Archive for July, 2011

An Olive Baboon – Kenya

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I am still reviewing images from previous trips to Kenya in preparation for my visit to the Masai Mara in September.

One of my favourite locations in The Mara is a marsh land area. Water is like a magnet to wildlife in any country and that effect is amplified in countries where water cannot always be guaranteed. Consequently there is a large variety of wildlife to see, in a relatively small area, which is a great way to spend a day with my camera. The BBC spend a lot of time in this area of Africa as well and refer to the resident pride of lions as the “Marsh Pride”.

Here is an Olive Baboon that I came across, enjoying the refreshing water. I saw it running through the water and waited until it came into range.

A Gazelles last breath

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I am just back from my summer holiday and I’m already starting to think about my next photographic trip. For me that will be to the Masai Mara region of Kenya in just under 8 weeks time.

I have been to Kenya several times before and I find it very useful to prepare for each trip by reviewing images, both good and bad, from previous experiences. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I often look at my pictures, or more typically my camera settings, and wish I had done some things differently. Analysing pictures and performing a self critique on them, helps me tune my mind and prepare better should similar situations present themselves again.

Another advantage of reviewing old images is that I occasionally find something lurking on my hard drive that missed my short list the first time around. Here is one such image that I feel falls into that category showing a poor Gazelles last breath.

A Juvenile Little Owl

Monday, July 18th, 2011

After a family holiday in the sunshine I am back to the rain of the UK, processing images of Little Owls.

This is an image of a juvenile Little Owl taken earlier this month. Just before I went on vacation the Owlets had started exploring life outside of their nest. The Owlets were not very confident when flying, taking off or landing and much preferred to stay in one place. Photographically this had some advantages. With a careful approach I was able to get very close to the Owlets and the extra time offered by the youngsters gave me the chance to change lenses and position as required.

I have missed the Little Owls whilst I have been away, so once I have recovered from the jet-lag I shall be back to see how the Little Owl family are progressing.

A Little Owl peeping at me.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Here is the friendly Little Owl again back on his preferred perch, the telegraph pole.

I started this project and sequence of images by showing the Little Owls sitting high up on telegraph poles. Initially he was very cautious and wary about my presence and would do all he could to keep out of my sight. I think this image shows the character of this very small owl and how over the course of the last month he has realised that I am no threat.

He is now just as curious to see what I am doing and “checks me out” from his side of the telegraph pole.

A Little Owl in flight – the final approach…

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

My challenge of documenting Little Owls with pictures took a positive turn last evening when I recorded my first in flight “keepers”.

If you have ever seen these birds in flight then you will be aware that they often fly just a few centimetres above the ground. When I first discovered them they quite literally appeared to “vanish”. I would see one on top of a telegraph pole, blink, and then it was nowhere to be seen. A few seconds later, as if by magic, it just appeared on the next telegraph pole. What actually happens is that the bird vertically dives off the first pole , flies low and parallel to the ground to the base of the next pole then at the last minute heads skyward to the top of the pole.

To get any natural light underneath the Owls wings I had to take this image when the sun was just about to disappear below the horizon. Every photographer will tell you that sunset is a good time to take a picture. For this image I would say it was essential.

This is one of those images that I think suits the panoramic style format. I look out for these in my portfolio so that I can use them on my website as the banner image. That picture changes as you navigate the site so this Owl will appear there from time to time.