2017/1. Birds of Sheppey

Even though I’ve given myself the challenge of completing a Project 365 this year, which necessitates using a phone camera for convenience/Instagramability, I still feel that I need to make the effort to get myself out with a ‘real’ camera and get working on those areas of photography that interest me, but which I maybe struggle with. I enjoyed Project 52 last year but I’ve decided not to limit myself or commit myself to 52 posts, rather I will post as and when I feel like it.

In this first post of 2017 I decided to have a go at the dreaded wildlife photography, in this case birds, which have an annoying habit of never sitting still. We went to the Isle of Sheppey the other day to walk around the salt marsh nature reserves there, which are all big skies and swooshing reed beds; very ‘Great Expectations’. I wanted to try and get some feeling of action and flight into the shots and work on interesting composition. The latter I am quite pleased with, but more work is needed on achieving the pin-sharp image. Possibly I need to investigate hiring a big lens if I want to give this a proper go. Still, I feel like I learnt something trying and that is the main thing.

The first image is a pair of Greylag Geese. I am pleased with the light and the detail on the wings as well as the bit of luck that captured one with wings up and the other wings down. I’d like to be able to crop in further, but that would highlight the imperfect focus.

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Greylag Geese in flight. Copyright Fiona Michie.

The next pair of images show a Black-headed Gull taking off from one of the little ponds on the salt marsh.

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Black-headed Gull taking off. Copyright Fiona Michie.
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Black-headed Gull in flight. Copyright Fiona Michie.

Finally, one of my favourite waders in action on the beach at Shellness. I love Turnstones, in part because they have the perfect name, but also because they are very sweet and busy little birds, scuttling about on the shoreline. I like the fact that I have caught this one in the process of opening a shell, but I’m not happy with the lack of detail on the head.

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