Sunday, 25 January 2015

Back to the garden birds in flight

I started my career as a bird photographer about five years ago. I spent several years developing techniques to help me catch these speedy little creatures in flight. If you click on this link, you will see the garden bird photos selected for my website:

 http://johncrabb.co.uk/gallery_616688.html

Here, for instance, is an example from that period:
 

In the past few years, I have not been doing so much garden bird photography. I have instead been visiting the Somerset nature reserves and capturing some shots of the resident and visiting birds - I am tempted to call them wild birds, as if garden birds were tame! They decidedly are not! They present as much of a challenge as any "wild" bird. They are completely free to do their own thing and the photographer has to struggle to keep up with them!

My garden is located on a North-sloping hill. On the crest of the hill to the South is a stand of Norway Spruce trees. At this time of year the sun is so low that I scarcely see any sunlight in the garden. Taking flight shots of birds by natural light definitely needs sunlight as, without that intensity of illumination, the shutter speeds are too low.

Now that the year has turned, and the sun is climbing slowly in the sky, I am starting to see a bit more light. Consequently, I have been moved to have another go at my local birds. I am  a bit rusty and actually in the throes of developing some new detection techniques, but I got some shots the other day and would like to share them with you. Hopefully there will be more and better as the season progresses.

This Long Tailed tit is a relatively rare capture.


 And here it is (in not quite such sharp focus - fingers crossed that you will forgive me - but the bonus is that it has one of my peanuts!


Blue Tits are, of course, frequent visitors but, along with Robins, are one of the most difficult species to photograph successfully. No idea why, it is just that a lot of the shots leave you wishing they were just a bit better. This one isn't bad though.


And here is another

This one is just about captured doing some spectacular aerobatics


 If you would be interested in how I do these shots, please let me know and I may write a separate page to explain. Alternatively, you could come to one of my talks and hear the whole story first hand - see the list here http://johncrabb.co.uk/section634914.html

The next talk is on Feb 2nd at Taunton Camera Club. They are happy to admit visitors if they have room.