1. Slideshow

    In an earlier post I discussed the book I have produced on my year-long project – One. To accompany it I’ve made an audio-visual slideshow. Although time-consuming I have to say I really enjoy putting such sequences together. Standalone images are all well and good but don’t compare, in my opinion, to seeing photographs blending into one another against a backdrop of appropriate music. I hope you enjoy it, and for a little under seven minutes are transported to my little wood, in north Kent.

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  2. Frost and snow

    The following images were taking during the (obviously) snowy period we had a few weeks ago and, by the looks of it, there’s more to come by the end of the week. If you’re anything like me and reside in southern England, when we do get it I kind of go into panic mode, frantically thinking of places to visit. Bird feeding station? Marshes? North Downs? It’s unpredictability prevents us from planning, slowing down and thinking more carefully about what pictures to take.

    These woodland scenes were taken at a local nature reserve called Cromer’s Wood, just south of Sittingbourne. I’ve been a voluntary assistant warden here since it’s conception in 1990 and although not a huge area (62 acres) it does have some very interesting plant species as well as a large pond where, amongst others, sparrowhawks occasionally come down to bathe. 

    cromers wood, sittingbourne by robert canis

    Nikon D300, 28-105mm, 5 images stitched using PTGui Pro.

    frozen leaf by robert canis

    oak leaves by robert canis

    grasses by robert canis

    I deliberately kept this image light to accentuate the graphic lines of the grasses.

    Freezing fog regularly occurs on the marshes and as I drove along a track early in the morning I noticed this pair of pheasants feeding on a hawthorn.

    pheasants feeding on hawthorn

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  3. Hothfield Common

    A 3.15 alarm call and a half hour drive took me to a favourite reserve near Ashford this morning.  I’ve been visiting this site on and off for close to 20 years now though the last time I did any photography was probably 5 years ago.  It’s the kind of habitat that yields the best opportunities for photography in late spring and summer when such plants as common sundew, heath-spotted orchid, bog asphodel and heather are in bloom as well as the many insects that inhabit the heath.  These include leafhoppers, damselflies, dragonflies (including the scarce keeled skimmer) and sand wasps.

    Stitched panorama incorporating 5 upright images and processed using PtGui.

    Stitched panorama incorporating 5 upright images and processed using PtGui.

    Hothfield Common covers an area of approximately 150 acres making it Kent’s largest area of acid heathland.  As you would imaging, it is generally an open space of heath with lowland valley bogs and around the perimeter, woodland of predominantly birch with some mature beech to the south. 

    Cotton grass. Another stitched panorama. This technique is perfect for this kind of image when the interest lies across a single plane when foreground and background interest become irrelevant.

    Cotton grass. Another stitched panorama. This technique is perfect for this kind of image when the interest lies across a single plane when foreground and background interest become irrelevant.

    Due to the invasion of such species as bracken and birch leading to the loss of the heathland habitat, certain measures were necessary to reduce this risk and consequently highland cattle and Koniks are now a feature. 

    A 'normal' shot taken with a 12-24mm and a 0.9 ND grad to tone down the sky and sunlit heath.

    A 'normal' shot taken with a 12-24mm and a 0.9 ND grad to tone down the sky and sunlit heath.

    Hothfield Common really is a great place for everyone.  There’s a large car park and trails of varying distance and even a road-side snack bar!  Be warned however, with the current hot weather we are experiencing, come prepared with a hat and sun cream or if you prefer, like me, get yourself there at dawn.  Trust me, it’s worth it.

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