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Algarve Serra Sunset

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As the sun was starting to drop in the sky this afternoon, there was a slight haze appearing in the cloudless sky.

I had a hunch that this would be the start of a typical stunning Algarve sunset, so I headed for the hills.

I settled on top of a ridge with Monchique and Foia in the distance and waited for the sky to light up.

It didn’t disappoint!

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Algarve Serra Sunset - D810, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8E @ 24mm, f/16, ISO64, 1/6sec - {Flickr Link}

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Starling Murmuration at Rocester, Staffordshire (Video)

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I live only a couple of miles from Rocester in Staffordshire, so imagine my surprise when the BBC Midlands Today News broadcast a live report from there about the Starling Murmuration last night.

So as the weather was great today (and I’ve just about recovered from Man Flu that has kept my down all week!) I went up at dusk to see what I could capture.

From some of the photos and videos I’ve seen, the numbers tonight seemed a little down on recent days, however, they still put on a good show.

Nobody really knows why Starlings perform these masterpiece flight shows but it is believed that “strength in numbers” is part of the game. I did see some Sparrow Hawks flying around at the same time.

By the time they started to show in big numbers the light had faded quite a bit and cloud had covered the horizon so no great sunset colours.

I didn’t manage to get many still shots as most of the action was taking place over houses and it was getting too dark to photograph, I switched to a longer lens to try and get inside the Murmuration and got some silhouette shots. I did set up my D7100 to film at the same time (video below).

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Inside the Murumuration - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/2.8, ISO2000, 1/1250sec - {Flickr Link}

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A very short appearance by a Short Eared Owl this afternoon

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I waited for an hour for one to take to appear, it did one lap of the field (unfortunately too far away from me) then landed in the long grass for 5 minutes before clearing off not to be seen again.

I did manage to get close enough to take a shot of it sitting in the grass.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Short Eared Owl - D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 500mm, f/5.6, ISO280, 1/400sec - {Flickr Link}

Cozumel Sunset

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Usually, sunsets in the Caribbean are simply fantastic, however, this year has seen a fair share of cloudy weather in November. One particular day in Cozumel it was hot and sunny but just as sunset was approaching haze and clouds started to build. However, it helped create a different view.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}

Cozumel Sunset
End of the Day – D810, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8E @ 70mm, f/11, ISO100, 1/125sec – {Flickr Link}

There were a few people out taking photos of the sun just going down, however, a big mistake lots of people make is leaving once the sun has gone below the horizon.

Just 20 minutes later, this was the scene.

Sailing at Sunset
Sailing at Sunset – D810, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8E @ 42mm, f/11, ISO400, 1/30sec – {Flickr Link}

A sort of failed river walk today

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Decided to go for a walk along a the River Dove this evening in open countryside in the hope that there would be something interesting along the river banks during the Golden Hour, but all I found was water and mud.

So heading back I saw a silhouetted figure of a Rook sitting on top of an old dead tree, so thought it would make a nice high contrast black and white photo. Also did a couple of Lens Compression Sunsets. I couldn’t decide which one of the 2 I liked most, so have shared them both.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Contrast Rook - D7100, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC17EII @ 500mm, f/5.6, ISO320, 1/500 - {Flickr Link}
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Silhouetting at Sunset

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I was wandering around the garden with the 300mm f/2.8 and 1.4x Teleconverter trying to capture some garden birds in the golden hour when I saw the sun setting behind a big old Oak Tree that we have. At 500mm the “lens compression” gives the illusion of the sun appearing larger than it is and the backlight the sun is creating gives the tree a nice silhouette. Personally, I think this type of photography is possibly one of the simplest and gives a powerful shot.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Oak Sunset. D7100, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC17EII @ 500mm, f/8, ISO100, 1/4000 - {Flickr Link}

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