Thursday, 24 November 2011

Images from the natural world

I've been busy at work recently but managed to get a couple of hours this morning to process some images for printing so I did some JPEGs too for the blog.

A reminder of warmer times

Starting off with one of the later flowering of British orchids - pyramidal. Taken early on the morning of 10th July at Park Gate Down. The added bonus with this image was the brief appearance of a hover fly adding some interest and colour to the scene.

At the time I was experimenting with using my 500mm lens and a full set of extension tubes rather than my standard 100mm macro lens. This one was taken at f/11, 1/80th second exposure, with the lens resting on a large bean bag. I managed to achieve the diffuse background that I had hoped for and will try to refine this technique further next spring/summer with other orchid subjects.

Pyramidal orchid with hover fly

Cotter Force (Yorkshire Dales)

I spent a week on the Yorks/Lanks border in September and took a few photographs of the Cotter Force waterfall. The first time I processed them I was not happy with the results so I had another go and it all worked a lot better.

The problem I had was that I wanted to keep the rocks nice and sharp and the water really soft and when I applied the final sharpening, the water lost its feel. In the end I did a very hard noise reduction with Topaz DeNoise to take out a lot of fine detail, followed by some aggressive sharpening which boosted up the rocks and foliage but left the water almost untouched. I'm sure there was a more elegant way of doing this but I got there in the end. Anthony will know...

Cotter Force
Hothfield Common 

The autumn colours have been fantastic and with a day off last Thursday I started off with a few hours at Hothfield Common. Yes, I know I should call it Hothfield Heathland but old habits die hard.

I used my 70-200 lens to pick out some detail in the woodland, with the bark of the silver birches to give some structure.

Autumn on Hothfield Common
Oare Marshes

After lunch I headed over to Oare Marshes to check out the wader situation to coincide with high tide.

The East Flood was hosting many golden plover and lapwing with a few ringed plover and dunlin as supporting cast. The light was fantastic and the winds were very light so I took the opportunity to get some reflections of the waders as they roosted up.

Roosting Lapwing
I did use a Topaz Adjust to give this a slightly impressionistic feel as it was a bit too 'in-your-face' in its native state.

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