Catching up a bit

Hey, I figured it was about time that I get myself ALMOST up to date with what’s going on with my photography right now. I’m almost there now, this post should bring almost there. These photos were taken in the weeks just before I came back from university. I’ll warn you now, there is some graphic content (gore) in two of the photos – but there is reason behind it; you’ll see.

The advantage, it seems, of living on the edge of Holyrood Park, is that it is a five minute jaunt from my room to the best wilderness within the limits of Edinburgh. That does not, unfortunately, mean that I can spend all of my time there. It is still a big deal for me to get all the gear together and head off to shoot, but in the closing weeks of uni, when classes were all but finished and hours where light was still around were available to me, meant that there were born several opportunities to go out and shoot. On the very first excursion, I made a discovery which I had not expected. As I mentioned in previous posts, I spent some time photographing the crows in the park, but I was unaware that it was home also to Grey Herons. These majestic birds were, somewhat unexpectedly, discovered on the side of the hill some 40 metres from water on my first visit.

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/2000s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/500s f/8

When I realised that these majestic and curious birds made this spot apparently their camping grounds, I decided that I should make a point of practicing my avian photography with them. They are so full of character, and so fun to watch, I actually miss photographing them now I think about it. Needless to say, they provide me with some amazing opportunities. Almost all of the following shots are from my tripod – it’s been an amazing tool to work with. More on that in future posts! Roll the pictures:

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/100s f/8

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/1000s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/400s f/8

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/640s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/500s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/500s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/2500s f/4

Now as I’m sure you’ve gathered, these herons are hunting in the pool of water. But what are they hunting? Well, aside from insect larvae, it seems they are hunting for frogs – I found about seven or eight dead frogs along maybe 5 metres of shore line. Interestingly however, many were disgorged and some eaten in part, but none more than that, and I never, in my hours of watching, saw a heron catch one. I think it possible, though unlikely, that chytrid fungus may be causing their deaths – Investigations will happen when I return. If anyone knows anything on the matter, please comment and tell me about it; i would love to know. The next two are the… graphic pictures. skim over them if you are of faint heart. More herons follow!

D300 + 105mm VR @ 1/640s f/3.5

D300 + 105mm VR @ 1/320s f/8

Moving swiftly on, more herons!

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/2000s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/125s f/16

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/800s f/8

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/640s f/8

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/320s f/8

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/320s f/8

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/250s f/8

That’s quite enough of those for now, eh? How about some gulls? They hang around the little loch as well, though i think they use it more for bathing than for feeding.

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/500s f/8

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/2000s f/4

And now for something completely different. Foxes. I got extremely lucky on I think my second or third excursion. As I was heading back, having lost my lens cover for the 300mm VR, a fox ran out from the bushes, straight in front of me. I had the presence of mind to raise the camera and start shooting, but she stopped when she heard the shutter firing, and headed back, pausing only for a brief moment to check me out. Peak of action. Click click click.

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/320s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/250s f/4

D300 + 300mm VR + TC-14E @ 1/250s f/4

I will definitely be returning to this spot to see if she doesn’t come out again. I have long wanted to photograph some foxes, so you can imagine my pleasure when I discovered they live right behind my accommodation.

Anyways, I hope this makes up to some extent for the gaps in my posting log. I will work on posting more as time passes. As for what’s next on the blog? Who knows? Maybe Rikka will even consent to letting me shoot her again! Here’s to wishful thinking!

Until the next time. Click on.

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