Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Last Post (this year!)

Time seems to have slipped away at the tail end of 2014.  My memory is of a succession of wet weeks which meant little chance of snapping, and then we had a longer break in Florida which didn't see a lot of camera action really, but plenty of fishing.  Maybe I shouldn't even mention that in a wildlife blog.  There weren't really any new subjects, but a couple of okay snaps.
It's only the last week or two that I've got out again.  Back to the 2 woods where the feeding station activity is starting to pick up and to a reminder of just how awkward the light can be.  The following shots were taken over the course of a couple of hours showing the spotlight effect dappled light can have, lighting the subject, the background, both or neither.

At the end of that session I was wandering away when I almost literally stumbled over a late mushroom, one I haven't seen before.  I had missed the first phase and so the cap had been eaten away by insects leaving the phallic 'skeleton'.  I had with me only my 300mm lens complete with x2 converter, but I thought I'd have a go at getting some snaps. The sun was quite well down so the light was quite warm, but then it died lending a blue cast to the final images - I've tweaked the white balance on a few to warm them up a bit.  As you scroll down you will see how I (slowly) improved the background, stray twigs, etc.  Getting better at close up snaps will be an aim for next year - I need to develop a different way of working.  You will also see how the light affected the background - at first highlighting intrusive paler elements, then the whole in a patchy pattern and finally a diffuse blur.

To end, a few first goes at the pair of jays now visiting my closer woodland.  Bigger birds mean it's hard to get a good depth of field.  I like the one of it drinking, and hope to try some different angles on this with a remote trigger.  That though means time which remains in quite short supply these days.