Single frame… European robin (Erithacus rubecula)

European robin (Erithacus rubecula)European robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 100-400mm f4.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 400mm, 1/250s, f8, ISO 500

This week has seen a reshuffle of camera equipment enabling the acquisition of a Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR lens. Like a lot of people I’ve taken more of an interest in wildlife this past year and this lens, longer than any other in my collection by quite a margin, gets me so much closer to my subjects.

More practice is definitely required, even with optical image stabilisation (OIS) avoiding camera shake is difficult with a lens this long.

Single frame… ‘When the red, red robin comes bob-bob bobbin’ along…’

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Nikon D5500, Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD at 300mm, 1/125s, f8, ISO 140

I’m not really a ‘twitcher’ (although I have just joined the RSPB) but photographing birds whilst out and about is proving to be very enjoyable and the acquisition of a Tamron SP 70-300mm lens for my wife’s Nikon D5500 has made doing so much easier…

Granted, so far a lot of my images are of Robins (Erithacus rubecula) but the UK’s favourite bird is incredibly numerous and not at all shy, making the capturing of images a breeze!

Single frame… Bass Rock, August 2020

Bass Rock, August 2020Bass Rock, August 2020
Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 74mm, 1/340s, f11, ISO 200

Bass Rock (Creag nam Bathais in Gaelic) is an uninhabited island in the Firth of Forth, roughly three miles north-east of North Berwick. The island is home to a colony of more than 150,000 Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) and they give it its… ‘distinctive’ colouring.

The pic was taken from Seacliff Beach and on that particularly glorious August Saturday the beach was busy with swimmers, kayakers and paddle-boarders… me? I limited myself to having a paddle!

Single frame… Peacock butterfly (Inachis io)

Peacock butterfly (Inachis io)Peacock butterfly (Inachis io)
Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 55-200mm f3.5~4.8 R LM OIS at 200mm + Fujifilm MCEX-11 Extension Tube, 1/250s, f8, ISO 800

A rescheduled ‘Photography Friday’ outing this week saw Rachel and I exploring a local nature reserve on Wednesday…

Apart from a Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) the only visible wildlife was butterflies and I spent quite a bit of time photographing them.

This Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) was captured with the aid of an 11mm extension tube placed between camera and lens, allowing the XF 55-200mm lens to focus much closer than its normal 1.1m whilst maintaining both auto-exposure and autofocus functions, it’s an accessory I find myself using more and more.

Throwback Thursday… Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
Nikon Coolpix 885, Zoom-Nikkor 8-24mm f/2.8-4.9 at 24mm, 1/250s, f4.9, ISO 100

What was I photographing on this day in previous years?

17 years ago it was this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly (Aglais urticae). The pic isn’t wonderful quality but I think this was the first time I’d composed an image on a LCD screen at arm’s length to avoid disturbing a skittish subject…

A 3.2-megapixel sensor is laughable these days but in 2003 the Nikon Coolpix 885 (replaced in October 2002 by the 4-megapixel Coolpix 4300) was still regarded as a very capable camera!

Single frame… Grey Seal pup

Grey Seal pup, November 2019Grey Seal pup, November 2019
Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 55-200mm f3.5~4.8 R LM OIS at 116mm, 1/125s, f9, ISO 640

This week’s ‘Photography Friday’ saw Rachel and I visit Donna Nook on the Lincolnshire coast to see the Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) that breed (and give birth to their pups) there every year between October and December.

The area is a salt marsh, used by the Royal Air Force as a bombing range but it is also home to a staggering 30% of the worldwide Grey Seal population!

The public viewing area is managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the volunteer wardens do a fantastic job of keeping both seals and visitors safe, the above image was captured from well behind the fencing that separates the two!