There was a lot of activity over at the Pond the other day and it was a lovely sunny day too. I took my Stylus1 camera with me as I’m more familiar with it for ‘landscapes’ than my new E-OM10 , which I tend to use for my indoor macro efforts. It has got a kit 42mm kit lens but my Stylus is more flexy. I can use the 60mm macro lens for ‘normal’ stuff, but ,although it’s still quite small and lightweight, it would be just that little bit more difficult to hold steady and I can’t cart a tripod around with me. Arthritis can be such a frustrating nuisance!
The Stylus has quite a good zoom on it too.
This is a Domestic Duck that was ‘dumped’ [ together with two others] over the Pond last year and I worried no end about them cos a lady told me that they were unlikely to survive in the wild as they wouldn’t know how to forage for themselves and it was likely foxes would get them ….. well – I hadn’t seen them the last few times I paid a visit, so I was so pleased to see this one and overjoyed that she had three babies with her!! Don’t know where the others are though.
It’s always a problem photographing white birds on bright, sunny days to avoid the whites being ‘blown out’, so it helps when I remember to adjust the exposure dial.
These Greylag Geese kept charging up and down this slope for some reason or other – there was a chap at the top of the bank feeding them all …. maybe they just wanted to show off for the camera eh?
I was going to post some swan pics here too but I think this is enough for one post! Will save them for next time …. see you soon I hope, Eileen
This was taken on one of the few sunny days we’ve had recently. There was ice floating around on the lake and parts were really completely iced over. I loved the clear reflections of the trees and a pair of swans sunning themselves on the far side.
When I got round to the other side this photographer got himself a prime spot – it was amazing they let him get so close. They weren’t bothered by him at all.
It was quite a comical sight to see the various ducks, coots etc trying to keep their balance but they took it all in their stride , if you’ll excuse the pun ….
I added a warm ‘sunset’ effect to this image….
At various places around the Lake the local Council have built several platforms to fish from – there were no takers this day though.
Amid all the dark, bare trees this one stood out because of it’s blazing orange colour against the clear blue sky – I’ve no idea what tree it is !! in the pic below it shows the clear image of the moon above it. It really was a glorious day !
As I got nearer to it I kept taking shots and zoomed in on this one. The colour did change in camera as a result, but I did a bit of artistic ‘tweaking’ afterwards on some too, but all within what I call enhancement I hope and not overdoing things. It was truly a glorious colour au naturelle – honest !
I’m going to try to be more active on my Blog – the trouble is that I have a finger in too many pies I think, as I belong to several photography sites. The good thing about blogging though is that I can post as many pics in one go as I like.
till next time, Eileen
As someone who doesn’t get around much, I am forever grateful to the Lord that I have a Wildlife area right at the bottom of my road. Now that I’ve got to know the place more since moving here nearly three years ago [tempus fugit!], I find I’m visiting it quite regularly. There are big changes going on to the Pond’s layout and it looks like it will be really good stuff with new permanent paths being built, plus fishing areas and a ‘viewing platform’ in the middle of the lake.
I was delighted to capture this swan after his ‘ducking’ and diving, with the water drops from his beak. It was what I was hoping for but didn’t know I’d got till I uploaded the pics to my laptop.
Then he conveniently swam round nearer to my viewing point ….. probably thought I had some bread to feed him. As you can see – it was a lovely sunny, hot day …. my, we’ve had a good summer this year.
see you soon, Eileen
For weeks I’ve been bemoaning the fact that I haven’t had any butterflies in my garden – well today there have been several fluttering about and even resting long enough for me to take some pics. I think this particular lot are called Gatekeeper [Pyronia tithonus] because they have twin black eyespots with white pupils on their forewing. Anyway – I only know that because I did a google search! I’m delighted – especially as I’m getting more used to using the zoom on my camera instead of the macro setting [which I still haven’t figured out!].
I amused myself no end cropping and trying to be generally more ‘artistic’ without it looking too artificial … BUT – I do try to get the best pics I can ‘in camera’ as is always recommended. I tend to take loads of shots and discard the majority as many of them are almost the same – it’s just a matter of choosing the best of the bunch. It’s been a bit on the windy side today, so as well as the butterflies and bees being on the move all the time – so are the plants they land upon unfortunately.
I’ve deliberately kept some images high key to reflect the beautiful sunny weather – although I appreciate some butterflies suit a bit of drama more.
Even though this Sedum isn’t in flower yet, the butterflies are obviously attracted to it. I’m fortunate in having several Sedums which I love – especially this dark red variety called Purple Emperor.
I’m looking forward to posting some photos I took through the window during a downpour yesterday. I was going to post them today but the butterflies took priority!
see you soon, Eileen
I love lavender plants and so do the bees …. ladybirds and butterflies are in short supply in my garden – well, non-existent really – but the bees are out in force. So, I thought I’d have another go at practicing with the macro setting on my new camera. Hmm – very disappointing I must say – goodness knows what I’m doing wrong. It must be because I’m treating it asin ‘auto’ mode I guess – I don’t know if I’m supposed to be selecting other things to help.
