Steve Laycock Photography: Blog https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog en-us (C) Steve Laycock Photography (Steve Laycock Photography) Fri, 01 May 2020 10:33:00 GMT Fri, 01 May 2020 10:33:00 GMT https://www.stevelaycock.com/img/s/v-12/u478978797-o416744195-50.jpg Steve Laycock Photography: Blog https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog 120 90 Canon microadjustment https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/4/canon-microadjustment Most Canon enthusiast and professional DSLR now come with micro- adjustment - which allows the lens to be better matched to the camera, improving focus accuracy and image quality, when using the viewfinder. This is not needed for mirrorless or live-view - which use a different focus method.    A downloadable PDF version of Canon's guide can be found here Canon microadjustment guide

Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-01Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-01 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-03Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-03 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-02Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-02 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-04Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-04 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-05Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-05 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-06Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-06 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-07Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-07 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-08Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-08 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-09Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-09 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-10Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-10 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-11Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-11 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-12Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-12 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-13Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-13 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-14Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-14 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-15Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-15 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-16Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-16 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-17Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-17 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-18Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-18 Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-19Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide-19

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(Steve Laycock Photography) adjustment calibration camera canon lens micro microadjustment https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/4/canon-microadjustment Wed, 29 Apr 2020 05:54:10 GMT
German Shepherd Puppies https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/3/german-shepherd-puppies A great day with 9 German Shepherd puppies.  More photos at https://www.stevelaycock.com/puppies
german shepherd puppyGerman shepherd puppy German shepherd puppies in basketGerman Shepherd puppies in basketGerman shepherd puppies in basket Shepherd Puppies. 

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx canon german ii puppies puppy shephers https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/3/german-shepherd-puppies Wed, 04 Mar 2020 10:15:42 GMT
Wolf fishing https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/2/wolf-fishing As a wildlife photographer , I often get to see some amazing behaviour. One such occasion was in the Katmai, Alaska, when this grey wolf decided to go fishing. Not only did it catch a couple of fresh salmon but it decided to come and show me  its prize catch.  

More photos of Alaska  can be seen at   Alaska - the grey wolf
 Steve Laycock's Alaska


Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the KAtmai, Alaska Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the Katmai, Alaska Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the KAtmai, Alaska Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the KAtmai, Alaska

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 600mm amazing best canon fishing gray grey hunting ii rare salmon wolf https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/2/wolf-fishing Fri, 28 Feb 2020 15:11:02 GMT
Sharks of the Bahamas https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/2/sharks-of-the-bahamas There are 27 species of shark in the Bahamas. All are protected in the waters. which surround the islands. It is estimated between 25 million and 100 million sharks are kiiled for their fins each year. A rather inhumane process, with the live sharks thrown back into the water without their fins to die a slow death. Shark feeding programs operate in various locations, through the Bahamas, allowing tourists to see these amazing animals at close quarters. Initially against such feeding programmes I ahve come to realise that it is an essential part of conservation. Ensuring a living animal is worth more than a dead  one , sharks in the Bahamas, sea eagles in Mull or the gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda. 
More photos at   https://www.stevelaycock.com/Sharks
Great hammerhead, in BiminiGreat hammerhead, in BiminiGreat hammerhead, in Bimini Caribbean grey reef sharkCaribbean grey reef sharkCaribbean grey reef shark

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 5d canon coves feed feeding gray grey hammerhead nassau nauticam reef shark stuart https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/2/sharks-of-the-bahamas Sun, 23 Feb 2020 17:34:28 GMT
Barn owl hovering https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/1/barn-owl-hovering Barn owls are one of my favourite birds, they are of course largely nocturnal. It was a great day when I found a pair of day flying barn owls, unable to hunt the previous nights due to heavy rain Barn owl hoveringBarn owl hoveringBarn owl hovering Barn owl in flightBarn owl in flightBarn owl in flight   SLDX5440Barn owl

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 400mm 600mm alba barn canon do ii owl tyto https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/1/barn-owl-hovering Thu, 16 Jan 2020 17:45:36 GMT
Wolf fishing for salmon in Alaska https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/1/wolf-fishing-for-salmon-in-alaska As a wildlife photographer , I often get to see some amazing behaviour. One such occasion was in the Katmai, Alaska, when this grey wolf decided to go fishing. Not only did it catch a couple of fresh salmon but it decided to come and show me  its prize catch.  

