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How I Use The Merlin Bird ID App In The Field (Video)

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I have been wanting to create this video for a while. I get often get asked to recommend an ID book for bird life of Portugal and I always ask, “Do you have a smartphone?”. Of course, often the answer is yes and my reply is to download the amazing Merlin Bird ID app by The Cornell Lab.

This app is totally free and very powerful, its Photo ID feature really sets it apart from other Bird ID apps. There are other apps I use, particularly the locally developed FollowBirds App which I will hopefully be reviewing soon.

This video is a bit long but worth the watch if you are interested in identifying bird species using its fantastic Photo ID Feature.

The app is available for both Android and IOS and can be downloaded from the links below;

Android

Apple

In case you are wondering, no, I am not being paid by The Cornell Lab or anyone else for this video, I just wanted to share how great it is.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Underexpose not Overexpose!

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It was just after sunrise (remembering that due to the hills, our sunrise is slightly later than the official one!) and there was a Jay flying from a nearby Oak Tree with an Acorn.

I desperately wanted it to fly the other side of my position but it didn’t, so do I give up, or do I overexpose the shot to try and grab some detail? No, instead, I use the lack of light (in the right place) to my advantage and actually underexpose the shot to capture the back-light and sun shining through the thinner feathers.

This is something we discuss on my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop!

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Jay With An Acorn For Breakfast

All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

I Also Captured Last Night’s Sunset On My Smartphone – How Does It Compare?

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As you have probably already seen, last night was a stunning sunset and I made my way to a location to capture it (Read Blog Post).

As it was a very relaxed shoot, let’s be honest, what is more relaxed than watching a sunset, I decided to see if I could capture the same scene on my Smartphone camera! Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows a photographer that has shot a wedding on an iPhone (hmm?). I can’t even begin to remember how many times I’ve heard that. If I’m honest, I actually hate all the internet articles stating that the iPhone is as capable as a dSLR. Most of them are simply sponsored articles or what I call clever marketing! It really isn’t as capable and (as far as I’m concerned) it never will be. However, that doesn’t make a Smartphone camera incapable of capturing stunning images. So could I recreate the same image? Read on.

Here is the shot from my Nikon D850 dSLR.

{Click image to view in the shop}
Autumn Sunset In The Algarve Hills
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E @ 48mm, 0.6sec, f/13, ISO64
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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Purposely Underexposing A Shot

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I’m a fan of underexposing shots for many different reasons and this was one of them.

You may remember my post from Friday with a Kingfisher watching me whilst I was scouting the river (Read Post). Well once I took the shot, I dialled in -3EV, yes, underexposed the shot by 3 stops.

It was to see if I could hide the messy background and also just expose the areas where late sun was reaching. Then a little bit of work in Lightroom to bring out those lighter spots and the resulting photo is a much nicer atmospheric shot.

Just to clarify, this is a technique I only use when I want to create something a little different. Normally, getting the exposure right to start with is a good plan, although I usually underexposed slightly to avoid highlight clipping.


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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

The Importance Of Clean Equipment

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As you may have read in previous posts, I have recently been having an issue with my Nikon AF-S 80-400mm lens. It was having trouble locking on focus and keeping locked on with Continuous Auto Focus. It would “hunt” making a terrible mechanical noise. I thought it was time to be sent off for a motor service.

I’m not actually sure what fixed the issue, but a full clean of both front and rear elements, a clean of the electrical contacts (which is what I believe to have been the problem) on the lens, a blow with my Giotto’s Rocket Blower and also a blow on the camera mirror itself and as you can see from yet another Wally action shot that everything is back as it should. Remember, for all the electronic wizardry such as Auto Focus and Metering, the camera needs a clear view of the reflected light.

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Super Dog!
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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Geminid Meteor Show To Peak Tonight & Tomorrow Night

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Every year in December we are treated to the Geminid Meteor Shower which is debris left over by the Asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The peak here in the GMT Timezone (Portugal, UK & Ireland) is over the next 2 nights (December 13th and 14th) although will be visible for a few nights later.  The best viewing starts after midnight and will last until dawn, but can be seen as soon as it goes dark. For a more detailed look at the times in your own timezone, take a look at Time and Date’s Web Page. Of course, any cloudy skies may hamper the viewing.

The Geminids take their name from the constellation Gemini where they originate, however, can be seen anywhere in the sky. Obviously the darker the sky the more chance of spotting them. They are very slow-moving and can shine multiple colours. It has been known to witness up to 160 an hour! After sunset if watch between North and East you can’t go wrong.

Here are some photos I took in 2017 with some photography tips following below

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Geminids 2017
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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

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