Fortunately I’d read tips from someone about using the zoom lens for flower close ups instead and so I’ve contented myself with experimenting with that. These are the results, but I know I could do so much better! I found it wasn’t much good my trying to set the camera for fast-moving objects either …. I find it all very frustrating as I really hanker after lovely sharp images. However – as I’ve said elsewhere – I try to make up for that with being more ‘artistic’ when sharpness isn’t crucial. And as I enjoy using my Paintshop Pro it becomes such a pleasure to do. I try to get as good a photo ‘in camera’ as I can though and I don’t like to be too obvious in ‘enhancing’ images. But there are instances when it’s ok to go to extremes and a lot of fun too.
Next time I hope to post something completely different to my recent wild-life offerings. More ‘still life’ or abstracty. See you soon, Eileen
As well as buying a new camera I went mad and bought an updated version of my Paintshop Pro software – x6. I tinkered around a bit with the colour on these duck images. They were in dappled shade which I quite liked, but I think I could probably have got more light within the shadows. If I decide to have another go I may post the results here to compare. There is a lot that is the same in my update, but a lot that’s unfamiliar to me, so I’m on a learning curve as usual.
I’ll sign off now …… please leave any comments or suggestions, or even ‘like’ or ‘share’ ! Eileen
Fortunately I’d chosen to visit the Pond a few days before the present heatwave really hit us. Nevertheless – it was a really bright,sunny day and I was armed with my brand new camera – Olympus Stylus 1 – recommended by a very helpful assistant at Park Cameras in Burgess Hill. Because I’m struggling with the settings etc I ended up going back to ‘auto’ . I know I could have done better, but hope I’ll get brownie points for trying!
I do feel the need for a kindly hand to guide me or a nearby class to join, but meanwhile , though it takes twice as long when you don’t know what you’re doing, I will learn by swotting and trial and error – and I will try to compensate by being ‘artistic’ …. But – I’m loving my new Stylus 1 and something I didn’t think I’d find easy is using the view-finder! My not so efficient eyesight means I prefer to use the screen to take my pics usually. But this viewfinder is a good size and switches from the screen mode automatically when you press said viewfinder to your brow. I’m sure it’s making me hold the camera steadier too.
As I took rather a lot of pics I will spread them over a couple of posts. Some are of the scenery, some of the wildlife and some of people and doggies.
This is taken from a small concrete bridge where the Lake leads into a somewhat stagnant looking canal. It is very quiet and secluded and the reflections of the surrounding greenery are lovely.
A little bit further along, the Lake narrows and is dissected by a road, the other side seems to be quite a little haven for the ducks and geese as they like to gather there to be fed by everybody. It’s a very picturesque part …
From another angle. I liked the shadow patterns of the tree.
Well folks, as usual, I would really appreciate any comments or thoughts on these images, if you have the inclination. see you soon with some doggie pics.
many blessings, Eileen
I was feeling very fed up last friday afternoon so on the spur of the moment , and believe me – I am not a ‘spontaneous’ person by any means, I decided to take a stroll down to The Pond again. It was a glorious, warm, sunny day to take advantage of ….
I felt well rewarded when I came across this Heron. Usually I’ve just been able to make him out in the distance, across the other side of the lake. He was still a fair distance from me , as you can see from the second image, so I used the little zoom on my camera for this one – risking a bit of camera shake in the process.
With a little bit of tweaking in my Paintshop Pro, I think it’s turned out ok. Sometimes when I see all the wonderfully sharp close up pics taken by other photographers here, I lament my lack of ‘equipment’ and camera expertise. But even if I had them, physical limitations would prevent me using them I think. I really must get my son to take me to Parks Camera shop in Burgess Hill so that I can talk to an ‘expert’ and try handling cameras!
Oh dear, I fear I’m waffling a bit …. but truly, this is something that keeps cropping up for me and I never do anything about. I could leave the planet before I ever do ! Comments are always most welcome here [ NB. I’ve been trying to learn how to attract more ‘traffic’ to my blogs recently] , and also your constructive criticism of my photographic efforts. I know there are web sites and forums where you can submit your work, but I get defeated by the technical know how – ha ha – the attention span is decreasing with age lol. Till next time then , Eileen
Thought I’d throw in these as an afterthought ….
I’ve been having second thoughts about digging out this achillea plant completely – I may just divided it up instead. My change of heart has come because the Ladybirds have obviously taken a fancy to it. It’s still yet in bud, but the Ladybirds are out in force today.
The sun is so bright that I couldn’t really see anything on the screen display of my little camera, so it was simply a matter of pointing closely on the macro setting and taking a complete chance on whether I’d captured anything or not…. equally, I do find camera shake a bit of a problem as I can’t keep my hands so steady as I used to. I know my tripod would help, but by the time you set these things up the insects have moved or flown. So – I just hope for the best.
All things considered I feel quite pleased – especially with the depth of field. I tweaked the brightness/contrast a bit with my paintshop software afterwards.