47th week of 2013

A dedicated weekend this time, we went to the New forest on Saturday, for some wildlife mainly, to test out my new lens: The Sigma 100-300mm f4. I got this used from eBay last week, as they’re not in production anymore unfortunately. It is amazingly sharp, although I had to adjust the AF fine tune by -12!

We headed to a place I’d been before: Bolderwood deer sanctuary. When we’d been before, there were deer all over the place, running about; but this time they were lying down, and even after sneaking round the side of the sanctuary I was still not close enough.

Moving onto another tried and tested location, Blashford lakes I was hoping for some wildlife flitting about as the sun set. Again, all out of reach and not doing anything. We hopped over the road, and went to another hide, where I ended up just making a landscape photo instead as the birds were a bit far away. The colours reflecting on the lake, along with the birds swimming made this a really nice scene.

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After this, we wandered around more hides, and moved round to a different place called Kingfisher lake. The colours werent great, and I was thinking it had been a waste of time, until this swan came swimming over. By now it was quite dark, so I got out my external flash and used a high iso combo to freeze the water from the swans mouth.

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As we entered the blue hour, I directed us to Hatchet Pond. There was still a tiny amount of colour left from the sunset, but the sky was clear and the lake was calm, reflecting the narrow strip of leaves and colour.

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The next day, we headed down to Titchfield Haven, in Southampton. I spent the day in hides, waiting with chilly hands for something to happen. Heres a few that I got from the day:

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There were wagtails and oyster catchers that were flying all over the place towards the end of the day:

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Something I learned: Don’t bother taking pictures of birds against the sky, ( Unless it’s a dramatic sky) otherwise they’ll just have a boring background , and it normally means you’re not at eyelevel with the bird – which is another important thing for wildlife shots. Try an be as low as possible, and get the birds flying at low level too.

Jamie

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