[Instagram] A Big Thunderstorm Left the Skies Perfect For A Good Sunset

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This post is from my Instagram feed. Some Instagram feeds are not worthy enough of a new Blog Post, therefore, they will simply be shared. They are usually photos taken with my Mobile Phone. All Instagram posts will have “[Instagram]” at the beginning of the title.
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Morning Dog Walk: Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

The spring rains brought us many flowers, which in turn brought us many flying insects so this morning I pointed the camera at a few.

Around water you can usually find many Dragonflies, here is a male Violet Dropwing Dragonfly, found in Africa, Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and Southern Europe this is a medium-sized Dragonfly, sex identification is simple as the female is green and brown.

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Violet Dropwing Dragonfly (Male) - Trithemis annulata
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FOR SALE: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Prime Lens

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I have decided to sell my awesome 300mm f/2.8 Prime Lens. I’d rather not, but I rarely use this lens and I am planning some upgrades and printing equipment purchases. This lens is widely known as one of the sharpest, fastest focusing sports and wildlife lenses on the market. It also is the “fast” version with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. It is a Full Frame Lens and will therefore work on both Nikon Full Frame (FX) and Crop (DX) camera bodies.

This is the latest version II model with VR (Vibration Reduction), it retails new at around €7,000 in Portugal or around £5,000 in the UK. It consistently gains top marks in all reviews, a quick Google Search shows this.

It was purchased new in March 2015 in the UK and is a European model, not a Grey Import. Feel free to check with Nikon by matching the serial number (shown on a photo below) of 213696.

As mentioned, it has not been used very often and always stored in a very dry condition with Silica Gel for added protection. There are no marks on the body or any glass and no dust or damp inside. It appears brand new except for some minor paint scratches on the tripod foot where a tripod plate has been attached, this is normal.

I last used this lens a few days ago to photograph Iberian Magpies (photo below) which was the first time in many months. This lens works fantastic with all Nikon’s Teleconverters and I’ve had great success with them including my Princessa Kingfisher shots, these are not included in the sale.

It comes as originally boxed with the following;

• Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Prime Lens
• Nikon CL-L1 Lens Case
• Nikon Rear Lens Cap
• Nikon Front Soft Lens Cap
• Nikon LN-1 Strap – Unused
• Original User Manual
• Original Registration Form (as I registered online)
• Original Box and Packaging

It is also fitted with an Outdoor Gear Neoprene Cover which I have never taken off (except for the photos below).

The price is £3,500 (if in € I will convert at time of sale). These lenses do not come up for sale 2nd hand very often and it is being listed on eBay so suspect it will sell very quickly at this price. I will post to anywhere in Europe at a charge of £40, happy to deliver anywhere in the Algarve for free. If you are in the Algarve, feel free to view and test the lens should you wish.

Please Contact Me for more information.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Prime Lens

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I Enjoy The Challenges Of Smartphone Photography

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Over the last few years we have seen Smartphone Cameras increase in quality and functionality at a rapid rate. However, no matter how good they are becoming, they still have a lot of limitations.

These limitations give me an enjoyable challenge and it’s why I love Smartphone photography. It forces you to think about the photo way before you even frame it, trying to overcome the challenges these tiny cameras give. This shouldn’t be any different to any other form of photography and is why its good practice to make you think before pressing the shutter button.

This morning, we had some early hill mist and whilst out walking Wally, he appeared on a small ridge above me. It was a good pose, but the mist behind was a real spoiler, so I took the photo with the thought of making into a High Contrast Black and White photo, using the bright white misty background to contrast him and the Estava plant.

The photo was taken on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ in “Pro” mode, saving as a DNG (RAW) file, then I imported it into Lightroom (on the phone), converted to Black and White and raised the contrast. All this whilst still out walking. I was impressed at the quality, it even made it into my Flickr Albums

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Wally In The Morning Mist (Samsung Galaxy S8+)
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Black-Headed Weavers

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After a long morning with some very uncooperative Black Winged Kites (many thanks to Hugh Morrison for the help with the location today!) I decided to go and have a look at the Black-Headed Weavers in Vilamoura as I wasn’t far away. As for the Black Winged Kites, I will be returning on a day where they may feel like having their photo taken. Please do not ask me the location of this site as it is a breeding site with an active nest and therefore I don’t want to advertise it to the world.

So, back to the Weavers. It was 3pm and the sun was high and strong so wasn’t really expecting any great shots. The male luckily posed in a shaded area, it’s a high ISO shot but much better than one in the bright overhead sunlight.

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Male Black-Headed Weaver
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The Bee Eater Colony Are Still Here!

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I have been getting quietly worried over the last few days as I have not seen or heard the local Bee Eater colony. The last time I saw them was Friday which was 5 days ago!

However, today they actually spent most of the day around the garden and even relaxing down on “A Rocha”. I always have my Nikon D7100 (Crop Camera) to hand with the 80-400mm lens so that I can grab it for record shots. So here is a few I took without even having to change out of my slippers! We are so lucky to have these around the garden. I’m not sure where they are nest building this year, so this is maybe why I have not seen them for a while.

European Bee Eater Flying Around The Garden

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