Friday, December 14, 2012

Looking West from Langland Point

I decided to have another go at a sunset shot on Wednesday evening, so headed round to Langland Point at the western end of Langland Bay near Swansea. At this time of the year, it's a cold and invariably windy spot, with great views along the rugged Gower coastline towards the setting sun.
However, just as yesterday, the hoped-for sunset failed to materialise, and I was once more presented with the slightly-depressing cold blue light of dusk:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dusk at Worm's Head

Yesterday evening, I headed out to Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula, hoping for a beautiful sunset. This view over the coastguard hut was as near as there was to a colourful sky:

A stubborn bank of cloud then positioned itself behind 'The Worm', resulting in this cool blue light:

I turned to the right to photograph this view along Rhossili beach towards the small tidal island of Burry Holms:

I zoomed in on the outer part of Worm's Head:

Finally, a long exposure of 124 seconds:

I also had a try at a star-trails shot over the headland, but that was a failure as well!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Another Star-Trail

Taken last night, this is the same tree as my recent post, but with the camera pointing in a different direction:

It's a combination of three ten-minute exposures. I bought an intervalometer, and I had set it to take 18 ten-minute exposures, but all but the first three were ruined by condensation forming on the front of the lens, despite me trying a chemical hand-warmer wrapped around the lens to try to keep it warm, as was recommended to me.
Anyone know a foolproof way to keep the lens condensation-free when doing long exposures on a cold night?

Pied Wagtail and an Eagle

After photographing the crows in my previous post, I came upon this little Pied Wagtail perched nearby in the dim blue light of dusk:

If you're wondering what it's standing upon, it's this sculpture of an eagle (or osprey), photographed at sunrise way back in 2005:

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Carrion Crow

I must have once fed some Carrion Crows on my regular walks along Swansea seafront; and now, whenever I walk a particular stretch of the coast path, several crows fly up to me as soon as I appear, clearly hoping for more food, and obviously able to distinguish me from other passers-by (mind you, a face like mine, once seen, is not easily forgotten!).
Today, I took advantage of the crows' familiarity by taking a few shots with my 'big gun':

Nictitating membrane down on this one's eye:

Inspecting me closely as I lay on the ground to steady my lens and get a low, intimate shooting angle:

Maybe not the most 'glamorous' birds, but I like them!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Female Brambling on Teasel

I've put up some Teasels near my home, and have been topping them up with niger seeds for the last few days, the aim being to attract some Goldfinches close enough for photography. I went down to check on them at lunchtime today. A couple of Goldfinches were flying nearby, put none landed on any of the seedheads. I walked away for a while, before turning back towards the Teasels, where I saw a small bird perched atop one of the plants. I was amazed to see it was a female Brambling, quite a rare winter visitor round here. It proved quite tame, allowing me to approach within ten metres for a few shots with my long lens:

Certainly a nice surprise to come upon this bird which I hadn't photographed before.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


A rare clear evening (amidst the rain and gloom) saw me head down to the beach to try another star-trail shot.
My previous efforts HERE had shown me that a single exposure of longer than twenty minutes, even with long-exposure noise reduction activated, tended to result in excess digital noise, as well as picking up too much noise pollution from the city lights. This evening, I decided to try a different approach, and took five ten-minute exposures, one directly after the other, and combined them, along with a single dark-frame, in this free startrails application.
Here's the result:

I would have liked to have combined more shots for longer star-trails, but the clouds soon rolled over, so I headed for home.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yesterday's Sunset

A few shots taken on a walk along Swansea beach on Saturday evening. Unlike all previous photos on here, which were taken with various DSLRs, these were taken with a little Olympus Pen E-PL1 camera:

After a sunny Saturday, it was back to the usual rain today. And now that the clocks have gone back, the evenings are going to be longer and darker than ever. Uh oh!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn Leaves

A few pictures from the last few days:-

A couple of shots of Ash leaves:


Lime (I think):


Monday, October 08, 2012

Wheatear Video

Here's a little footage of the Wheatears I saw on Saturday:

Saturday, October 06, 2012


I came upon a pair of migrant Wheatears along Swansea seafront around midday today. It didn't take long for me to get near enough for probably my best Wheatear shots yet, the birds sometimes coming too close for me to focus on:

All shots taken with a Canon 40D and Sigma 500mm lens.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Black-headed Gulls

I had to pick up a parcel from the Royal Mail sorting office yesterday, so took the opportunity to visit, briefly, the nearby Fendrod Lake. I didn't have much time, so decided to concentrate on the local Black-headed Gulls.
I threw a few peanuts in to bring the birds closer, one of which this bird has in its mouth:

I tried to isolate the birds as they flew in front of a dark background:

All shots taken with a Canon 40D and 70-200mm lens.