Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sunday's Sunrise

As penance for wasting a sunny Saturday by catching up on sleep and watching the rugby, I kicked myself out of bed before dawn on Sunday, and headed down to the beach. There was just enough time for a twenty-odd-minute exposure of this tree, capturing a few star-trails, before it got too light:

The same tree with the developing sunrise behind:

I put my 500mm lens into action for this shot of the Port Talbot steelworks across the bay:

I used the same lens for this pan-blur shot:

                        this shot of the Meridian Tower near the city centre:

and this picture of the dawn sky over Mumbles Lighthouse:

The colours became more intense:

That tree again:

A couple of my patented pan-blur shots, the aim being to reduce the scene to its essentials and remove distracting details (or something pretentious like that!):

The sun rising near the steelworks:

More-subtle light looking south-westwards towards Mumbles:

A final shot looking back across the rising tide towards the town:

and then it was off for some bird photography.
It was definitely worth getting up early for!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trees in the Mist

It does seem as if the weather recently has given us day after day of dreariness and rain, which can get quite depressing, and has given limited photo opportunities. Getting desperate for some shots, I took these pictures whilst walking up through the park at dusk today. I decided to try for an impression of these trees, by the simple process of moving the camera up or down during an exposure of one second or more. Results can be unpredictable, but occasionally something good comes of it.
I normally tweak my shots a little before uploading them here: sharpening a bit, adjusting the white- and black-point, altering the white balance if needed to give a natural result, etc. I've left these as they came out of the camera, although the 'cloudy' white balance set has left the scene looking a bit bluer than I remember it:

A 'straight' shot of the scene for comparison, with the camera resting on a bench for support:

Probably not to most people's taste, but I quite like the dreamy effect that some of these 'camera pan' shots can have.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Foxes on a Trail Camera

For want of anything else to upload, I thought I'd post some footage of foxes which I filmed on a trail camera last summer. 
Once I had discovered the foxes, I needed to ascertain the best place to put my hide to try for some photos. So, I bought this trail camera, and set it up near an area where there were obvious signs of fox activity (the grass in the corner of the field had been flattened, and there were trails leading off into the undergrowth). By setting the camera to record the date and time on the photos, I was able to discover that the foxes were active up until 9 a.m. (although one fox did appear briefly at 1 p.m.), and that they emerged as early as 5 p.m. to bask in the sunshine on bright evenings. I then set the camera to video mode (unfortunately, this camera won't record the date and time in video mode), and was able to get the following footage (which is eight twenty-second clips merged together):

The video is not of the best quality, but I didn't want to buy a more expensive camera and risk it being stolen, and it did give me the information I wanted.
Once I had the knowledge of when and where the foxes were active, I was able to set up my hide and get these pictures.
All was going fine until the council decided to mow the overgrown field, and then steal my hide!
I have seen several foxes in nearby suburban streets since then; so, fingers crossed, I'll have another go at filming them this summer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mallards and Feral Pigeons

Not the most exciting birds, perhaps, but about all I could get during a wet hour in the park at lunchtime:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pied Wagtail

I went for a walk down to the beach this afternoon at high tide in search of wader photos. No real luck there, but I did stumble upon this approachable Pied Wagtail posing on the pebbles in some late sunshine:

A common-enough bird, but I've not really managed any decent shots before, so quite pleased to get these.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


A few shots of these lovely little waders, taken on my local beach at high tide one morning a few days back:

Amazing to watch them racing back and forth along the tideline at such close range, almost like clockwork toys.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More Jays

A few more shots from an hour in the park this afternoon:

I then decided I wanted some shots with the Jays off the ground, so I found a small stump nearby, and propped it up in an appropriate place. I placed a few peanuts on or near the stump, and, in no time at all, the Jays came down for their food:

Can never have too many pictures of these lovely birds. I might even head back tomorrow for another go!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Swansea Bay Sunset

A few shots from this evening, taken from the beach near the city centre, and looking back towards Mumbles:

A shot of the town, with the tall building on the right being the Meridian Tower:

Monday, February 06, 2012


A few shots of Jays taken this weekend in Singleton Park:

Hopefully, I'll soon be able to lure them onto some different perches, and get some better shots.

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Walking along Swansea Beach late this afternoon, I spotted this Curlew feeding quite close to shore. By hiding behind a groyne, and placing my camera on a beanbag on top of it, I was able to get a few reasonable shots:

Then, the obligatory thoughtless idiot with a dog appeared, and the Curlew was off!