More photos of Alaska  can be seen at Steve Laycock's Alaska


Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the KAtmai, Alaska Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the Katmai, Alaska Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the KAtmai, Alaska Wolf fishing for salmonWolf fishing for salmonGrey wolf , fishing for salmon, in the KAtmai, Alaska

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 600mm amazing best canon fishing gray grey hunting ii rare salmon wolf https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2020/1/wolf-fishing-for-salmon-in-alaska Sat, 11 Jan 2020 18:09:55 GMT
Harbour seal https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/12/harbour-seal The trip to Alsaka would not be complete without a few photos of harbour seals ,  more photos at www.stevelaycock.com/alaska

 

harbour seal pupHarbour seal pupharbour seal pup harbour sealsharbour seal - Alaskaharbour seals

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx canon harbor harbour ii Katmai lodge pup puppy seal wilderness https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/12/harbour-seal Fri, 06 Dec 2019 17:21:32 GMT
Kestrel https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/12/kestrel The European common kestrel, the symbol in the UK of the Young Ornithologist Club  (YOC) . A stunning bird in every sense. Here captured in the winter sun.  More photos at Brockholes Male European Common kestrelMale European Common kestrelEuropean common kestrel - Falco tinnunculus Male European Common kestrelMale European Common kestrelEuropean common kestrel - Falco tinnunculus Male European Common kestrelMale European Common kestrelEuropean common kestrel - Falco tinnunculus

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 600mm canon common European ii kestrel https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/12/kestrel Thu, 05 Dec 2019 08:35:13 GMT
Brown Bears fishing for Salmon https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/12/brown-bears-fishing-for-salmon It has to be one of the most amazing experiences watching brown bears, otherwise onown as grizzly bears fishing for Slamon in the Katmai, Alaska 

 

more photos www.stevelaycock.com/alaska
grizzly fishing for salmonGrizzly fishing for salmonbrown bear fishing for salmon, in the Katmai, Alska brown bear with salmonbrown bear with salmongrizzly with sockeye salmon brown bear hunting salmonbrown bear hunting salmongrizzly hunting salmon

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 600mm Alaska bear brown canon grizzly ii https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/12/brown-bears-fishing-for-salmon Sun, 01 Dec 2019 08:43:16 GMT
The white tailed eagles of Mull https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/8/the-white-tailed-eagles-of-mull The white tailed eagles of Mull generate over £5 Million in revenue for the island - each year. It is also one of the best places in the world to photograph the eagles -particularly with excursions  http://www.mullcharters.com/

www.stevelaycock.com/scotland
white-tailed eaglewhite-tailed eagle white-teailed eaglewhite-teailed eagle

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1DX 400mm Canon DO eagle II Mull white-tailed https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/8/the-white-tailed-eagles-of-mull Thu, 01 Aug 2019 16:55:07 GMT
Osprey in Aviemore https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/7/osprey-in-aviemore Many people will have heard of the Loch Garten Osprey hide near Aviemore, but a better kep secret is the Osprey fishing hides, in Aviemore. Its a 4am start in the summer and very weather dependent but when the sun shines ( which isnt always desirable) and the wind blows in the right direction the ospreys catch their fish and fly directly towards the hide. this one taken with the Canon 1DX II and the Canon 400mm f/4 II.  More images at https://www.stevelaycock.com/scotland
osprey AviemoreOsprey at Aviemore Osprey Hidesosprey at Aviemore Osprey Hides

 

 

