Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sorting out things.

Went through my desk drawers - how I hate seeing them referred to as Draws - to get rid of accumulated rubbish.
Came upon some stuff I found on the tide line at Weston-s-Mare a few years ago. Thinking back it was way back in the late 1990's. Might even have been in the days of the yellow Morris.










                                                typical of the sort of thing.

I had sliced along the line of the shell centres to show the build-up. Had to use a small hacksaw - also used a flashgun light spreader that was in the drawer with them.











                                      It worked enough to allow a modelling

Also found if I remembered correctly a couple of screw top bottle corks, someones false teeth -half set - and some other typical holiday rubbish.











                                             Tried picturing them in various groupings.

I used the plastic cutting piece mats from Lidl's for the close-up shots for the first time. I think they will work out well for macro backgrounds, Specially for flower shots. I will always be able to get a contrasting colour.







The time has come, the Walrus said to talk of many things.

And whilst he mentioned “Ships and Shoes and Sealing Wax, Of Cabbages and Kings’
He did not think of mentioning feeding local small birds during the winter.
 Starlings are normally quick to arrive

Larger birds have in general a larger area in which to search for their foods. Smaller birds like starkings and house sparrows and my old friend ‘Polly Dishwasher’ as the pied wagtail is often referred to in Somerset was not mentioned



















They very quickly announce their presence.

I have often noticed a Pied Wagtail Motocilla alba yarrellii visiting the lawn at the back of the flats where I live every winter; previously I had not seen it feeding on stuff that I had put out for the sparrows and starlings. This winter keeping maybe a closer watch I did observe it sampling the sprinklings of blended mini sausage rolls, I used my blender to reduce the size of the offerings so that the seagulls could not swoop in and pick up all of the food.

















More hesitant and much quieter

Perhaps there was an insect ot two grovelling amongst the small flakes. I must certainly keep a much sharper eye on things.



 A very quiet little bird, often checking above for seagulls etc.

I am now much happier that when I was going down to the Rocord Office at Taunton I helped Jim Skeggs with his collection of Somerset slang words. He most obligingly passed me on the first two booklets. It was a simple thing to do, in return for all the help he had given me when searching through for the files and records I had copied.












Has it append?

Have I finally got my Blog back.
The time has come, the Walrus said to talk of many things.

And whilst he mentioned “Ships and Shoes and Sealing Wax, Of Cabbages and Kings’

He did not think of mentioning feeding local small birds during the winter.
 Starlings are normally quick to arrive

Larger birds have in general a larger area in which to search for their foods. Smaller birds like starkings and house sparrows and my old friend ‘Polly Dishwasher’ as the pied wagtail is often referred to in Somerset were not mentioned


















They very quickly announce their presence.

I have often noticed a Pied Wagtail Motocilla alba yarrellii visiting the lawn at the back of the flats where I live every winter; previously I had not seen it feeding on stuff that I had put out for the sparrows and starlings. This winter keeping maybe a closer watch I did observe it sampling the sprinklings of blended mini sausage rolls, I used my blender to reduce the size of the offerings so that the seagulls could not swoop in and pick up all of the food.

















Pied Wagtails are more hesitant and much quieter

Perhaps there was an insect ot two grovelling amongst the small flakes. I must certainly keep a much sharper eye on things.



 A very quiet little bird, often checking above for seagulls etc.

I am now much happier that when I was going down to the Rocord Office at Taunton I helped Jim Skeggs with his collection of Somerset slang words. He most obligingly passed me on the first two booklets. It was a simple thing to do, in return for all the help he had given me when searching through for the files and records I had copied.







Saturday, November 19, 2016

An additional too

Found the jackdaw is not so hesitating when the door is closed too.











                                           Sorted itself as big a piece as it could carry easily

After the Maggie had gone a jackdaw turned up even closer to the window.











 It settled in a good grip

I was able to capture a mini series of it as well.











The got ready to take off with its booty.

Seemed not to be able to hear the noise of the shutter going even in Continual Exposure at 8 frames per second.








Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Success in one way.

I’ve found that the magpie that visits is very sensitive to the sound of the shutter opening and then closing on the SLT A77.











Selecting its favourite item.

The only way of getting full zoom pix as a series was to shut the door and muffle the sound.











Turning the hep over to make certain.

Then I could take as many shots as there was time for. Not very long because it didn’t stop for all that long a time.











Getting ready to take off.

I have an idea that it is still concious of movements in the room but doesn't take so much notice because the door is still closed.

However I could get a mini series of pix. Perhaps as many as six shots with the camera set at Continuous Exposure.
It took about that long for the small gulls to arrive and drive the magpie away.






Sometimes you win - sometimes you lose.

It generally balances out in the long run though.
After a few badly lit nights and early mornings I woke this morning to find a reasonable sky around 5.45 a.m.  

