Lockdown Fun Idea!

As many are locked down, I thought of a fun idea. I’ll be honest that this actual thing isn’t my idea as I saw something similar a while back.

I printed out a copy of Big Bird from Sesame Street and then cut some of the middle out and used similar coloured objects to fill it back in when photographing. You don’t need anything special for this, I used a standard quality printer and my smartphone camera. If you have kids to keep entertained, then this is a simple idea for them. I don’t have children so not quite sure what my excuse is…..

First up, I used a cleaning cloth…..

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A Pair Of Blackcaps Foraging In The Rain

I don’t normally pick a camera up when it’s raining (unless its a photo of the weather of course!) but we are currently in the process of revamping the gardens around the Quinta. This is bringing in bird life to forage through the mess and I noticed a Black Redstart this morning so grabbed the camera (D850 armed with 80-400mm), however, my attentions were soon diverted to a pair of Eurasian Blackcaps who really didn’t seem bothered by my presence as they happily sifted through the gravel and dead leaves coming within a few metres of where I was sat. The female was constantly checking where her male was, so these will soon be nest building nearby.

Although the light levels with the persistent drizzle was terrible I couldn’t help myself but to share a picture of each.

First is the male and you can instantly recognise why it’s called a Blackcap. Often people are confused with the similar Sardinian Warbler, but that has a white breast and also a red ring around the eye.

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Question, What Is Better Than A Little Owl………..?

…..Two Little Owls!

I posted on my Facebook Page a few days ago that I was ecstatic that after 4.5 years of living here I had heard and spotted a Little Owl close to the house. Some of you will say, “So what? They are everywhere!”, and you’d be right. The Little Owl is very common in the Algarve, however, even though the land around the Quinta is perfect for them, they have been absent, the closest I’ve found is about 1km away – SEE HERE.

I heard one this afternoon so grabbed the binoculars and spotted one sitting on the dead Cork Oak that I suspected it would choose as a nest spot. I didn’t realise at the time that I was looking at a pair (to be fair to Emma, she did say she heard 2 calling each other a few days ago). The tree is about 400 meters away from the Quinta so grabbed the camera with the 80-400mm lens, even so, the tree is still a long way away. Can you spot them both?

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Signed Prints Are Now Available

I stopped placing signatures on photos a long time ago for a few reasons, but mainly because I’m not a fan of the fancy digital signatures that are either created in Photoshop or have a professional to create one, in my opinion, it doesn’t add any personal touch unless it is a handwritten one.

However, I am being asked more and more to sign photographs and even my yearly calendars. Now, for those that know me well will know just how terrible my handwriting is, it’s so bad that I often can’t even read my own writing and therefore my signature is no work of art either. So I have been working on a new signature that is very recognisable and this is now available as a free option on any print purchased from the Shop. All Single and Limited Editions will automatically have the signature along with being a numbered print.

The option is available on each print available as shown in the image below. It defaults to “No”, simply change the option to “Yes” if required.

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Silves Sempre…!

When I have some spare time, I often have a play around in Photoshop as there is so many things to learn and keep up to date with.

This morning, I thought of an idea to create some digital art and combine both Wildlife and a sunset in the same image. So I decided to create “Silves Sempre…” which translates to Silves Always.

The main photograph is from Sunset Over Castelo De Silves taken back in September 2019. Silves is well-known for it’s White Stork population and therefore I used an in-flight shot of a White Stork, also shot in Silves as a layer mask to create something a little different.

Very postcard like I think.

(Click to view in Lightbox)

A Rare View Of An Iberian Midwife Toad In Daylight

I was inside the house putting my mobile studio back into storage after a storm postponed a commercial shoot today and Emma was shouting from outside the front door; “Craig, quick grab your camera!”. She had uncovered an Iberian Midwife Toad that had decided to shelter near the front door, probably from the heavy rainstorm overnight.

It’s rare to see these tiny toads in the daylight, so I carefully placed it on a nearby rock and shot these photos before placing it in undergrowth for it to hide until darkness.

The tiny toads are amazing and at night have a high-pitched beeping noise. Rather than me type all the information again, take a look at my Algarve Resident article I wrote in November 2019.

In case you are wondering this was about just 40mm in length, the size of an adult.

(Click to view in Lightbox)

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