Monday, 30 June 2014

Grass Snake

Grass Snake
The other day, Lynda Robinson rang me up to ask if I had any shots of Grass Snake ? I replied that I had on `slide` but none on `digital`. I asked why, and she told me that one of her cats had just bought one indoors ! I knew it had to be a juvenile because a cat could not have managed a full grown one. She said that it was unmarked, and that they had put it in a bucket, and that if I wanted to photograph it I had better come around to collect it. It was in fact quite a small one so, I took it down to the woods near the Roman River Valley and placed it carefully on a nice mossy bank.
The above shot was taken with a Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100m Macro lens, ISO 2500, and 15th sec at F11. The available light was not good but I still needed F11 to get a degree of depth of field to the shot. This is why I shot it at such a high ISO.  Focusing manually on the snakes head, I could just about hand hold it at 15th sec. (No IS on this lens)  Although there was slight`noise` to the images, the noise reduction in Lightroom works very well. Fortunately, the `noise` on a 5D Mark III is pretty good even at quite high ISO settings.

The shot below was the same camera setting but had a burst of `fill in flash` set at minus 1 2/3rd of a stop in exposure. The grass snake was released after its `modelling session` in an area were I know grass snakes are seen.

Saturday, 28 June 2014


Last week I went out for the day photographing orchids with Richard Revels and Stan Saunders. These pictures are all taken that day. Initially, we went to Barton Hills Nature Reserve. There were Common Spotted , Bee,  Fragrant and Twayblade orchids there, with some interesting rare forms.
Close Up Shot of a Bee Orchid
Bee Orchid
Common Spotted Orchid
The following two orchids are rare forms of Common Spotted Orchid.
Plants that are deficient in anthocyanin have very light pink or white flowers (when it is totally lacking), and those with an excess like the Common Spotted var.rhodochila, have very dark flowers, usually purple, that may cause markings to merge
There was plenty of Fragrant Orchids at Barton Hills Nature Reserve. Most were of the common light pink/purple colouration but this example was a pure white variant.
This is Richard`s `clamp` for stopping the plant from moving in the wind. It does not damage the plant in any way
In the afternoon we went on to the Sharpenhoe Clappers Reserve to photograph the Pyramidal Orchids which are there in their thousands
Pyramidal Orchid - Common Colouration
Two Pyramidal Orchids
Close-Up shot of the flower heads of the previous pairing
A light Pink Pyramidal Orchid. You can see by the shape of the flower head how they got their name
A pure white Pyramidal Orchid
 Twayblade Orchid

Friday, 27 June 2014

England Athletics U23 & U20 Championships - Day 2

England Athletics U23 & U20 Championships - Day 2
These are the images from Day 2 (Sunday), at the England Athletics U23 & U20 Championships held at the Bedford International Stadium.
Over the first set of hurdles in the Men`s U23 100m Hurdles race.
Kristina  Johnson-Thompson in the U23 Women`s 100m Hurdles
Jessica Hunter races for the finishing line in the U20 Women`s 100m Hurdles
No 81, Lucy Hatton clears the last hurdle in the U23 Women`s 110 meters Hurdles
All over the first hurdle
With two hurdles still to go, David Omoregie is out in the lead in the U20 Men`s 110m Hurdles Final
David Omoregie just clips the last fence as he races for the line and wins the race
Maria Luisa Conchella tries to keep cool in the 10K race
Halfway around the track a water station is much needed in the 10K race.
Cameron Corbishley in the U20 Men`s 10k Walking Race
The winner is the men`s U20 10K walk is No 1046 Callum Wilkinson
Keeping Cool
The winner in the Women`s U20 10K Walk,- Emma Achurch
The clear winner by some distance in the U23 Men`s 10K Walk, - Dane Bird-Smith
Sophie McKinna - Winner in the Women`s Shot Put Event
Sophie McKinna shows her strength in the Women`s Shot Put. The officials look closely to see she does not step over the line.
No 194 - Simi Fajemsin lands in the sand pit in the Women`s U20 Long Jump
The winner of the Women`s U20 Long Jump Event, -Morgan Lake
Alyssia Carr

Just showing the legs of this athlete as she goes through the water splash in the Women`s Steeplechase Event.
Some athletes do not always make a clean landing
Shaun Wyllie crosses the line as he wins the men`s U20 1500m
Victoria Ohuruogu is easily in the lead around the last bend in the Women`s 400m Final. Her famous  sister Christine will soon have some competition.
Ryan Leonard starts his run up in the Men`s U23 Javelin Event
Jordan Carter
Jordan Carter in the Men`s U23 Javelin Event
No 904 - Edward Pillai
The winner in the Men`s U23 Javalin Event -Greg Millar
Greg Millar
Greg Millar with the stadium in the background
Liane Bibby in the Women`s U23 Javalin
Paula Gass
One I missed from Day 1- Kimberly Reed in the U20 Women`s Hammer Event