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 600mm aviemore canon f/4 hide ii osprey https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/7/osprey-in-aviemore Wed, 24 Jul 2019 10:57:59 GMT
Beewolf, bees and wasps https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/7/beewolf-bees-and-wasps BeewolfBeewolfBeewolf with honey bee. Sometimes a trip turns up something unexpected. RSPB Minsmere was one such trip. An introduction to burrowing bees. Beewolfs , wasps which feed on honeybees, building one meter tunnels, with numerous chambers, to which they bring a stunned honey or worker bee, on which they lay their eggs. As this isn't bad enough there is then a myriad of other bees, wasps and insects which hijack the nest, also laying their eggs on the stunned bee. More photos at https://www.stevelaycock.com/macro

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 5d bee beewolf burrowing canon honeybee insect iv macro minsmere rspb rspb-minsmere wasp wolf https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/7/beewolf-bees-and-wasps Mon, 22 Jul 2019 06:10:34 GMT
Foxes at the fox hide https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/7/foxes-at-the-fox-hide We decided to return to Rayleigh to see this years cubs at the fox hide. We were not disappointed. The sun even made a rare appearance. More photos at https://www.stevelaycock.com/foxes
 

European red Fox at the fox hide RayelighEuropean red Fox at the Fox hide, RayleighFox in the English countryside

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 600mm canon cub fox ii https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/7/foxes-at-the-fox-hide Sat, 20 Jul 2019 06:00:44 GMT
Puffins of Skomer Island https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/6/puffins-of-skomer-island A couple of nights on the Pembrokshire Island of Skomer provides ample opportunity to get close to the puffins, without the crowds of day visitors. Once the classic shots of puffin in the burrow, puffin with sand eels, puffin in flight etc its time to explore boundaries. How about back lit puffins ? Puffins from a low angle with blue sky behind. For the full collection see https://www.stevelaycock.com/skomer
Backlit puffing comming into land at SkomerBacklit puffin, Backlit puffing comming into land at Skomer puffin with blue sky and sand eels on Skomerpuffin with blue sky and sand eels on Skomerpuffin with blue sky and sand eels on Skomer

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx canon laycock puffin skomer https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/6/puffins-of-skomer-island Mon, 24 Jun 2019 10:09:59 GMT
The red kites of Gigrin Farm https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/6/the-red-kites-of-gigrin-farm Our trip to Skomer Island, Wales, was to start with a visit to Gigrin Farm feeding station. Several hundred birds visit the feeding station at 2pm in the Winter, 3PM in the summer. It is diffiicult to believe that back in the 1970s there were only twenty pairs in the UK. the number now exceeds 2000 pairs.  For more photos see Skomer Island and Wales



Red kiteRed kiteRed kite at Gigrin Farm, Wales Red kiteRed kiteRed kite at Gigrin Farm, Wales

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx canon farm feeding feeding-station gigrin gigrin-farm ii kite red red-kite station wales https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/6/the-red-kites-of-gigrin-farm Sun, 23 Jun 2019 06:59:36 GMT
Kingfisher regurgitates pellet and then ejects it https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/kingfisher-regurgitates-pellet-and-then-ejects-it Another amazing morning on the river.  A new surprise every day. This kingfisher regurgitates a pellet and then ejects it whilst the camera keeps clicking. See more of the kingfisher at The kingfisher

Common kingfisherCommon kingfisherCommon kingfisher Common kingfisherCommon kingfisherCommon kingfisher Common kingfisherCommon kingfisherCommon kingfisher Common kingfisherCommon kingfisherCommon kingfisher

 

