Having always been into big cats, I’ve admired them from a distance.. online and years back going to a local safari park (sadly leaving my camera at home) ..
now I seldom go anywhere I can actually photograph them! But this week I too the good lady to the zoo because it was what she was wanting to do for her birthday!
So both of us packed up our camera gear ‘yes I remembered it this time!’ Marking sure the long lens was to hand ..can’t go wrong with a nice 150-600mm sigma contemporary lens .. And headed for the well known Colchester zoo!
Having done a little research, I knew there was a few big cats there .. sadly I know a few of them had passed away. Over the years so they wouldn’t be there ..
But I know that the Amur tiger would be there and the Amur leopard too. Some parts of the zoo was to be closed off for work so I wouldn’t see the other big cats and the weather may also hinder the seeing of a few and there was heavy rain forecast!
We soon got in and the zoo was packed out ! So many children as there was a school outing !
It took us a little while to find the big cats as some reason we went the wrong route a number of times ..
But when I see the Amur tiger I was amazed! What a beautiful beast! Check out these images let me know what you think of them!
The beautiful Amur Tiger
He didn’t stay around for too long and wanted some quiet time from all the noise of the children .. shouting and tapping on the inclosure! This is the o oh thing I dislike about zoo’s or any place the holds large animals like the big cats!
Is that the people who are going to see them not respecting the animals natural behaviour and realising that these animals have a extra high sense of hearing specific for hunting .. people screaming and shouting isn’t what they need!
The next big cat was the Amur leopard such a strong yet majestic cat! This one posed for the camera and was such a sight to see! The markings and the strong body make this animal something special!
Here are a few images on the Amur Leopard let me know if you agree she is something extra special ..
Sadly even though I had been there the best part of five hours walking around and around and come back to the other big cat enclosures I never managed to see the lions or a few of the others that at based at the Colchester zoo .. but this give me another reason to return to see if I can capture the amazing creatures ..
I really hope that you like the images if you do please leave a comment or a like this really helps me know what people like and helps my posts get seen .. and honestly above all else I get to interact with the amazing people taking the time to connect 🙂
I was sitting in the bay window, Drinking a very hot coffee and munching on custard creams ! While watching the better half outside filling up the bird feeder .. on her new bird table,
Now if you’re a photographer like me this sparked the mind into capture mode. See I’ve taken a few weeks away from people photography.. ! So I’m missing the thrill of the shutter .. I thought ‘Let’s try and capture a starling’
Now you’re probably like most people and asking why a starling! There’s so many other birds like robins and blue tits ..
Well I love looking at starlings, there’s something about their plumage this time of year thats just beautiful! Now when I post the images below I hope that you will see what I’m getting at! . Also to me everyone seems to neglect the starling family and always head right for the money shot with a robin .. it’s too normal for me 😉
So I headed to the camera bag unzipped it and took out the camera of choice the Nikon D7200.
Again I bet there’s a question 🙋♂️ why the D7200 and not your Sony gear! The answer is simple .. the Nikon D7200 is a 24 mp Crop sensor not a full frame 24pm like the Sony bodies I have .. see the way I see it is I’m pretty close to the bird table and with the crop multiplying the lens choice by 1.5 ish this will give me a nice close up shot. while still being in a warm house with my coffee ! (Can’t forget the Coffee! )
Now lens choice was questioned as I do have a bunch of lenses for the Nikon one being the sigma contemporary 150-600mm but being close to the table I thought better of it and decided let’s use the 55-300mm Nikon lens, remember this on the D7200 is equivalent to 83 – 450mm due to the crop!
Perfect ! All set..
.. so once the good lady come back into the house I perched myself by the window (pardon the pun ‘perched’ ) did I mention that’s where the coffee was 😉 I opened the window and waited !
And waited …..
I could see and hear the birds but they wasn’t coming to the feeder because I was to close .. I could see them on the roof opposite my upstairs window ! New plan leave the comfort of the bay window and head for the bedroom window ..
New plan of action.
See when I was in the bay window there was a close wall as a backdrop the setting I would have used would have been pretty simple .. ISO 100 f6.3 and at least 1/250 as these bird would be standing pretty still .. and maybe I could get some wing movements .
Now I’m up in the bedroom I have a different backdrop .. the birds are on the roof and tv aerial so I have sky to deal with .. I want detail in the blue sky.. so I need to find a good balance between bird detail and sky brightness. First test shot I started with was iso ..
ISO. Native 100 to get the best for low noise .. I wanted a lot of light coming in so the widest aperture of the lens F 5.6 was best I could do.
Now this time the birds are moving a lot so needed a faster shutter speed and there was clouds so didn’t want to blow them out wanted some detail. So shutter speed 1/1000 I snapped a few shots and no detail in the birds and dark sky
I forgot to mention this is 5:30 ish pm evening setting in .. but still some sun behind the clouds . Giving lovely soft but bright light ..
A few winds later the shutter speed was set to 1/640s looked out the window and realised every starling was gone!
All but one ! The one you will see pictures shortly! He / she was stunning ! Beautiful colours .. deep black tone and speckles on it’s under belly.. I couldnt ask for a better looking starling .. though it was perched on the tv aerial it did look great with cloud and blue back drop.. but the distance was about 5 metres away could be a little far for perfect detail knowing this lens .
I pointed my camera at the sky a quick test shot and sky perfect lots of detail and perfect white clouds
Now’s my chance bird still alone .. I pointed the camera at the starling zoomed the lens to best fill the frame … focused and started reeling off shot ! About twenty total .. now I’ve worked with models but this bird was such a poser ! 😉 head up head down tilt to the side even a one leg pose !
