Sunday, 5 February 2012

Owl mania

When word gets out there's a rare or photogenic bird around 'wildlife photographers' descend en masse at the location these days in a photographic twitch! I'd found out, accidentally via the web, that some short eared owls had been showing about five miles from home so I thought I'd go and see what the score was.

I hadn't taken my long lens because my primary intention on heading out with the camera was to get some misty landscapes, but the mist had cleared a little too much, and I had also had it half in mind to shoot any photographers I might spot.

Sure enough there were seven or eight people around, most with cameras and long lenses. Why they were all stood out in the open and not making use of available cover I don't know. Still, the owls showed. And the frenzy commenced. So I snapped the snappers!
Spot the shorty
Quick, there it goes!
The big advantage of the X10 is that I can sling it round my neck while carting a DSLR around and hardly know it's there. As I had the 70-200 attached to my full frame body, which I find suits my way of seeing landscapes in the flatlands, this gave me a good coverage of focal lengths.

Although I still can't take to the 4:3 'compact' format for landscape orientation shots, I find it works well used vertically. 3:2 can be a little narrow in this orientation.

I'm getting more into manipulating images to get a look I like. This is partly because the raw files from the X10 can be kind of 'flat'. Partly because I'm finding my way around Lightroom more.  I think I might be overcooking things a little in my new found enthusiasm. However, this has made me realise how much work people do to the images we are accustomed to seeing.

Contrarily, when it comes to landscapes, as a subject, I find myself drawn to the 5:4 format. Maybe it's time to start taking this landscape lark more seriously and take a tripod along. I still can't help thinking that a DSLR isn't the best tool for the job.

I must ease off on the neutral grad in Lightroom

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