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 400mm canon common countryside DO II kingfisher pellet regurgitate regurgitating wildlife https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/kingfisher-regurgitates-pellet-and-then-ejects-it Wed, 29 May 2019 15:00:51 GMT
Kingfishers on the river https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/kingfishers-on-the-river At this time of year kingfishers are busy feeding their young- each young bird requiring 12-18 fish a day , and up to ten in a brood could mean 180 fish per day, typically a nest visit every ten minutes. Worldwide there are 87 species of kingfisher. In the UK up to 90% of the kingfisher population can perish in a harsh winter.  More kingfisher photos at Kingfisher gallery Common kingfisherCommon kingfisherCommon kingfisher Common kingfisherCommon kingfisherCommon kingfisher

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(Steve Laycock Photography) bulhead common fish kingfisher male https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/kingfishers-on-the-river Sun, 26 May 2019 07:51:35 GMT
Harvest Mice Playing in the Sun https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/harvest-mice-playing-in-the-sun A great morning out in Suffolk to photograph some harvest mice - the only British mammal with a prehensile tail.These taken with a Canon 1DX II and a Canon 100-400mm II

more photos at Harvest Mice

 

Harvest mouse on brackenHarvest mouse on brackenHarvest mouse on bracken

Harvest mice on TeaselHarvest mice on teaselHarvest mice on teasel

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(Steve Laycock Photography) harvest mice mouse https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/harvest-mice-playing-in-the-sun Wed, 22 May 2019 13:01:40 GMT
Foxes at the Fox hide, Rayleigh, Esssex https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/foxes-at-the-fox-hide-Rayleigh-Essex What an incredible evening we spent with David and a large group of foxes aty the Fox hide, in rayleigh, Essex All shot with the Canon 1DX II and Canon 600mm f/4

More photos at The fox collection

 

foxfoxFox coming out of the woods

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(Steve Laycock Photography) british fox hunt uk wildlife woods https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/foxes-at-the-fox-hide-Rayleigh-Essex Mon, 20 May 2019 11:53:36 GMT
Ospreys at Horn Mill Trout Farm, Rutland https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/ospreys-at-horn-mill-trout-farm-rutland The weather couldn't have been much worse for a 4.30 am start. Dark clouds and rain. The first few dives happened before the 5.30 am sunrise, making things even darker, but come 6am things brightened up. A female kingfisher kept us company for a while, before the infamous No28 Osprey gave a perfect display of how to catch a trout - in one go. 

 

Osprey at  Horn Mill Trout FarmOsprey at Horn Mill Trout FarmOsprey at Horn Mill Trout Farm Kingfisher at  Horn Mill Trout Farm,  RutlandKingfisher at Horn Mill Trout Farm, RutlandKingfisher at Horn Mill Trout Farm, Rutland Osprey at  Horn Mill Trout FarmOsprey at Horn Mill Trout FarmOsprey at Horn Mill Trout Farm

Kingfisher at  Horn Mill Trout Farm,  RutlandKingfisher at Horn Mill Trout Farm, RutlandKingfisher at Horn Mill Trout Farm, Rutland

 

 

 

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(Steve Laycock Photography) farm horn mill osprey rutland trout https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/ospreys-at-horn-mill-trout-farm-rutland Fri, 10 May 2019 14:15:16 GMT
Leighton Moss Bitterns https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/leighton-moss-bitterns The bitterns which I remember so well from my younger days at Leighton Moss, started breeding again in 2018 after an absence of over a decade. 2019 sees a breeding bird very close to lower hide.  A few issues, including the fact that the best views are normally obtained from the couple of windows at the right hand side- is that photgraphers - including myself, can become easily distracted by the cute chicks running around infront of the hide  https://www.stevelaycock.com/leighton-moss

Bittern at Leighton MossBittern at Leighton MossBittern at Leighton Moss   greylag gosslingGosslingCute yellow greylag gossling

