Year Two (50) – Reptiles, Raptors and Owls

I had the opportunity to attend another Photo Experience Day at Liberty’s and had a fantastic time getting up close to a variety of creatures. An experience day is an opportunity to get closer or to be shown a different view of things to photograph – it is not really a day where you are told how to use your camera or how to get the best from it – they is usually a photographer on hand to answer your questions but it is more about providing the opportunity.

The Liberty Eagle – Handled as part of the Adult Falconary Experience Day at Liberty’s in the New Forest

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Year Two (15) – Frogs and other reptiles

Another old bakery session, but this time with a twist – one end of the hall was set up with a tether computer, studio lights and props and my end of the hall – I shared the space with John – where we were using glass, speedlites and some natural props I had round up from home.

I had talked to John prior to the shot and I wanted to capture the top and bottom of the frog at the same time… I had an idea to photoshop it together with another image – but that did not get taken…. but I still wanted to experiment and understand more about light. I actually found myself using my light meter successfully to help set the shot up and aim for a variety of experimental looks.

Tree Frog on Glass
Tree Frog on Glass

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Day 258 – Insects and Reptiles

After having a great time taking owl photos earlier in the year, I booked another photo session with Captive Light – this time an evening session with studio lights taking photos of insects and reptiles at Liberty’s Reptile Centre in the New Forest. The evening promised two hours of photography and a variety of animals for £30. Continue reading

Day 233 – Forest Reptiles

Close to home there is a place within the New Forest National Park where you can, if you are lucky, see a collection of the reptiles you will find in the forest roaming freely.  The New Forest Reptile centre is free – you only have to pay a donation to park … and is a great place to see up close some of the closer to spot animals, and is open in the summer It is best to go on a warm day as the reptiles are more likely to be lying out in the sun.

Sigma 18-250mm lens - F9, 1/320sec
Sigma 18-250mm lens – F9, 1/320sec
Above is just a candid shot of the location – so you can see what is there. I choose ISO800 as I was hand holding the camera, and looking down into the enclosed pits there was limitations on the amount of light available. The challenge here was also to photograph through the netting, so that it is not seen in the photos. Composition wise, you can only shoot from above, I took along my old favorite the 18-250mm Sigma lens – which use to be my favorite lens before I invested in my new glass – and the new glass wins … most of the photos ended up in my delete bin as they just weren’t sharp enough – I have realised today that quality glass is essential.

ISO800, F9, 1/320 sec - Sigma 18-250mm lens
ISO800, F9, 1/320 sec – Sigma 18-250mm lens

ISO800, F9, 1/640sec - Sigma 18-250mm lens
ISO800, F9, 1/640sec – Sigma 18-250mm lens
Above a snake hidden in the grass, and if you look closely you can see part of a 2nd snake too.

ISO800, F9, 1/640 sec - Sigma 18-250mm lens
ISO800, F9, 1/640 sec – Sigma 18-250mm lens
A frog basking in a shallow pool. I was able to capture this photo from a more interesting angle and this was less distracting foliage in the way. Whereas below I captured a lizard on a mossy log – these little chaps moved impressively quickly!

ISO800, F9, 1/160sec - Sigma 18-250mm lens
ISO800, F9, 1/160sec – Sigma 18-250mm lens
My favorite image I think is the frog – he was positioned really well for my photo.  I am going to revisit again (I know I kept saying that) but with my Canon L series lens as I can see the difference.