Saturday, 24 December 2016

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Since it's Christmas Eve, and not even a mouse is stirring, the greyhounds ate them, this will obviously be my last post until after Christmas.
I've been out with my new toy in less than favourable light again. I don't believe blaming light is going to be a reasonable excuse nor more.
I nipped down to Summer Leys as the previous afternoon I'd spotted a Peregrine and a Pintail that I fancied photographing.
All images taken today were at an ISO rating of 2000 and the 500mm at f4.
I'm not convinced I've got the colour and tones quite right as I'm still getting to grips with that side of things.
First up and almost a full frame was a Shoveler
A Great White Egret was on the far side of the reserve and was hoping it would venture over towards the scrape, it didn't but a very obliging Kestrel gave me a chance to really give the autofocus a workout.

I've got to admit it was very quiet on the reserve...so I filled my boots lol

Not all pin sharp but I'm surprised the camera stayed locked unlike the previous mk3. The reed bed which was blowing around in the wind would've befuddled the mk3 autofocus. The less then sharp images were down to operator error. Out of a sequence of 17 images 14 keepers is I think quite good.

Have a good Christmas and hopefully if it doesn't rain between now and new year I should have something better and in good light to show you.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

AND ABOUT TIME TOO

I apologise for the lack of posts, I thought you lot needed a break, grab a coffee this is going to be long :-)
Lack of posts have been down to what I can only describe as the biggest run of bad luck. So bad I was trying to recall if I'd kicked a dozen black cats and tipped over a truck loaded with mirrors.
First out of the box was being sacked from my job at Carlsberg (XPO logistics). A clash of personalities, being stitched up by two managers over an error on their behalf which was a serious infringement on working hours and tachograph rules but being xpo logistics the manager at fault was a Carlsberg employee so already loosing the dray operation (which I was on) to a competitor they didn't want to 'rock the boat' and potentially loose the more lucrative contract of the core operations (tanker and trailers) and sadly shit always falls downwards and settled on me, the other issue was my fault, I left my drivers mate (gimp who helps me unload) behind in North London (Harrow). It started off bad with his constant road rage at drivers, being rude to landlords I had an explemary relationship with. On one delivery to a travellers camp (has its own bar) he shouted at the kids on quad bikes, "Fuck off out of the way you pikey" I flipped and told him to wind his neck in, he almost got a kicking on that drop. He carried on all day, we had flash floods to deal with that day and the ensuing traffic chaos
I was on dray duty as I struggled to get on with the majority of lads on the core so couldn't lump the twat (wish I had after the ensuing bollocks) so I pulled over, gave him a fiver and asked him to get me some cigarettes as soon as he went in, I drove off lol. I still smile at that :-)
No issue I went on agency but it took a while to get out of my contract without being penalised financially, once upon a time if an employee got sacked it was often the company that sweated it out over 'unfair treatment' not under the Tories.
So I'm on agency but go full-time January 3rd.
Working for CCF, even though I was on agency they paid for my Moffat training the fork lift thing, where I deliver mostly to building sites which is very different to what I'm used to. But they're a good bunch of people and trusting to pay for my Moffat training before going full-time.
Then briefly the shutter assembly went on my 1d mk2, God Bless her, brought second hand in 2006, it served it's time. It outperformed in the auto focus department then it's older sibling the mk3 (still buried in garden), was dropped numerous times including into puddles, concrete,floors in hides and a rock pool it even survived being dragged by my greyhound along the floor. It was then used by me lol.
Then I got rear ended on my bike by a numbty St traffic lights and guess what car he was driving, yep a fucking Jaguar, three times I've been knocked off my bike and all three times a Jaguar....hmmmm maybe this is the cat I kicked? I'm debating if I should replace my bike or not. I enjoyed for the most part getting around on it but traffic always worried me, hence getting a helmet camera, a serious must for anyone thinking of taking up cycling, the number of motorists courtesy of media hype that blame you the cyclists for any incident. However I never wore lycra and never shot a red light. Even using cycle paths ain't safe, it seems pedestrians like to deliberately block your way and slow you down especially if they have Fido running around off the lead up ahead.
My last kicking whilst down was my Golf Gti going pop whilst travelling down the A43.
So birding has been a bit thin on the ground.
But things are getting back to normal, with the exception of the weather.
New car: A4 Avant (estate for me and you) now occupies the hole where the golf once was
Found a really decent low shutter count 1d mk4
And this weekend was the first chance to try it, so was the plan. Saturday was mostly foggy, then misty followed by low cloud and then fog starting to form again by the afternoon. Went and saw the Bearded Tit at Stanwick Lake. Only ever a winter visitor to this county. I spent some of the time tracking and taking burst images of gulls and Lapwings against grey skies just to see how the auto focus worked. I was pleasantly surprised it seems much better than the mk3. I took in lousy conditions 12 frames of a wiffling Lapwing and 11 were sharp as a tack and 1 out of focus which was really good compared to the previous model which would've struggled to lock on never mind produce a high keeper rate. Though I'll wait until I get some blue'ish skies before delivering a final verdict.
Again this morning it was miserable out. So headed towards water and opted to see if I could nab a few Kingfisher images that I'd spotted whilst camera-less.
Fog/mist was slow to clear and it remained gloomy all day really.
I forgot how good cars double up as a hide.
Crap perch
These next two were taken at an ISO rating of 3200 and the noise reduction programme handled the noise levels quite well though the colours are a bit flat, but given the light levels I'm not really surprised.  A bit more noise control at the camera end should yield some interesting results. Neither of these images I wouldn't normally post but given the lack of posts I'd thought I'd share were I'm at with the camera. Early days but I think the mk4 will deliver where the mk3 failed.