Sunday 9 February 2014

For a photographer living on the Wirral winter and high tide normally is a fantastic  time, in fact we look forward to this time of the year as soon as summer is on its way out.  My friend came over from Germany to see and photograph this  spectacle, but as often things don't work out the way as planned. First I got hit by an inflammation of my hands. For more than two months I couldn't pick up the camera even writing on the computer  - using my thumb of the left hand was no pleasure.  I was lucky that the treatment finally seemed to work when my hands got better and were quite usable when my friend arrived - things looked different when we looked at the weather forecast a trip to Scotland for Ptarmigans and mountain-hares was impossible so we concentrated on the local wader.  2012 and 2013 were absolutely brilliant for photography but 2014 turned out to be different the light was poor and rarely did we get any sunshine, and good light and birds was a big NO for most of the days . Well still a couple of images turned out to be okay and at least for us locals there is another chance in March :-)

Friday 30 August 2013

Manual focus and a used very beaten up Nikon F2 loaded with Kodachrome 25 for good light and Kodachrome 64 for bad light. Those were the days I chased Kingfishers at the Danube in Southern Germany.  Well manual focus is history as is Kodachrome and sadly most of the Kingsfishers in the small village I grew up. I still have loads of slides I look at from time to time.  sadly Kodachrome slides are horrible to scan and I never was satisfied with the results I could achieve. As I heard about Mark's  Kingsfisher-hide in west Yorkshire I called my mate Mike and we decided to give it a go. well to make a long story short we had a fantastic day ---thanks a lot Mark.  Even the nightmares I had the night after about the developing costs for all the film I shot... they disappeared after I woke up and realized ...hey caveman you are on digital nowadays.  What a relief;  now it's only about when we have time to return and get some action shots :-). 

Saturday 27 July 2013

Being just a Sparrow isn't really a benefit when it comes to raise awareness for a species. Tree    Sparrows were take for granted way to long. Still numerous in certain places we overlooked that the species was and is in trouble. In our modern landscape there simply was no room and suitable habitat left for the species, meanwhile things look a little brighter for their future. They are on a comeback in many areas. This encounter with a family of Tree Sparrows was one of memorable days out in the field. As it was late evening the ISO was up to 800 sometimes even 1600, fill flash was needed to balance the light on the birds with the often much brighter background.

Tuesday 2 July 2013


A sunny day,  Farne-islands and Puffins....sounds like the perfect combination to make very bird-photographer happy.  Well if only the islands could be visited with the first light, the reality is that the light is more often than not brutally harsh and Puffins as all the other mostly black and white colored seabirds don't really photograph well in harsh light. But enough complained we had about 40 minutes of reasonable light before the boat brought as back to the mainland.  Luckily this also was the time when some Puffins thought it is about time to feed the young.  The 40 minutes would have been even better when the wind would have not blown the birds towards us,  wind blowing towards the sun is ideal as it slows the flying birds down and they usually land and start against the wind.  Nonetheless a great day out and some images which wills stay on the hard-drive.  All pictures taken with the old 400mm/5.6 L Canon lens- Camera body used either 5 DMK III or 7D.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) are among our favorite birds. Sadly they are not very common where we live so there is always quite a bit of travel involved. This also means to get up early, like in this case at 2 AM. As we only had one day we wanted to be in Portpatrick as early as possible, the first couple of hours provide the best light for these birds. The strong contrast between the darkest black and the brightest white is a challenge for every sensor, add to these the bright red of the legs and the open beak and you have a exposure - nightmare. Overcast light would be perfect for the bird but often doesn't provide the short exposure time necessary for flight shots. As a second drawback it makes the water look grey and dull. No other than to get up early and hope for the best