Feb. 17th, 2011 08:07 pm
snorkel_maiden: (Kenya)
There was a gorgeous and full (?) moon this evening when we got back from work, so I whipped out my camera expecting to need a long exposure. Turns out that it was so bright the best photos I got were pretty standard exposures; this one is 1/30 and others were 1/100 and 1/200!

This does unfortunately almost totally cut out the lovely wispy clouds behind it, but I love the level of detail; if you feel so inclined you can go here and use the magnifying glass above the picture and then the scroll bar bottom right to zoom in. Craters and everything!

This one I set up deliberately to be a desktop wallpaper (and you can download it here if you like!):

It felt good to take some photos again after a while off. As soon as the bulbs are up there will be lots of flower photography to be done, though! There are some other exposures and so on in the album here.
snorkel_maiden: (Default)
This post has been building for a while!

So, photography. In previous years I’ve taken quite a few pictures and even blogged about some of them, but this year it’s been at a different level; in 2010 I have taken something in the region of 14,000 photos, and published well over 1,000 of those. It’s down to a combination of things; moving house and having a better garden in a nicer and greener area of Reading is really inspiring and in the summer particularly gave me an endless array of things to photograph. Also worthy of a mention is my friend MarcT, who lent me his 100-400mm in the spring, enforcing my desire to get one of my own; and it was his lens that I was using when I took my red kite photo in February. In addition he lent me his macro extender in the autumn, and I still have it, muahahahah! Some of the macro shots later in the year were taken with that.

So now to my photos of the year. There are 24 here; two for each month. I’ve really enjoyed developing my skill and imagination over the year and I think it shows; I started this list in the summer which has been great in itself as I’ve been challenging myself to take photos worthy of inclusion! I’m pleased though that I have such a better idea now of how to go about getting the photo I want, though I’m also not too proud to use the automatic settings if there’s no time to think or plan what I’m doing.

While I really like all the photos here, my favourite of the lot is probably obvious (and it has nearly 450 views on Picasaweb in comparison with a maximum of about 200 for any of the others), but I’d be very interested if anyone thinks any of the others are better. I’m a bit blinkered when it comes to red kites! Not all of them are technically excellent, but the ones that aren’t make me laugh (the kestrel in particular). Some of them were deliberately set up and others are snapshots.

The photos... )

So that is my 2010 in photos.

In 2011 I hope to finish my garden birds project, or at least get as close as reasonably possible to completing it; I also have a lot of new skills to build on and I know I can get a better red kite, one day! I have tentative plans for a year-long project later on in the year, but that’s another post. I am proud of the fact that in 2010 I have gone from being a keen but bored amateur to a really keen amateur with some nice kit; I also occasionally think I have a flash of talent, though I think persistence normally gets me further than that anyway. That and a generous dollop of patience!


Jun. 17th, 2010 09:57 am
snorkel_maiden: (Lens)
Most of the photos I took of little Lily Patey last night I'm not going to publicise much, because they belong to Phil and Emma to do what they want with. I'm pleased with this one though, and Lily is beautiful and well behaved and altogether a pleasure to be around!

snorkel_maiden: (Camera)
In the grand tradition of [ profile] maleghast[ profile] evilbun[ profile] reznorsedge and others, I've decided that I'm going to do a Photo Project. Theirs were all a photo-a-day sort of thing I think, so mine is different in that respect. I'm going to try to take a photo of all the bird species I've seen in our garden, and I'm going to try to do it in a year. It's going to be difficult, possibly even impossible, but I'm going to try. Yesterday was the first day that counted, and I started by recording species #33 but also getting a photo of it:

That's far from the best photo of a sparrowhawk ever taken, but it'll do! Allow me a quiet moment of excitement here that we get three types of raptor flying over our entirely standard suburb!

So the list at present (in no particular order) is as follows:

1. Feral pigeon
2. Wood pigeon
3. Collared dove
4. Swan
5. Canada goose
6. Grey heron
7. Great tit
8. Blue tit
9. Long-tailed tit
10. Coal tit
11. Crow
12. Rook
13. Magpie
14. Jay
15. Blackbird
16. Song thrush
17. Robin
18. Dunnock
19. Goldfinch
20. Redpoll
21. Greenfinch
22. Starling
23. Red kite
24. Buzzard
25. Sparrowhawk
26. Herring gull
27.Lesser black-backed gull
28. Black-headed gull
29. Swallow
30. Swift
31. Housemartin
32. Greater spotted woodpecker
33. Nuthatch

The ones marked in red are the ones that are going to be really difficult. Swans fly over, but very quickly, and I think I only saw two pairs right at the beginning of spring so that's going to be a case of being there with my camera at the right moment. Likewise the heron, which I've only seen once-it was probably heading for the pond in the park. The jay I only saw once, out of the front of the house where I don't spend much time. The redpoll I've also only seen once, and the woodpecker I hear all the time but have only caught a glimpse of. I'd have put the nuthatch in red as well- I've only seen one, but I could very easily have got a photo if I'd had my camera next to me as it was hanging around our bird feeders for ages. So I'll leave that one black for now. I think if I fail, but it's with one of these species in red, I won't be too disappointed.

Clearly I have photos of some if not most of these already; but using photos I've already taken makes that side of things way too easy! So only photos taken between 22nd May 2010 and 21st May 2011 will count. I'm also not expecting all of them to be portrait quality shots; though some really nice photos would be a plus. For the purposes of this project, a species will count if I can see it while standing within our house / garden; it's not just those that actually set foot on our property. I've made a public web album for the shots here, and I'll keep that updated as I go along.

Enough writing, though; I should get dressed, feed the birds, and take up station in the conservatory with my camera!
snorkel_maiden: (Default)
 My friend lent me the lens again:

My precious! I'm sure that using it is extremely good for my biceps as it's pretty heavy!

Yesterday was a splendid day. We woke terrifyingly early (6:50am!!) but both feeling surprisingly awake, so we didn't bother going back to sleep. We ended up spending pretty much the whole day outside. I'd suggested to Tom first thing that at some point we could get rid of the slightly pointless fence and gate halfway down the garden; the previous owners had a dog and we assume that they used it to keep her in one or other half. When I suggested it I wasn't expecting it to be done by the end of the day, though! It's going to look much nicer, I think; we had to take down a rosebush, but I have five others so it's not the end of the world and the garden looks a lot more open. We've extended the lawn by a foot on one side of the garden and more of the flowerbed on the other side is accessible so I think it was really worth doing.

I did lots of other bits and pieces in the garden too; I got some weeds out of the drive, weeded some of the front garden, sorted out some seedlings in the greenhouse, took two (quite possibly pointless) cuttings of the rosebush that we took down, and watered a lot of my tubs. And of course, on a day like yesterday (spookily quiet with no planes going over) I had my camera out.

Bird porn... )

Today I got up early (I'm clearly going mad) and went for a run; I'm now sitting here sorting photos with my camera at my side, and watching the F1. Apparently they are worried about the Spanish Grand Prix in a couple of weeks because of the #ashtag; it takes six 747s to transport the entire F1 setup and they are naturally worried about getting to Spain on time to set up. I'm actually surprised it doesn't take more than six planes, but that's not including personnel who fly on commercial airlines.

Later on I intend to do not much, apart from prowl with my camera and enjoy the sunshine.


snorkel_maiden: (Default)

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