Walking on the countryside, a bunch of the cutest little cows was nearby. They were very friendly and came to say hi as I approached, and even lingered around posing for a few shots. Cows are way nicer than ducks :-D
This is a low-angle portrait, shot with a wide angle (26mm), wide aperture (f/4) and very fast shutter (1/3000s). Even so, it came a wee bit overexposed in the top-left clouds and a bit underexposed in the ears. Rule of thumb for this kind of pictures says that one should try to get focus on the closest eye, but somehow the nose looked more interesting in this case.
Not much to say about this one. Cows are fun!
Another picture from Lee Valley Park, same theme as yesterday. Crossing a little bridge over the canal I spotted these two swam with their little cygnets, lazily sliding over the calm waters. I was able to snap a few pictures before they went away. The swam family was quite less agressive than the geese one though; I got no hissing this time :-D
Today’s shot is a wildlife action shot. During a one day trip to Lee Valley Park, near London, we came across the cutest bunch of little goslings. I tried to approach them to take a cute shot when suddenly their mum decided I was getting too close and went in the way hissing at me like an angry cougar, it was pretty scary :-D
Unlike the squirrel, the mad goose was anything but posing, so in order to get a shot that wasn’t too blurry it was in order to go for the quickest possible shutter. Thanks to the bright sunlight I was able to shot at 1/500s, although maybe 1/1000 would have been better. Depth of field was narrow enough at f/5.6, so it was impossible to get a tack sharp focus (also the damn thing wouldn’t stay still for long enough). Overall I think it came alright.
Photographing wildlife often requires using similar techniques as taking portraits: in order to achieve subject isolation one resorts to wide apertures and background compression by using some zoom lens. However, there are also some trickier parts: not being able to get very close to the subject often forces using very long telephoto lenses, which often (unless you can afford buying a quick telephoto) has to be traded by a smaller aperture and hence an increase of the shutter time. For wildlife photography, shutter time is particularly critical, as your models are not very likely to stay still posing for you, and even minor camera shakes will get amplified by the use of telephoto lenses. In many aspects the treats required to take good wildlife photography resemble the ones required to be a good sniper.
This time I got an easy enough setting. This little red buddy came running through my legs and climbed a tree right in front of me, where it stood frozen for a few priceless seconds that I could use to bring the camera to my eye, compose, and shoot. Picture was taken at f/5.6, 105mm, 1/250s. Greyish background is due to a cloudy sky.
Sorry for the week without updates, I went back to London for a few days and got busy with the WPO festival, maybe next time I will leave a few programmed updates or something.
Anyway, it was a very productive week in London, I got the chance to meet many nice people and get a glimpse into the world of stock photography (which I haven’t decided yet whether I will try or not), took a quick assignment thanks to which I got a free t-shirt, and used an opportunity to go practice in three amazing photo-shoots with stage models. Besides that, wandering around the south bank I met a bunch of guys performing some amazing free-running flips. All in all, I have over 2000 new photos to take care of, some of which I want to do as soon as possible, so I will postpone my series on Detroit and the US trip.
Today’s picture features one of the boat that crosses the underground river below the caves of Remouchamps, a little Belgian town in the middle of the Ardennes (not far from Liege and the German border), which I visited right the day before going back to London. As you can imagine light conditions inside a cave are kind of precarious, so it took a 4 second exposure (camera standing firmly attached to the gorilla-pod) to get a decent amount of detail on the walls. A bit of filler flash was used at the end of the exposure in order to get the boat properly exposed.
Hope you enjoy it!
Underground river in the caves of Remouchamps, in the Belgian Ardennes.
Picture taken in Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari. Even shooting at high ISO (3200), the 80mm focal length and 5.6 aperture forced a long exposure (1.5 seconds), which resulted in the motion blur due to the train (and birds!) movement. Even if the picture looks funny and a bit surrealistic, there is barely no post-processing here (apart from some cropping and the necessary noise reduction in order to fix the high ISO artifacts).
Hope you enjoy it!
Flamingos by night
This picture was taken over a year ago during my trip to Japan. In one of the highest hills in Kyoto we enjoyed the most beautiful sunset, and the silhouette of this lonely tree was just too perfect not to capture.
Photo taken with the point-and-shoot Pentax Optio S5i, not every picture requires a big DSLR ;-)
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