Archive for January, 2012

Photographing Owls – part of a Home Life balance…

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

A strange title you might think but hopefully I can explain.

This weekend it was time to redecorate the kitchen. So, following lots of preparation, I set about applying new paint to the walls. When the first coat was complete, rather than hang around drinking coffee I decided to load up the car with my camera and have a mad dash to the fields. The weather forecast had promised good light, so if the Owls did appear there was a chance of some reasonable images. Well, what a good choice that turned out to be. I got my first “keeper” of the day within a minute of setting up the camera in position. The “DIY break” then just got better and better with several very close encounters, sometimes too close.

This image is one that I particularly like from the “DIY session” given the tones and texture in the background that compliment those of the Owl. I have therefore decided to have this image made into a canvas to hang on the now complete and freshly painted wall in the kitchen. That should act as a daily reminder that Photographing Owls is part of a Home Life balance…

A Short Eared Owl – The classic dive…

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Back to UK Wildlife for this post and another image of my local Short Eared Owls.

Over the last few weeks I have continued to monitor the weather forecasts, looking for some light and little or no wind to coincide with my availability in the field. Those moments have been few and far between which makes each image captured so rewarding.

Here is the Short Eared Owl at the point where it turned from gliding to diving in search of its prey.

A Cheetah staying low and alert…

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Here is a very similar image to my last post, only this time it is a Cheetah.

In both images I have taken advantage of the empty space behind the subject, to emphasise the big cat that I was photographing. By having space behind your subject it allows the photographer to render the background nicely out of focus which helps the subject stand out. Had this Cheetah been in front of some shrubs, for example, then the image would have been rather busy and I wouldn’t have bothered to take such a simple portrait.

By getting as low as possible with my camera, I have got down towards the eye level of the subject, which always helps the viewer connect with a picture.

A Leopard enjoying the morning sun…

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Staying with the Big Cats here is a Leopard photographed in Kenya.

Compared to Lions and Cheetahs, Leopards are not as easy to find in the Masai Mara. Their camouflage is incredibly effective and even when a guide tells you that one is in a particular tree or bush, it can still takes several minutes before my eyes are able to find them.

This particular image was taken just a few minutes after the sun had risen above the horizon. The combination of sunlight and the Leopard raising its head allowed him to be spotted and subsequently photographed.

A Lion cub proudly showing his stick…

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Here is another of the lion cubs from my last trip to the Masai Mara.

He was one of four cubs that always stayed pretty close together, playing and tormenting each other. Typically they would all be very active for several minutes having what I call a “mad five” moment. Then almost without notice they would stop, collapse to the floor and appear to fall into a deep sleep.

This image was taken when one of the cubs had woken and he was teasing his brothers and sisters with the stick in a “come and chase me” kind of way …