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(Steve Laycock Photography) bittern hide leighton lower moss rspb https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/leighton-moss-bitterns Tue, 07 May 2019 06:44:05 GMT
Muddy boots cafe and red kites https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/muddy-boots-cafe-and-red-kites On our way to Bempton Clifss we decided to drop off at Muddy Boots Cafe near to Harewood Hall -LeedsIt appears the lady who used to feed the Red Kites passed away, so the feeding behind the cafe no longer happens. It was obvious from the number  birds around the cafe, when we arrived a 2pm that somebody is still feeding them though. We followed the birds back across the main road to find a dozen or so kites feeding off scraps on the low wall. The vegetation on the banking on the edge of the road was very well worn- so think we can be sure this would be a good place to start. We found giving the birds some space and using the road as a separation gave for better display.

red kite - muddy boots cafered kite - muddy boots cafered kite - muddy boots cafe


 

Red kite - Muddy boots cafeRed kite - Muddy boots cafeRed kite - Muddy boots cafe Red kite - Muddy boots cafeRed kite - Muddy boots cafeRed kite - Muddy boots cafe s

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 400mm boots cafe canon do ii kite kites muddy red yorkshire https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/muddy-boots-cafe-and-red-kites Sat, 04 May 2019 06:32:56 GMT
Gannets at Bempton Cliffs https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/gannets-at-bempton-cliffs Our first trip to Bempton cliffs was not to be disapointing. Swathes of RED CAMPION straddle the cliff. Whilst tens of thousands of seabirds , gannets,guillemots, razorbills, kitiwaike, fulmars and puffins fly around busy with nesting and courtship displays. 

A few photos can be found in the Bempton Cliffs gallery.

Gannets at Bempton CliffsGannets at Bempton CliffsGannets at Bempton Cliffs Gannets at Bempton CliffsGannets at Bempton CliffsGannets at Bempton Cliffs

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 100-400mm 100mm-400mm 1dx 2x 5d 600mm canon gannets ii iii in IV nest nesting https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/5/gannets-at-bempton-cliffs Fri, 03 May 2019 09:33:13 GMT
European Common Kingfisher https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/european-common-kingfisher One of my favourite birds. You can often hear them as they fly down the river or canal.  it is very easy to sex a kingfisher - the ladies wear lipstick. their bill is orange underneath whereas the males is all black.

male kingfisher 

 

male kingfisherMale kingfishermale kingfisher on perch

female kingfisher

 

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 2x 600mm canon female ii iii in kingfisher male https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/european-common-kingfisher Tue, 30 Apr 2019 16:17:07 GMT
Little owls https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/little-owls Little owls were introduced into the UK in the 19th century. they can often be seen during the day -perching in a tree. they are very territorial - so once you find one, they are likely to be in the same or similar  place next time you visit. It is estimated there are about 5,700 breeding pairs in the UK. I love their feet. little owlLittle owllittle owl in tree little owl in treelittle owl in treelittle owl in tree little owl in treelittle owl in treelittle owl in tree

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 2x 600mm canon ii iii in little owl tree https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/little-owls Mon, 29 Apr 2019 05:51:51 GMT
Thursley Common https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/thursley-common Colin the Cuckoo has become quite famous over the last few years. Showing regularly, at Thursley Common. A quick trawl of the internet, and we were able to find directions. Park at the Moat car park , Elstead, keeping the pond on the right walk around the pond until you reach a crossroads, at this stage you will see a board walk straight in front (alternatively turn right at the noticeboard next to the first board walk , and walk along the sandy track until you reach the next board walk on the left).  All along this board walk you will find lots of common lizards in the right season and weather, as well as the possibility of grass snake. At the end of the board walk there is a metal dragonfly, turn right. The gorse is particularly good for Dartford Warbler in this area. Follow the path round and bear to the left until you come to a copse of Scots Pine, directly infront of you where the path splits into crosroads , take the path to the frontt and then the first path through the copse. I have marked the position on the map

Colin generally shows from 8am, and then several  times during the day. Redstarts, stonechats and wood larks also viit this location, posing for photographs. The board walks in the summer months are a great place for hobby. 

