 just after sunrise, however the sun doesn’t hit the feed station till around 0730 so all is ok. Fed the birds and got into the hide instantly the two willow tits came to feed and also the neighbourhood was alive with bird noises, with the Nuthatch being the most vocal. In under 5 minutes the Nuthatch arrived to feed. Have decided today not to deploy flashguns as the light is good throughout the day, and I found that the flash guns do not help the image quality in my opinion they hinder it. I set the ISO to 400 if only I had a Mk4 I could set it to ISO 1000. Nothing much happening and the light is not there yet. It is in the top canopy and it is still rather cold. It was minus 2 when I got the the farm. I decided to go for a walk to check out the new fields that Martin has told me about. He said that he saw some lizards in there. I decided to take the camera as well as just my luck I would see something and not be able to photograph it. Found the fields and it seems quite interesting. I think this could be the barn owls hunting ground, will have to check it out at dusk sometime. As the sun was still rising the light was really good. In the new fields were the mountain ponies that they look after. The light on the horses manes was quite interesting so I took a few shots. I also did see two swallows flying around, they must have just come back from Africa. Also the other day I saw a load of frogs' spawn in some of the pools on the farm, they have now hatched and they are tadpoles I will keep a good eye on this to see if I can get some pictures of the little froglets. Check out the link to see how long their life cycle is.

Back to the hide now for a days photography.

Aftet getting back the feeders were more active with the 3 nuthatches comeing in all the time. The one is being very vocal I think it is the juvenile calling for its mother. I intend if possible to get some images of it singing as it would make a good image.

Today I tried some different things. As I do not have the 500 with me I will try to capture some of the birds in their habitat as it can make some interesting shots at times, and it also puts the image into context. Over the last couple of years Andy Rouse has started to do this and his photography has become more sellable and appealed to a bigger audience.


Interesting day today with a few new birds seen in the forest. These include :

A treecreeper looking for bedding material for his nest. This the bird was probably doing as this is the mating season of most birds.

A Redstart. This was an interesting find as I have always wanted to see one of these - such a beautiful small bird. After doing this I went on the Carmarthen birding site to see if there were any seen near by and they have been seen in the RSPB Reserve DInas just up the road.

A male and female Pied Flycatcher, this was probably the best sighting of the lot as this is a migrant bird and not seen in many locations. Fingers crossed it will be seen again this time so I can photograph it.

The usual suspects.

The nuthatch very active today I wonder if they have got more young as they seem to be frantically feeding. The woodpecker is getting closer and closer by the day and also he has got used to the hide as he no longer is getting spooked when the camera is going off. The other thing I have done here is to put the screens down so that he can no longer see me, and as the lens is camouflaged as long as I move it slowly there should be no problem.

I noticed today the Blue tit and the Great tits are not so active. Maybe there is enough food in the forest for them now. I did read yesterday that feeding stations are really active in the winter and early spring.

Grey Squrirrel is also getting used to me as well as he seems not to be bothered by me either. Last week he would run a mile if he saw me at all.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Day 6 at the hide and the results

Tested the Mk4 yesterday really happy with the results straight out of the camera images sharp really good results up to iso 1000 after that up to 2000 as long as muted backgrounds images fine, if blacks in it they showed noise. Iso 400 was an amazing iso really good results pin sharp throughout. Really impressed with the camera.

Happy with the results today really impressed with camera got some different stuff today lighting really good.. Woodpecker got closer again however spooked really easy I need to put the curtains down so that he cannot see me. Will try to visit in the week.

Weather forecast next couple of days