Tag: Photography

Look who’s stalking; bespoke photography 24/03/2014

by on Mar.29, 2014, under Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast, Photography

Monday was a day with the potential to go either way, and I was nervous.  I first met John when himself and Helen were on a North Sea pelagic in June last year and we found this little beauty.  This trip was something altogether different though – Helen had arranged a one-to-one photography day.  Our one-to-one days focus on whatever our clients would like to work on – sometimes techniques (exposure/composition/fieldcraft etc.), sometimes species (Black Grouse, Otter and Red Squirrel are just some of the ones we’ve helped clients to photograph) – and John’s request was to develop his techniques for getting good images of shorebirds.  Now, using fieldcraft developed over 40yrs is one thing when I’m in the field on my own…teaching it, with our subject right where it can see us, is slightly more challenging 😉

I collected John from home in Morpeth and we headed north until we were in the impressive shadow of Bamburgh CastlePurple Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Eider were all approached with stealth and patience before we made our way down the Northumberland coast to Druridge Bay, stopping off and stalking Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Sanderling, Redshank, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Dunlin and finishing the day’s photography with the slightly easier proposition of Reed Bunting, Blue Tit and Lesser Redpoll at a feeding station before admiring the Red-necked Grebe that I first found back in mid-February – now in a much more attractive plumage than it was five weeks ago.

John very kindly supplied some of his images from the day, for which we’re very grateful, so here they are 🙂  You can click on them to see the full size images, and please do get in touch with us if you’d like to get more from your camera equipment.

Common Eider, Somateria mollissima, Northumberland, photography tuition, bird photography, one to one photography, bird photography holidays

Common Eider

Turnstone, Arenaria interpres, Purple Sandpiper, Calidris maritima, Northumberland, photography tuition, bird photography, one to one photography, bird photography holidays

Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone

Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus, Northumberland, photography tuition, bird photography, one to one photography, bird photography holidays

Oystercatcher

Common Redshank, Tringa totanus, Northumberland, photography tuition, bird photography, one to one photography, bird photography holidays

Common Redshank

Sanderling, Calidris alba, Northumberland, photography tuition, bird photography, one to one photography, bird photography holidays

Sanderling

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Findings

by on Mar.04, 2011, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast, Photography

On our photography tours I carry my camera with me, particularly when delivering photography tuition, but on our other trips I don’t; our clients deserve, and receive, my full attention.  When I’m out on my own I don’t always carry a camera either – sometimes it would just be inconvenient (scrambling up trees, crags and dunes isn’t always compatible with having a heavy camera bag on your back).  Occasionally, though, there are times when a camera would come in quite handy.  These are nearly always stunning sunsets, and a quick shot with my Blackberry records the scene…and is then forgotten about 😉  I was downloading the images from the Outdoor Leisure Show yesterday when I realised that there were a few sunset shots sitting on the memory card;

First at the end of a stunning day birdwatching on the Northumberland coast in February ’10

Landscape photography, photography courses, photography tuition, Northumberland

And then a couple of images from May last year, after our clients had been safely returned to their b&b, showing how light (or the camera’s perception of it) changes so quickly; these two images were taken only a minute apart.

landscape photography, photography tuition, photography courses, Northumberland

landscape photography, photography tuition, photography courses

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Familiarity breeds content

by on Feb.23, 2011, under Birdwatching, Choppington Woods, Northumberland, Photography, Southeast Northumberland

During the winter, when I’m busy with admin and business development, I do most of my birdwatching close to home.  Studying Jackdaw and Starling roosts involves a short walk, but with a constant level of activity around the feeding station (conveniently placed to be visible from the office window) I can enjoy the hobby that has been with me since early childhood throughout most of the day.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had my camera and tripod set up in the kitchen.  Any newcomers to bird photography could do worse than concentrate on the birds in their own garden.  I blogged about our feeding station recently, but I make no apologies for adding a few more images to the blog now 🙂

Brambling, bird photography, Northumberland

Brambling

Goldfinch, bird photography, Northumberland

Goldfinch

 One species I finally managed to get some good images of is a bird that captivated me when I first saw a flock of them, nearly 40 years ago, in my neighbour’s Pear tree.  With their almost non-stop movement, persistent vocalisations and, let’s face it, looks that are so cute it should be illegal Long-tailed Tits are enchanting.  In previous years they’ve been infrequent visitors to our garden but this winter they are here pretty much all day every day.  A lot of our clients have made similar observations and wondered why this change of behaviour has happened.  Long-tailed Titsare insectivorous and it seems that likely that the hard winter weather, coming so early in the winter has had a devastating impact on their natural food source and made them increasingly reliant on artificially provided food.

Long-tailed Tit, bird photography, Northumberland

Long-tailed Tit

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Feeding time

by on Feb.10, 2011, under Birdwatching, Choppington Woods, Northumberland, Photography

I’ve never been good at sitting in the office and concentrating on one task for any length of time.  Having an office window that looks out over the 76ha of mixed woodland of Choppington Woods LNR is a real blessing, allowing me to mix work and birdwatching.  When I need to stretch my legs, a quick trip downstairs lets me open the patio door and turns the kitchen into a very comfortable and convenient bird photography hide.

Our garden is currently hosting at least 8 Bramblings, along with Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Bullfinches, Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, occasional visits from Siskin, Redpoll and Treecreeper and regular fly-throughs by our local Sparrowhawks.

It’s a wonder I ever get any work done 🙂

European Goldfinch, bird photography, wildlife photography

Goldfinch

Chaffinch, bird photography, wildlife photography

Chaffinch

Bullfinch, bird photography, wildlife photography

Bullfinch

Brambling, bird photography, wildlife photography

Brambling

Brambling, bird photography, wildlife photography

Brambling

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