For Colin a camera with a full frame sensor, a 300mm to 400mm lens is ideal. For the smaller birds i used a 600mm f/4 II, with a 2X III extender.

 

More photos https://www.stevelaycock.com/thursley-common

 

Colin the Cuckoo at Thursley CommonColin the cuckoo SL5D5885Redstart SL5D6141Stonechat SLDX1209Woodlark SLDX1564Dartford Warbler
SL5D6362Common Lizard P1220699 (002)Metal dragonfly (photo by Niall Bowcock) Map of Thursley Common Colin the CuckooMap of Thursley CommonMap and directions to Colin the Cuckoo at Thursley Common

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dxii 2x 400mm 600mm camera canon colin common cuckoo Dartford directions DO dragonfly elstead frame full hobby ii iii map metal redstart stonechat the Thursley warbler woodlark https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/thursley-common Thu, 25 Apr 2019 10:55:31 GMT
Something blue https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/something-blue kingfisherkingfisher SLDX0687SLDX0687 There are few people who cannot marvel at the European Kingfisher. Getting good photographs can be quite difficult. The amazing diving photos which people see are often staged "tank shots". These can injure the kingfisher so I for ethical reasons I avoid them. Armed with the 600mm f/4 II and a 2x III extender, and a little bit of cropping I am however very pleased with today's photos  https://www.stevelaycock.com/kingfishers

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 1dxii 600mm bird blue canon european f/4 ii iii kingfisher something wild https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/something-blue Fri, 19 Apr 2019 17:01:51 GMT
Portable Power https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/portable-power I had my first solar panels, back in 1986, which were used to heat the water for our home. Move on to 2010 and we installed one of the largest domestic solar arrays in the UK to produce electric for our home and export to the grid. The current issue was prompted by a forthcoming  trip, for several days to Skomer. One power socket is available to guests. Strictly no extension leads and they prefer you not to charge batteries. 

Wildlife trips seem to guzzle more energy than they did a few decades ago. Batteries for Cannon 1DXII 30W, batteries for Canon 5d IV 20W, partners bridge camera c 10W (and up to five a day), Laptop 42W, Phones, flashlights  etc etc etc. . We estimate we need approx 100-150Wh per day.  On holidays we carry an extension lead and swiftly set up a charging table - at Skomer this simply isn't possible.

After several hours looking through the internet and reading reviews we opted for a Polaroid system. Rechargeable power batteries with dedicated foldable and portable solar panels. The power units are chargeable from the mains, the car 12V system or solar power.

The PS300 holds a monster 289Wh, possibly enough to see us through two days. It weights 2.35Kg, has a cigarette lighter / 13amp plug socket, 4 USB sockets and a type c outlet. To accompany it a SP50 - weighing 2.57Kg, a 50W folding, portable solar array, which simply plugs into the PS300 to recharge it. Neither the PS300 nor the PS100 are able to charge the 1DX II batteries, however both will charge the 5d IV batteries LP-E6N. the PS100 has an internal fan -which is quite noisy when in use. Both the Ps100 and PS300 can be used for charging form the USB points whilst being charged themselves, however neither will allow the use of the 3pin plug when being charged.

 

Unfortunately the PS300 is not allowed on planes. The limit is 100Wh or upto 160Wh with the airlines permission. The solution a PS100. An 86Wh power pack weighing 700g. You can take upto 20 in your hand luggage. Featuring a 13AMp 3 pin plug socket, USB carger , QC3 charger and a type C charger. Annoyingly this requires a different solar array. Rather than the power7 - Polaroids option giving 7Wh , we opted for a Suaoki portable solar panel, 28 W, wit hone QC3 and two  USB ports - which means three devices can be charged at the same time  -we also figured that in overcast /winter conditions we may still be able to charge at least one power source. The Suaoki also has the advantage of having stands with directional sites to line it up with the sun.

