Month: March 2021

Now Offering Affinity Photo Tuition

Now Offering Affinity Photo Tuition

If you’ve ever wanted to improve your photos or learn how to do composites, but couldn’t afford the cost of Photoshop or didn’t want to do a monthly subscription, then Affinity Photo is for you.

Affinity Photo is a low cost single price photo editing software package that offers very comparable features to Photoshop and the plus side is, I now offer tutoring on it!

As with all my tutoring, it can be tailored to your needs, so you can get the most out of my tutoring sessions. Theses sessions can also be offered via Zoom or FaceTime so your location is also no longer a factor.

I of course still offer my usual Lightroom and Photoshop tutoring.

Use the link below for more information and details.

The Barn Owl!.. 4 minutes of Delight!

The Barn Owl!.. 4 minutes of Delight!

As mentioned in my previous post (We found a Murmuration!) my Son and I had been looking for a local Barn Owl, after getting a fleeting glimpse when we were first told about it.

We knew where it was and could observe it hunting from a distance so as not to disturb it, but after a couple of nights we just hadn’t seen it again. Then on our 3 attempt, 1 week after the first glimpse I saw it in the distance starting its hunt.

It flew along the field towards me…

…keeping a lookout on the ground

Getting close and now out of the direct sunlight direction, it changed its direction slightly, just banking a little…

…but still coming closer.

It passed my position and headed towards the back of the field that I was standing next to. Now the lighting had changed, this field had no sunlight and a backdrop of a dark trees.

Then I must have missed it dropping to the ground, as my last few shots, (that I only noticed when I got home) showed the Owl carrying a Mouse.

The lighting conditions and camera settings for these photos were a bit of a nightmare, but considering I got caught off guard a week early and shot this, I am definitely happy with my results.

I had multiple issues to contend with; it was dusk and I was fast losing light, but then I was shooting in the Suns direction at one point, so had backlighting and flare, then no sunlight and dark background. Plus, a fast moving object, that you have to track in low light conditions, all while hand holding a big lens.

So I am very happy with the results as this was a first proper attempt!

So if this is something your interested in photographing, the first thing is to find and area where it looks like they would hunt and just sit, wait and watch. Also speak to any locals as they would know if one hunts there.

As for camera settings, I was using ISO 2500, F5.6, and this gave me a shutter speed between 1/800 and 1/200.

Oh, I almost forgot, you mustn’t, blink as from it appearing, to disappearing took just 4 short minutes!

We found a Murmuration!

We found a Murmuration!

My challenge to myself in February, was to get better photographs of Birds in flight. I have to say, that what I have taken since the beginning of the year has been some of my best bird photos ever. This is partially due to time, but also but techniques and understanding of my latest camera.

One of my side challenges was to try and capture a murmuration with my Son. He’s just getting into photography, using my old kit and has enjoyed the garden birds, but like me, wanted to see a murmuration.

We partially achieved are our goal, and while it wasn’t a massive murmuration and it disappeared behind the trees, we did see it and the build up to it.

There is a bit of a background story here though. We had been out many times looking for one and never found one. People kept telling us about them and saying, did you see it, but we were always looking somewhere else. One evening, while looking for it, we were told of a Barn Owl. So the next night went looking to that, after about an hour, I saw Starlings in the distance, about 500m away.

So we abandoned our Barn Owl search and ran. I could just see them above the tree tops.

On reaching the field, we were given an amazing low level display with birds, landing and taking up, swooping back down and repeat, all the time being nicely back lit.

The display was pretty impressive.

After more swooping, diving, and flying around the field

They headed to another field and took off to really start the murmuration just out of our view.

The next night we were back on the search for the Barn Owl, but we had to wait another 2 nights and several hours of waiting before we were rewarded.