Thursday, 18 July 2013

13-18th July 2013, Getting used to something new!

Since I started my quest to improve my wildlife photography, both from a fieldcraft and photographic point of view, the question has lurked in the back of my mind...could I aspire to use some good quality DSLR equipment?

I have worked hard to develop my knowledge and fieldcraft, books and articles have been devoured and digested, and I have worked equally as hard on the technical aspects of photography. Joining a couple of forums where help and advice could be sought, and more importantly found, was really helpful and I have made some good friends. It was to a couple of them, names not necessary, that I turned to for advice when I decided to set a budget and do some internet exploring!

The advice was reassuring and the pointers towards suitable kit was remarkably similar, a short while later a large box was delivered and a new adventure begins!

A Canon 60d and a Canon 100-400mm IS lens are now my main photographic kit, the trusty SX40 will always be there for landscapes and longer zoom shots.

A period of trial and experiment is necessary, a cheap SLR I bought a couple of years ago in anticipation of this hastened things along though!

The journey begins in my Mum's garden and appropriately for me... a white rose :)

I decided to concentrate in areas I know well so that comparisons would be the canal towpath it was then!

A lovely moorhen...

And my favourite heron..

At this stage the camera and lens were on full auto settings and I was finding some difficulty coping with the near 4lb weight with hand held shots...

Another moorhen..

And heron..

A mallard mid splash!

A lovely swan paddled by giving the chance of a shot..

And a moorhen with chick..

And finally for the day a small tortoiseshell butterfly..

Some post walk reading allowed me the knowledge to manually set a couple of things on the camera (I won't bore you with the details) and how to use the lens to my best advantage.

Wharfedale the following day, the sun is shining and the woods are host to an invisible chorus of birdsong! Nothing will pose for my camera, occasional sightings as birds winged through the foliage only to disappear again...but I found a small copper butterfly..

And some splendid fungi..

Eventually a blackbird appeared...

And a black headed gull perched on a mid stream rock

I was working hard on better ways to hold the camera still...

I think this is a ringlet....

Sand martin chicks were spotted on a telephone wire....

And then a bonus as a lovely young dipper appeared, about 8ft below us down a sheer bank so not an ideal angle nonetheless beautiful :-)

Whenever possible I have been out for more practice....

Another canal walk...and a series of moorhen shots..

A couple of mallard reflections...

A daisy on our lawn...

And a lovely young blackbird with food..

We took a walk in the fields near home...

A dandelion..

A painted lady butterfly, not common evidently...

A wide open aperture gives a very narrow depth of field or focus giving a muted effect on all apart from the mallard in the foreground..

And finally in the last light of evening just the cutest duckling...

Many thanks to all of you who are following me through my photographic journey, I hope you enjoy the photographs even half as much as I enjoy taking them!

Don't forget that if you feel moved to add a comment, they come to me first for approval, can't be doing with all that Spam, Spam , Spam or worse can we!


  1. Some great shots and looks like you're on a new learning curve.

  2. Looks like you & the new camera suit each other perfectly. Great work Dave, keep it coming!
    Regards Deb :)

  3. Looks as if the new camwera is very successful, adorable little duckings. Once again, a fantastic set of photos