Fo some photos of our recent visits see Skomer Island

 

portable solar powerportable solar powerportable solar power

portable solar powerportable solar powerportable solar power

portable solar powerportable solar powerportable solar power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Steve Laycock Photography) canon energy foldable go LP-E6N overnight polaroid portable power ps100 ps300 review skomer solar solution sp50 suaoki trip wherever you. https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/portable-power Wed, 17 Apr 2019 14:41:03 GMT
Great crested grebe https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/great-crested-grebe One of my favourite water birds is the great crested grebe. Any time of year they look amazing, but as spring progresses they start their elaborate courtship display. Later in the year they can be seen carrying young on their back . This heavily cropped photo taken with the Canon 1DX II, 600mm f/4 II and a 1.4x III great crested grebegreat crested grebe

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1.4x 1dx 600mm canon crested f/4 great grebe ii iii https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/great-crested-grebe Mon, 15 Apr 2019 06:00:45 GMT
Extenders https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/extenders heron in treeheron in tree heron in treeheron in tree There are very few zoom lenses I will consider using an extender with -the exception being the 70-200mm II (and III). With Canon  prime L lenses, I am often comfortable using the 1.4x III. - an extender I will often use with the Canon 400mm DO II. The 2X III extender however is something I usually try to avoid - there is a large drop in image quality and sharpness. There are perhaps two lenses I will make an exception with the 300mm f/2.8 II and also the 600mm f/4 II. The starting point for these two lenses is exceptional and both , in my view, produce  very acceptable results with the 2x III.

photo with 2x III on 600mm f/4 II

 

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 1dxii 2x 2x III 600mm 600mm f/4 II canon extender f/4 heron ii III https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/extenders Sat, 13 Apr 2019 17:52:25 GMT
Redpoll with the buds of spring https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/redpoll-with-the-buds-of-spring Spring appears to have arrived in the UK. Great to see so many redpoll at Haybridge today. this shot taken with a Canon 1DXII , 400mm DO II and a 1.4x III.


redpollredpoll

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1.4x 1dx 400mm buds canon do haybridge ii redpoll spring https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/redpoll-with-the-buds-of-spring Wed, 10 Apr 2019 18:42:46 GMT
Real Estate Photography https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/real-estate-photography For several years I was a real estate photographer. The motto being we take the best photos. Some of our competitors were even using iphones. First impressions count and with the internet based decisions taking an even bigger chunk of the market the images are all too important. It still amazes me how few agents or indeed property sellers/ landlords realise this. We used to get more than double the number of people looking at our adverts compared to the next nearest. Here are two images of the same property -which one looks the most expensive / best value for money. Great internal photographs can make an even bigger difference. Both these photos were taken with crop frame, one with the 40D the other with a 600D, both using the 10-18mm lens.


MakinsonMakinson IMG_3405_edited-1IMG_3405_edited-1

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 10-18mm 40d 600d agent canon estate landlord photography property real https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/real-estate-photography Mon, 08 Apr 2019 07:52:49 GMT
Canon 400mm DO II https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/canon-400mm-do-ii The Canon 400mm DO II made a step change to my images. Super sharp, and super quick to focus.  Light enough to hand hold and carry long distances it is now my lens of choice, although I wish Canon would bring out the 600mm DO, they exhibited in 2015 at the EXPO. With a FF camera I often use the 1.4x III extender, it reduces image quality / sharpness slightly but is definately in the range of acceptable. I have never found the 2x III to prodcue acceptable results with any lens other than the 300mm F2.8 II, although I am soon to try it on the 600mm f4 II. 

