Archive for woodland

Wildwood Trust

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2009 by overread

Recently managed to find some time to revist a wildlife centre which I had previously been to several years before, though without a camera at the time; and not only did I have time to visit, but also attend with a great group of photographers from EPZ forums – got a chance to meet some faces from the site for the first time and take a few snaps along with them. But not only was it a great chance to meet some faces, but there was also a competition as well to be had. Each member got to select a single photo from their days shoot, the collected shots would then be judged by the staff from the centre. However there was a catch, the shot was not to be edited in any way, save for anything done in camera.

The day was bright and cool, though a little darker and cooler in the centre itself since it really is in the woods. Though we were lucky that many of the trees had not regained their leaves, the cool weather meant that many animals decided to hide up and sleep the day away, something that made getting shots a little tricky. Still there was more than enough wildlife moving around to be shot and even sleeping animals work well in a shot. So with many a camera and tripod we invaded the place!

Wildwood Trust website

Ephotozine (EPZ) website:

All photos taken with:
Canon 400D
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L
Canon 1.4 teleconverter
Canon speedlite 580M2 + Lumiquest softbox — flash was used considerably over the whole day since lighting was often shaded and poor

Red Fox

Sleepy Fox
f5, ISO 200, 1/125sec

This little chap stayed in that very same spot all day! This shot was tricky, the inside had a decent view, but the glass was very dingy to shoot through, so this was taken outside. Now the pen was hidden by a bush and fence, so getting the shot required one to be higher – and a nice well placed bench allowed for that.

Arctic Fox

Sleepy Arctic Fox
f5.6, ISO 100, 1/100sec

Yep today was most certainly a day for foxes to be asleep. Shame that I could not get a little close to remove the building and such more from the shot and that he had decided to sleep on the building in the first place. Sometimes you just can’t hide the zoo from a zooshot.


f4, ISO 200, 1/200sec

Yep a very very sleepy day! One of my most favoured animals, but a very tricky subject to get a shot of here. Its either fighting with the fine bars over on one pen or the larger areas of the second pen which had many far off sections – where I sorly wished that I had a longer lens to get shots. The woods are also more dense for this area, so that is an added complication in getting shots, less light present to work with overall.


f5, ISO 200, 1/500sec

The bread rather detractes from making this look like a wild shot and the angle is not perfect (Facing away from the camera) but I still rather like this shot for the depth of field over the deer, which has given a nice feeling of depth to the shot. These deer also had the advantage that they are more out in the open at the centre, and thus much more light reaches them.


f5, ISO 400, 1/200sec

The lynx did not come out till late in the day, around feeding time, and so the lighting was weaker still (early in the year so shorter days), so one had to reach to a higher ISO. I also started using my flash a lot more for these shots, relying on it to give a bit more fill into my shots. An added complication here was that the bars of the pen started confusing my AF, being held back from them by a primary wooden barrier (so kids don’t lose fingers poking them into the pen) meant the bars were not only a pain to shoot through, but also at a distance outside of my minimum focusing distance, so my AF could very easily (and did) lock onto them at several occasions.

Robin and Chaffinch

f5, ISO 200, 1/60sec

f4, ISO 400, 1/200sec

As part of the setup they also have several bird feeding stations on the site which attract a wide range of small feeding birds. There was even an appearance by a red woodpecker on the day as well.


Storks Up!
f4, ISO 100, 1/640sec

Well I saved the best for last, the unedited version of this shot was the one I entered into the days competition, bagging myself 6th place in the runnings and a free bag as a prize! A most unexpected delight at the end of the long day, interestingly it was also one of the first shots I snapped off as well, and as the shutter speed shows, it was in a very well lit section of the centre.

Overall it was a great day out and a great chance to meet some fantastic photographers and people. Though the wildlife might not have been jumping around that is part of working with animals – sometimes they are not going to be that active, so one has to work with that or simply put down the camera and just watch and wait.


Egham Wanderings 3

Posted in photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2008 by overread

Well after the washout that was trip 2, I returned yet again to the woods. A little better this time with both the light being good; the rain being gone and a section of the floodplains being opened up to the public again! With this new area it was time to move in and set up a little closer to the water. As I was setting up though a heron decided to fly in and land – in one of those typical situations where no matter how quick you get your camera and kit out the bird has landed and the shot passed before you are ready.
He also proved a tricky bird to capture due to the reflection of the sun off his white feathers – definatly a bird for evening and morning shots with less light glare!

Taken With:
Cannon EOS 400D
Cannon 18-55mm lens
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
For settings save pic to pc and review properties

birdy zoom

Well only decent shots I managed to get of him – had to play more with the lighting settings on this one to get rid of the glare and show up the wing detail more. A shame about the tree!

From the heron to a coot dashing across the water. I like this one for the feeling of motion that it has – though upon reflection the wake half could be cut a little shorter.

However my little coot was not content just to swim – a bath was needed!



Well in retrospect I should have cut way more of the top off these images – though at a small size they don’t look too bad. Again this is one of those pics where I just could not get the camera lens close enough to capture the real detail present (shots like this make me dream of high quality lenses and extenders!). But this is something that I was happy to capture. I also think that the sun overhead is doing me no favours – glaring down!

Something simple – left afer another coot took a dive – simple and nice.

tiny birdy
Taken hand held and close – I was walking from A to B and he appeared – so I shot!!!
not bad, but came out with a lot of noise – so I was prompted to start learning about the filters to remove it.

well I got stumped again – took this using the tripod – on reflection it was not as good as the shots I took previously – next time its on the ground for me!

quick shot through the trees at the lowering sun – nothing really striking about this one

another quick one – and one that I might go back to and play with; clearly too much red and a shame that the crows (though black splodges) did not come out looking a little better

Egham Wanderings

Posted in photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 10, 2008 by overread

Well trapped (ok not quite trapped but still) in Uni and miles from the hills of Yorkshire and the mountains of Scotland and Wales I was forced to seek out the woodlands of Egham. First problem was the quarrentien which blocked off the floodplains to walkers. This meant that I was stuck in the woodland above – but that was not a problem, for I was testing out the sigma lens to its full length: and I was pleased with my results:

Taken With:
Cannon EOS 400D
Cannon 18-55mm lens
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
For settings save pic to pc and review properties


And after. Now I would go back to this image and crop it to focus on the birds – but earlier shots of mine were left mostly unaltered – mostly though I will admit that the basic auto edit functions were used on most as a standard.

Now whilst up in my vantage point I decided to try my small kit lens and get a panorama shot – stuck together with photoshop elements 6


And a later one done with the same method, but this time on a fallen tree inside the woods

I also experimented with targeting the ever present and still trees withing the woodland — I played alittle with the settings as well – getting different effects
This one I played with a bit to try and remove the influence of hte branch that was in my way when I took the pic – its still visable, but the tree came out well


And as for these last two – well I am stumped: