Morning on an empty beach at Umhlangs Rocks

Morning on an Empty Beach

Morning walk on am empty beach, with Durban on the horizon.

A morning walk on a beautiful beach at Umhlanga Rocks, kwaZuluNatal, South Africa.

It could almost be a desert island. Look closely at the horizon – that’s Durban, with a ship leaving harbour. Nice illusion, but still great to walk along the beach in the morning, all alone, with just the sound of the sea.

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Blurred grey heron - wrong autofocus setting

That Grey Heron

Here’s an unusual angle on a grey heron, just after it took off.
I have been trying to catch a decent photo of this guy  for a while, with limited success. Having watched him for a bit on the other side of the lake, he suddenly launched himself, giving me this shot.
Sadly the auto focus was set for the centre spot. Now a fisherman can talk about the one that got away. Sometimes a photographer can show the one that didn’t get in focus, below.

What happens when your autofocus is not set correctly!
A pair of Canada geese on the lake.

Spring is Here?

A pair of Canada geese on the lake. Spring is nearly here.

So it has been a weird winter. Stormy, windy and wet, and very unpleasant for those who were flooded, it is the first winter since I have lived in the UK in which I haven’t seen snow. But the days are getting longer and I see new leaves on some of the plants. Is Spring here?

Down at the lake the ducks are starting to pair up and fight, and the Canada geese are coming out of hiding and floating serenely around the lake. I spotted the Canada geese in the picture, with one looking as if he is admiring his reflection. I thought it made a good black and white picture.

If Spring isn’t here, it’s not far away.

A mallard drake duck just touching the water on the lake.

A Duck and Some Luck

Safe Landing

It is said that you make your own luck. One way or another luck often seems to play a part in wildlife photography, whether we are talking about the plains of central Africa or just the local lake. Here’s a lucky catch of a duck, wings flared for his landing, just millimetres above the water, with a nice reflection in the ripples.

This was taken a couple of years ago, and needed a bit of re-processing. Since this shot I have never been able to repeat it in better lighting, despite being there with the right lens and settings. But, come spring, there will hopefully be good reason to try and catch the ducks AND swans landing.

Let’s see how lucky I can be.

For the photo fiends, the duck was shot with a Canon EOS 450D and Sigma 70-300mm f/4 – 5.6 APO zoom at 263mm, 1/500 @ f/10 at ISO 400.

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St James Lake, Brackley. Buy a print.

St James Lake Reflections in Brackley

St James Lake, Brackley.
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 St James Lake Reflections in Brackley

 Having a pretty little lake a few minutes walk from home is a mixed blessing.

On the one hand it’s a great place to take a walk to get a bit of exercise and blow away the stresses of the day. Taking a camera just adds to the pleasure as it is a pretty spot. On the other hand it starts to take over the photographic efforts. Some days it is much easier to take the camera for a walk around the lake when I should be making a bit more effort to get some more adventurous pictures.

The shot above is St James Lake in Brackley, Northamptonshire. It is a nice little spot wedged in between the local Tesco and the A422 trunk road. Featuring a few geese of various kinds, the lake also plays host to the occasional swan visitors and normally has a grey heron around.

St James Lake is actually a flood protection lake designed to protect the lower parts of the town. In fact, a few years ago, it was totally flooded out after heavy rains.

Photography

A good range of tones and some bold shapes will often make a good black and white shot. This shot is a black and white HDR photo generated from a single RAW and finished in Gimp. The HDR processing just adds a bit of detail to the shot.

Art Prints