You may think that I’ve gone a bit quiet on the local Bee-Eater colony, but I am still keeping an eye on them, however, I’m leaving them in peace to finish off their nesting tunnels before I spend more time amongst them.
This afternoon I was working on something new at “A Rocha”, an area on top of a large rocky lump that I leave to the wildlife. I have spotted some Rock Buntings and I’m planning some shots so was setting a nice scene around a small water pond I built some time ago. The Bee-Eaters were all around hunting and I wondered why they didn’t seem too bothered about my presence. I moved a little closer to a spot where I can over look a tree they usually rest on and they didn’t seem bothered at all that I was there. I was standing in direct view and they happily carried on with their activities. This is a great afternoon spot for watching and photographing them, so will plan a session here in the near future. I think they have almost finished their tunnels now and will soon be moving in and I’m looking forward to getting close up to them.
Although I was close, I was only armed with my 80-400mm so was a little short on reach, but at least I got these shots to show how great an angle it is!
During my SOS Algarve Animal Charity Event on Saturday my trusty Nikon AF-S 80-400mm suffered a problem. I love this lens for my Dogs-In-Nature Photo Shoots because I have the ability to be far enough away to allow natural behaviour but also be able to quickly open wider when they get closer. This lens is also the perfect walk-about lens for the same reason. It is reason number 1 (of 2) why I’d rather this lens to the Nikon AF-S 200-500mm even though it has less reach. This lens and almost all my other lenses have the “gold ring” on the end of the barrel which designates it as a professional build lens (see my Equipment List). This means that it is weather and dust sealed, which is reason number 2 why I’m not a fan of the 200-500mm as it doesn’t and in this incredibly dusty environment I think it’s life could be short lived. However, as the 80-400mm lens is a zoom lens, then there is always the possibility of dust and sand getting inside the zoom barrel and this is what I think happened during the shoot. Everything was going great until suddenly the zoom ring became extremely stiff, luckily, it didn’t seize and I was able to continue with the shoot, although I always have my Nikon AF-S 70-200mm waiting as a very good substitute.
I purchased this lens back in 2013 when it was released and although it has been used extensively throughout its life, I have always taken care to ensure no damage to any of the glass or workings. So, now the dilemma, do I send it off to Nikon for repair and pay what would probably be around €1000, do I even just invest in a new one, current prices are around €2000 or do I try to repair it myself??? WHAT DISMANTLE A LENS!!!!! I have never done this before and thought, why not, I have nothing to lose as I can always opt for the first two options. After watching a few YouTube videos, albeit other Nikon lenses, I started to remove the front elements.
Here is a shot of the front element removed, you can see the small pieces of what look like ground metal filings on the other elements from where the zoom barrel was grinding.
Had a great time yesterday at the SOS Algarve Animal Dog Walk & Photo Shoot Charity event. Even though the numbers attending were a little less than we hoped, it was still a great day raising money for such a great charity! For more information this amazing charity, please see their WEBSITE and FACEBOOK PAGE.
It really was a pleasure to help and of course, have a great time with all the dogs! I went along on the walk to capture some photographs and these will follow in a couple of days, below are the individual photo shoots. If you had a photo shoot, I will contact you separately with details to download your photos!
As probably know I run an occasional free Nature Walks here in the Algarve Hills where everyone is welcome. They are very popular and spaces are limited often meaning people miss out. I have been asked on many occasions if I would run private walks to compliment my free ones.
Well, I can now announce that private Walks are now available. Of course, I cannot run these for free so there is just a small cost of just €10 per person with a minimum charge of €30. To keep these walks personal the maximum group size is 10 people. For example, a group of 8 people is €80 (€10 per person) and a group size of 1, 2 or 3 persons is €30.
I often mention PhotoPills, the app I use mainly for predicting the location Sun, Moon and Stars. Occasionally I submit a photo where I’ve used PhotoPills to their “Award” competition. They select a photo everyday which goes onto make up a monthly award and onto their yearly award. At the end of the year, the create a digital book that showcases every daily award for that year.
The Full Moon Rise Photo I took towards the end of September was chosen on the 1st October as an award photo and of course it is now included in the end of the year “PhotoPills Awards 2018” book. It is amongst some amazing photos from around the world and you can download the whole book (for free) from the PhotoPills Website.
Here is a screen print of page 219 of the book where my image appears.
You may start to see some various changes to the website over the next coming days, please ignore any Shop links that may appear as orders will not go through. Over the last few months, I have been busy putting together a new studio at home, yes, I’ve literally moved into part of our attic! As you can see there is a little decorating to do, but it’s fully functional and ready to start printing from a professional Canon Printer. And yes, that is a small digital drum kit to whack when I’m having a bad/slow day!
Photography Workshops For All Abilities...!
Are you looking to move away from your camera's Auto setting and be more creative with your photography?
Why not attend one of my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop. Full day easy-to-understand Workshop with both theory and practical sessions for only €45! If you don't currently own a suitable camera and want to learn the fundamentals first? There is a limited availablility of Nikon Bridge Cameras available at no extra cost! Private sessions including 1-to-1 and 1-to-2 also available! Read more...