 

The three images below are all taken with the 400mm DO II, but using the 7D II, 80D and the 1DX II

 

Kestrel, Canon 7d II, 400 DO II, 1/1000s, f4, ISO 320
 

  Tiercel European KestrelTiercel European KestrelTiercel European kestrel, perched

 

Long eared owl , Canon 80D, 400mm DO II, 1/1600s, f4, ISO 100
 

long eared owl flying in Scotlandlong eared owl flying in Scotlandlong eared owl in Scotland flying towards the camera at sunset
 

 

 

 

 

 


Leopard, 1DX II, 400mm DO II, 1/500s, f5.6, ISO 800

leopard in Botswanaleopard in Botswanafemaile leopard in Moremi reserve , Botswana

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 1dx 1dxII 400mm 7d 7dII 80D canon do eared ii images kestrel leopard long owl wild wildlife https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/canon-400mm-do-ii Sun, 07 Apr 2019 15:34:07 GMT
Long eared owl in Scotland https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/long-eared-owl-in-scotland There are many special places in Scotland, from Mull, with the highest density of nesting Golden eagles in Europe,  Chanonry Point, the best place in the world to see bottlenose dolphins from the shore and then the various lochs, moorland  and forests -ospreys, short eared owls. hen harriers etc etc. it was on one such outing, in 2018, photographing short eared owls that I took the long eared owl. It flew in front of us several times and then decided to come and have a look flying directly over us at low level. Armed with a Canon 80D  and the 400mm DO II, lens, I was delighted with the results. It was when we got home we realised it was in fact a long eared owl rather than short eared owl. We went back to the same place the following evenings but with no luck. Maybe 2019 will give us another opportunity.
 

long eared owl flying in Scotlandlong eared owl flying in Scotlandlong eared owl in Scotland flying towards the camera at sunset

bottle nose dolphin ,Chanonry pointbottle nose dolphin ,Chanonry pointbottle nose dolphin ,Chanonry point

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 400 400mm do II 80D canon Chanonry DO dolphin eared long long eared owl mm owl point scotland https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/long-eared-owl-in-scotland Sat, 06 Apr 2019 06:25:20 GMT
Underwater in the Maldives https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/underwater-in-the-maldives Still sorting out photographs from more than a decade ago.  This times the island of Komandoo in the Maldives, combined with a liveaboard in the Northern atol.  Moray eels of all different shapes and sizes. For more photos from this trip see Maldives. PB291297Golden MorayGolden moray PC021427PC021427OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA PC081625PC081625OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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(Steve Laycock Photography) eel fish komandoo maldives moray padi scuba species spotted underwater https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/underwater-in-the-maldives Fri, 05 Apr 2019 05:37:50 GMT
Gorillas in the Mist https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/gorillas-in-the-mist Another day editing photos. This time from 2007. Rwanda and Uganda.  Amazing Mountain gorillas, including grey back which charged at Niall, a baby which grabbed hold of me and the grave of Digit and Dian Fossey, famed by the film Gorillas in the Mist. Lots of other wildlife too, including chimpanze and the famous tree lions. All these photos taken with the Canon 40D and the Canon 28-300. More photos in the  Uganda/ Rwanda collection. Mountain gorillaMountain gorilla IMG_0520IMG_0520

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 28 28-300 28-300mm 28mm 300 300mm 40d canon dian fossey gorilla gorillas gorillas in the mist image images mist mm mountain rwanda uganda https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/gorillas-in-the-mist Thu, 04 Apr 2019 14:27:15 GMT
Humpback whale breaching https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/humpback-whale-breaching As a child I always wanted to hear the hupmback sing. this year not only did I get that opportunity in San Cabo Lucas, on the tip of Baja peninsula, but this male also decided to put on a big display right next to our boat .  https://www.stevelaycock.com/baja
Humpback whale breachingHumpback whale breachingHumpback breaching, San Cabo Lucas, Baja California, mexico Humpback whale breachingHumpback whale breachingHumpback breaching, San Cabo Lucas, Baja California, mexico

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(Steve Laycock Photography) 100-400mm 100mm 1dx 1dxII 400mm baja breach breaching california canon humpback II male mexico whale https://www.stevelaycock.com/blog/2019/4/humpback-whale-breaching Wed, 03 Apr 2019 07:45:51 GMT