elmley marshes

Spring has arrived….almost!

Spring-like weather’s here one day and gone the next, at the moment! Here, in North Kent (though just like the rest of the UK it seems), we have a couple of days of relatively warm weather and then close to zero with frosts. I guess that’s why we Brits like to talk about the weather so much. It’s just so changeable and never more so than in March. Most days and, even, when the weather’s quite dreadful I force myself outside and venture into local woods or on the marshes as quite often these marginal conditions can produce striking imagery and, even if I don’t take any images (which is very often!), I always feel better for it. It’s great exercise, especially with a 8kg camera backpack, and spiritually renewing. Good for the soul! Here’s a selection taken over the last month.

Bluebell shoot

Bluebell shoot

I’ve recently purchased a 200mm Micro Nikkor having, for the last 20 years, made do with a 200mm plus extension tubes. I’d been quite happy with this combination and, indeed, have had countless publications using this set-up but you simply cannot beat a dedicated close-up lens particularly for it’s convenience. In addition,  it has a rotating tripod-collar which is very useful when shooting upright images.

HoneysuckleFlare was the biggest issue here and so i simply cast my own shadow over the lens, firing the camera using a remote release. I'm not a fan of infra-red releases as I have seen too many workshop guests get frustrated when the transmitter isn't perfectly alligned with the receiver!

Honeysuckle
Flare was the biggest issue here and so I simply cast my own shadow over the lens, firing the camera using a remote release. I’m not a fan of infra-red releases as I have seen too many workshop guests get frustrated when the transmitter isn’t perfectly aligned with the receiver!

Winter aconiteI have been looking for a nice showing of these for quite some time so was very happy when a friend gave me this location. And, what a display! With snowdrops, too. as to their whereabouts? I have been sworn to secrecy :)

Winter aconite
I have been looking for a nice showing of these for quite some time so was very happy when a friend gave me this location. And, what a display! With hundreds of snowdrops, too, carpeting the woodland. As to their whereabouts? I have been sworn to secrecy :)

Blue tit

Blue tit
My goal, here, was to photograph this blue tit in a contextual manner and although much more time consuming to execute than of the same bird on a strategically placed perch, I do feel that such images have a more natural feel with added depth and flexibility for interesting compositions.

Elmley Marshes at sunriseMany thousands of wigeon overwinter here and in the next few weeks they'll be headed back to their breeding grounds in Scandinavia.

Elmley Marshes at sunrise
Many thousands of wigeon overwinter here and in the next few weeks they’ll be heading back to their breeding grounds in Scandinavia

Duck in reedbed

Duck in reedbed

Frozen water in flooded ditch.Nikon D300, 12-24mm @14mm, 0.4 sec. f16, 0.6 ND hard edge grad.

Frozen water in flooded ditch.
Nikon D300, 12-24mm @14mm, 0.4 sec. f16, 0.6 ND hard edge grad.

Mute swan at twilightNikon D300, 200-400, iso 1600, 1/25 sec. f4, noise reduction in LR4

Mute swan at twilight
Nikon D300, 200-400, iso 1600, 1/25 sec. f4, noise reduction in LR4

 

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Sunday, March 17th, 2013 Notes from the field 5 Comments

Winter Sunrise on the Marshes print

To say I am overwhelmed by the popularity of this image would be somewhat of an understatement! I put it up on 500px yesterday and already it has been viewed by 1600 people and counting! Thank you for all the nice comments and to the 111 that have added it to their favourites. Surprisingly, I hadn’t put it on my website within the galleries but, I have now where you have the opportunity of purchasing it as a fine art print.

To purchase one, please click on the image below which will take you to website gallery page.

Here’s a little background information. It was taken on Elmley Marshes National Nature Reserve in North Kent, an area I have been documenting for the last 15 years. Conditions such as this are not all that uncommon over there where, with the combination of freezing winter temperatures and fog, rime frost is formed and produces spectacular conditions in which to photograph. Having spotted the image I had to work quickly as the sun was rapidly rising and burning through the mist. With the camera secured to a tripod and set to its maximum height, I had to stand on tip-toe to prevent the fence posts from merging with the land.

Nikon D2x, 12-24mm @ 16mm, 1/15 sec. f16, iso 200, 0.9 ND grad filter, Manfrotto 055 tripod, mirror lock-up, cable release.

 The image was used full page in an extensive article I wrote for Practical Photography magazine on Discover Winter Wetlands. The article can be viewed here.

Sunrise over Elmley Marshes

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Monday, January 2nd, 2012 Notices No Comments

An unproductive week

It’s been a week of processing images with bouts of popping to the feeding station to top up the feeders and generally to stretch my legs.  I know there is always something to do on the computer but I’m a photographer and as such NEED to be out taking pictures.  The good news is that here in north Kent we are expecting more snow! 

Robin in snow

Robin in snow

Roin in snow

Robin in oak

With it’s bright orangey/red breast (can’t decide which), the robin needn’t be prominent in order to stand out. 

Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes

Panorama of Elmley Marshes consisting of 8 upright images stitched together using PTGui.

Oaks on Elmley Marshes

Oaks on Elmley Marshes

It’s in conditions like this that whenever I’m out on the marshes I think of how farmers of yester-year used to cope in such a challenging environment.

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Monday, February 8th, 2010 Notes from the field, Ramblings No Comments