I set up my tripod with the Sigma 172 to 500 
mm lens on it. 
I hitched on the Sony SLT A77. and fired off a few shots with the camera set at 2,000 th of a second down to 1,000 th and varied the lens from f19 to f11. Camera was set to 2x size for most of the pix.


This made the camera equivalent to 1,500 mm lens so I kept the speed up. Like they say if you take at a speed equal to the lens mm you can hold without camera shake if you are lucky. 








Not quite the perigee pic and a faint shadow can 
be seen where the moon is closing down. But better than nothing.
Also got a few shots later, - in, dare I say "Full Light" - if there is such a thing at this time of the year.
For this I used the SLT A55 that I am keeping now as a back up camera.
Not so full of ideas as the A77 but still a flapless camera with the new - to Sony - mirror-less action.







 On that one I had the Tamron 28 to 300mm zoom lens. It might appear a little ridiculous that having bought an 18 to 270 mm, I did not get rid of the 28 to 300 Tamron as part exchange. 
As Bernard Shaw's actress said "Not b****y likely" The usual conversation that would have taken place ? "At the moment, that particular model is flooding the market; with the new lens now out" Then a couple of weeks later passing the shop you find your lens marked up at 4 times the price they paid you. As I wrote before Not B****y  Likely.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's odd what you find.


It can be surprising what you can find in old folders. When looking for something entirely different I came across some pictures I took way back in the 60s.














                                        All aboard for a trip in the bath-boat

One of my Godsons had an idea for a new form of boating. He and a friend took and old galvanised bath. They had worked it out "If the bath don't leak then water won't get in"

                                           Changing navigators/skippers as a bit tricky.

However the change over went OK with nothing wrong.













                                        Engine power (2 feet and legs was OK


We are now all-head for the next port of call.













                                           The crowd stands amazed
How much simpler and easier than paddle boats in the Marine Lake at Clevedon.  Will the idea take on?  It's too advanced perhaps for modern ladies in their mini-skirts. They would not like the thought of getting wet.








Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Got it.

I managed to get a set of three pix of the magpie that visits so coyly. It always comes in from a distance and picks up some food and then goes off quickly.
              Picked up a piece of the scattered Pork sausage roll

Luckily I was set up with the camera on a tripod set to consecutive pix.

The Maggie flew in and as it was sorting out its choice item, I stealthily moved my hand to the shutter release cable. Managed to get one shot as it was walking then a couple of it flying away.
               As we used to say years ago "Away with the mixer"
 Also got a shot of my winter visitor a Pied Wagtail AKA Polly Dishwasher by Somerset country folk.











                                          Very nervous because of the seagulls flying around
I always get one visit the lawn in the winter. It doesn't take anything I put out, but sorts through the grass for insects and perhaps seeds. A very dainty little bird that spends summer out on the moors mostly I think.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

At last I'm getting there.

I believe I have solved the puzzle. The sheer numbers of the jackdaws in the morning flights have been very hard to capture. However I found that taking pictures of them flying away from the camera succeded in catching the numbers involved.











I realised that with no roof showing there was no idea of sheer size of the flock. I set up as well giving a lapse in time to start taking the shots as soon as I saw the first birds.











It meant that the first few frames were blank but at 8 shots per second it also caught the coverage and indicated the distance the flock spread to.











Looking at this picture allows the eye to see the amount of sky and space that these birds take up. What distance are the furthest birds from the camera? A quarter mile? A half mile?
And then consider that there are birds flying beyond them too.
The next thing is to get shots from the front of my flat, using the same set-up.
I reckon that taking in the whole flight they could even spread to around a mile and a half. 

Woke late on Thursday morning. Almost six o'clock; by the time I had showered and made my coffee etc. it was too late to set up the gear to catch the birds. 
Roll on Friday ! ! ! 



Sunday, October 30, 2016


Soome birds are very cautious.

Jackdaws and Magpies will not linger at the feed point on the lawn. I provided a hide to mislead them. Although the camera was evident they took no notice of it. Even the clicking noise was
ignored. A magpie that had landed at the lawn top sauntered down to the food and picked out, - not hurrying a bit - but taking its time to pick out its choices.
I got several shots of it, whereas previously one picture was all I could get before it flew off.
Sometimes even without taking anything.












A jackdaw was the next visitor followed by a small Gull.























The Jackdaw decided it was going to stick it out and feed on the spot. 













The gull however decided that size meant a win. Although it frequently gets forced out by the larger Herring Gulls if I don't manage to shoo them away; against the jackdaw it was victorious.












The jackdaw was forced out taking its choice with it. The Litlle Gull settled down to its feast; until it in turn was 'outed' by a pair of herring gulls. I could not show myself in the impromptu hide and so for once they managed to get away with it.