I got a little carried away and,
Forgetting I didn’t take into account the bird deep tones before reeling off the shots I quickly pressed the review button and to my surprise pretty much perfect ! Just a tad under exposed on the bird but lovely detail, lovely tones and nothing a little post production couldn’t fix !
So in post all these images had done to them was. Simple adjustments in lightroom .. my normal
Shadow lifted , highlights dropped, detail clarity vibrance +10 and a little tone curve adjustment ..
Now this is the finished product .. well five images .. I’ve also done a card with shot details on that if you’re on a phone you can screenshot so that you have it so that you can try the settings to capture a few starling shots of your own..
If you do please tag me in the images on Instagram be great to see what you managed to get and how you got on..
Also if you liked this post and want to see /read more of how I got the shot.. settings so on.. please follow the blog I would love to have you along on my journey.. and more will be coming in the future like presets and review /news
Okay here’s the pictures and under that the card download file for reference.. let me know what you think !
Now you all know I’m first and foremost a photographer .. a portrait and boudoir photographer predominately.. but over the last year I’ve been taking time out to gain skills in landscape and nature photography..
Also having won a number of competition with my landscape work I feel I’m doing pretty well! Like having my work shown at the fujifilm print life stand at the Birmingham photography show.
Now I know I’ve been doing short posts and running this is because I’ve been doing so many things I’ve not had time to do deep messages and long posts!
Well I’ve just started to add to that! Even more!
With a new section to my website and my Adrian Day YouTube channel this is going to be where I post tips, tricks and reviews of photography products and ideas to help all you guys and girls become better photographers and to enjoy the craft and the creative side of the industry.
But before I start posting videos and blog posts about this I would love to hear from others as to what you would like to see! .. I know what I look for but that’s me ! I don’t just want to post what I want to know .. I want to post at the needs of others !
See this could be anything for creative tips like using a prism or coloured lighting. Or it could be what I suggest to be the best lens for portraits or landscapes
It could be that you want to know about editing and how I edit my images using Adobe Lightroom or photoshop.. and what you want to learn specifically like colour toning or black and white conversion
Maybe you only have your phone to take pictures and that’s a perfectly great option as they say “the best camera is the one you have with you!” and want to know the best apps I use to edit the questions are endless!
But please feel free to comment below with your questions and I will write them all down and create future posts to answer your questions !
Also coming soon to help users of lightroom I’m going to start putting together downloadable products Things like brushes for photoshop and presets and Lut’s for both Lightroom and photoshop
These will be priced at silly prices ! So anyone can obtain them on the smallest of budgets to help them grow and learn faster! I currently have over 50 presets from colour to black and white! Ready to go! Just sorting out the website over the next few weeks to make them downloadable for you all!
There is so much more to come ! So if you have read this far please hit the follow button so that you can be notified when I post.. and as I say please leave a comment below if you find this page helpful and have a question you want answering!
Once again thank you everyone for your support and sticking with me over covid months ! It’s much appreciated!
BTW WHEN LEAVING A COMMENT .. YOU DONT NEED TO ADD EMAIL ADDRESS OR OTHER DETAILS BUT PLEASE LEAVE A NAME SO I CAN RELATE THE POST BACK TO YOUR QUESTION.. .. BUT PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BE GREAT TO CONNECT TO YOU ALL!
I’ve been creating a number of presets over the last 5 years that I’ve been using lightroom,
so in my presets folder I have best part of 400 different sorts from black and white to colour, to high key and low key some duo tones and many more.
Ive never really thought that others may actually benefit from what I’ve been creating until today!
So after the eureka moment I thought why not let others buy what has been working for me with my clients but do it for a low price so that even the smallest of budgets could afford them!
So in the next couple of days keep those eyes open ! For the links to my sales page.. the three black and white ones will be the start of many more that will become available on our website! So please give this blog a follow to see notifications of when the hit our store front!
Also head over to our social media pages and click follow there! I post there daily and I’m always very active with my following ! Always replying to those who take the time to comment ! Or send DM’s
wow it’s been a tough start to January! Business has been a little bit! how can I say? all over the place!
But it’s time to get back to the regular schedule and start posting on a regular basis! Showing what we are doing! How you can do it! And honestly connect with all of our amazing followers
So tonight 12 pm GMT there will be a new post coming ! This will be a second part to one of 10 things new photographers may not know section!
So please keep your eyes out for the next post! And if you’re reading this post, give it a thumbs up and hit the follow button so that you don’t miss it
Also head over to our Instagram! We have some amazing new images coming as we have just started a #365 project where I’m going to be posting a minimum of one new edit every day for the year! We are currently on day twelve, of this year and already posted fourteen images !
This weeks it’s been about looking back at some of the images Ive taken and not actually used !
There are a number of reasons as photographers we keep a back stock of images that we have taken !
Not only to document what we are creating day to day or year to year!
But it’s great to actually take those images and bring them into the present day!
Now this might sound strange! But when we take these shots as photographers we are at a level that’s constantly changing ! We are always progressing and learning new things from styles to edits to poses!
It’s great from time time to time to take a day to look through you back stock and try what we have learnt to see if we can make something extra special from those files we put aside for a rainy day!
This week I signed up to a site for learning new things from lighting and editing to posing! And I feel I’ve learnt a thing or three !
So I got out the laptop and the hard drives and picked out a few images I’ve not yet edited!
To see the bigger pictures check out our Instagram page! You will see that there is a mix of edits ! That definitely captivate !