Tag Archives: British photography

Common Blue Damselfly | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

I don’t do much wildlife photography, let alone macro stuff in the field. However, while photographing various species of heather, calluna, erica and daboecia, I was taken by the antics of several damsel flies. Some were hunting, but one couple were busy working on the next generation.
I was using my Sigma 28–300mm ƒ3.5–5.6 on the Canon EOS 7D for the plant work, and had been pleasantly surprised at the macro capabilities. When my colleague pointed out the damsel fly pair, I was initially sceptical I would get anything worthwhile. I was, after all, working handheld, and I wasn’t really convinced the lens would give me good results on something so small.
I perched on a small stool, rested my arms on my knees, and zoomed right out to 300mm. The camera was set at ISO400, and I’d been working in Aperture Priority mode. The insects were quite small in the frame, and the AF couldn’t quite latch on to them. I should point out I’ve adopted the back-button focus system now, leaving the shutter button for exposure reading and capturing the shot. Once the AF locked on, I took my thumb away from the button and kept shooting.
The shot above was 1/500th at ƒ/11, and I seem to have dialled in a negative third of a stop. Aside from some mild detail and contrast enhancement on import in Aperture, and a crop to home in on the critters, this shot is the best of the bunch. I am amazed at the crisp detail in the wings. Such a relatively cheap lens, and it still surprises me.

Metro comes out fighting for photographers’ rights

I love to see papers campaigning on issues of civil liberties and freedom, and I was particularly impressed with the fact that Metro produced a simple layman’s terms explanation of photographers rights in a cut-out-and-keep format.

As the weather begins to improve—it will sometime, I promise—it’s always worth refreshing the memory about the rights and wrongs of being a photographer. Good on the Metro for holding out for our freedoms.

Hat tip to @paullewismoney for the link.

Photography podcasts

The other day I was bemoaning the fact that many of the photography podcasts I listen to are resolutely based in the USA. The same voices kept reappearing, some of which were getting intensely irritating in a whiney west coast way, and it was increasingly obvious to me that I wasn’t learning anything from them any more. Too much blather about new software and hardware, and too little blather about actual photography. I also noticed a lot of talk about lighting, whereas I am a keen natural light photographer. The only flash I own is part of my camera body, and it very rarely gets deployed. While I am interested in new gear, I’m not going to be spending money on it, so I want more general photographic information over technolust.

Be that as it may, I was pointed at a UK-based podcast that had previously slipped my notice. I subscribed to it over the weekend, and I had a marathon catch-up session yesterday. 

Giles Babbidge (@gilesbabbidge on Twitter) is a professional photographer based down on the South Coast of England. He runs a blog/web site entitled The Active Photographer, produces a weekly podcast of the same name, and a Facebook page if you feel so inclined, while also working hard for a living.

I have to say, I am pretty impressed. Giles tends to record his weekly podcast in an off-the-cuff style, often while on a location or out for a walk. He also records interesting chats with his former university lecturer. Things frequently wander off on tangents, or down little parenthetical byways, but equally frequently contain useful real world information.

I am happy that I now have a regular podcast with a UK-based photographer.