For over 20 years I have been visiting Elmley National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent in all seasons and weathers, recording its unique landscape and wildlife. In the hope of transporting the viewer to this very special place, I have put together an Audio Visual Slideshow that can now be seen on my website.
This is my first foray into this field and I hope to be doing many more in the future as I sincerely believe that slideshows, such as this, provoke a much stronger emotional response than by single images alone. Ultimately, I hope that by watching this, those that have never ventured onto and experienced the Kent marshes will be encouraged to do so and, more importantly, strongly feel it is worthy of safeguarding, not just for the sake of its wildlife but for future generations to enjoy.
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.
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.
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.
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!
With it’s bright orangey/red breast (can’t decide which), the robin needn’t be prominent in order to stand out.
Panorama of Elmley Marshes consisting of 8 upright images stitched together using PTGui.
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.
About Robert Canis
Robert Canis is a professional photographer specialising in the natural world.
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