Scouting Mission To Find The Local Bee-Eater Colony

Friday finally saw my 500mm f/4 Lens go off for it’s tripod mount collar repair and even though I’m going to miss the beginning of the spring/summer season whilst it is on its trip to Barcelona, I am still preparing for its return.

Today, I went on a scouting mission to find where the local European Bee-eaters are starting to nest build and it if you know what you are looking for, it didn’t take too long. Although there was no real evidence of new nest building at this location, I sat under a nearby Oak tree and waited. 20 minutes later a pair arrived. I was sat in full view of them, but they didn’t seem too bothered. I did have my “walkabout” lens (the trusty Nikon 80-400mm) so did manage to shoot a few photos before I left them to their colony building.

My view of their flight wasn’t great as it was into the sun, but did shoot this back-lit shot with the sun’s rays shining through the wings.


Continue reading >>

Breakfast With Bee-Eaters

Early this morning we had a thick fog and as it started to clear the warmth of the sun was good enough for me to wander around the garden eating my breakfast cereal. In the distance I could hear European Bee-Eaters and before I could blink a large group of between 25 and 30 of them appeared out of the fog. Almost dropping my bowl as I ran to the house to grab the camera, I was lucky that they decided to perch on a nearby electricity cable and stop to hunt for their breakfast. Photos aren’t my usual close-ups (see some past photos at the end) as I was still some distance away and of course the clearing fog didn’t help.


Continue reading >>

Crested Tits Around The Quinta

The birdlife this year has been great around the Quinta, particularly the smaller birds and whilst I was having an afternoon chilling in the garden, I could hear Crested Tits calling to each other. It has been a strange day and although the Golden Hour was approaching (the great light before sunset and after sunrise) a deep haze filled the sky so not great for photography.

However, I couldn’t help but grab the camera, as you can see, I even managed to get a shot of a male “courtship feeding” a female a caterpillar.


Continue reading >>

Flamingos In The Mist

Sometimes it’s great to go over old photos and process ones that you never got around to doing. In a bizarre train of thought, I was talking to a lady who wants to attend a Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop once they are back up and running and she told me that she was photographing Flamingos near Faro. It had also been foggy here in the Algarve hills that morning and it reminded me of this photo I shot back in 2019. So I dug it out and processed it.

It is available to purchase in print in the Web Shop.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


Continue reading >>

Female Kestrel With Her Dinner

2021 hasn’t been a great start for me personally, with the ANAC delaying the EU-wide Drone regulations and then the issues surrounding shipping products to the UK. However, here is something that certainly cheered me up.

It’s a fresh edit of a shot of a female Common Kestrel with a mouse that I shot back in 2015 in Worcestershire, England. With processing software becoming far more advanced in the last 5 years, I took a new approach at processing this image.

I’m sure you’ll agree, she’s a stunner! Fancy her on your wall, then she is available to purchase in print.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


Continue reading >>

Does Equipment Matter?

Yes, of course it does……

That’s that then. Well, no, not really. Let’s first talk about Motorsport, if you watch F1 and get excited about the thrill of the drivers balancing the physics of a finely tuned piece of engineering, does that mean that you can’t enjoy a Sunday drive through the countryside in a Ford Fiesta? Of course you can. For me it’s the same with photography.

I’m not going to pretend that shooting with Nikon’s fantastic D850 DSLR paired with a Nikon 500mm f/4 doesn’t make life much easier for me as a photographer, of course it does, but that doesn’t mean that you need this level of equipment to capture stunning photos. Anyone who has attended one of my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop will remember that I talk a lot about that although professional equipment offers superior quality, it doesn’t mean that you cannot shoot stunning photographs with level-entry equipment, far from it. I quite often get told “It’s easy for you with your camera”, yes, it’s easier, but doesn’t mean that photography is impossible without expensive equipment.

This morning, it got me thinking about this so I grabbed a Nikon D3100 that I use as a loan camera on my workshops and attached my Nikon 80-400mm lens to it. Yes, ok, some of you are going to spot that this is a professional grade lens, I don’t own a “long” telephoto lens that isn’t. However, it’ll still be possible to get great photos with a much cheaper lens attached.

The Nikon D3100 is a level-entry camera with just 14.2 megapixels and was released back in 2010. Ten years in the world of photography is a long-time!

It didn’t take long until a pair of juvenile Eurasian Nuthatches we have in the garden showed up on an old dead Oak Tree. So here you go, I think you’ll agree that these are quite nice shots of them.

If you work with good light, shoot at the correct angles and of course dial in the correct camera settings then great photography is available.

Currently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my “Open” Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshops are suspended, however, private sessions are available. These workshops are a great way to learn to take control of your camera.

If you feel like really getting your teeth into photography, a great way to go from beginner to great photographer is to book some Personal 3 Hour Photography Workshop Sessions. These sessions can take you right from the start through to post-processing in Adobe Lightroom at a pace that suits you and as many or little sessions as you wish, these can be done in the comfort of your own home!


Continue reading >>