Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 - My photography highlights

2014 has been another year where photography has had to take a bit of a back seat for me, for various reasons.  However, there have still been some incredible highlights, including going on a trip of a lifetime, which is where this blog starts.

[Photographs and videos are best enjoyed full screen]

In February, I was lucky enough to go on a expedition to the Himalayas to try to photograph the elusive snow leopard.  It involved camping at altitude with a night-time temperature of -30 degrees Celsius, so not a trip to be taken lightly.

Camping in the Hemis High Altitude National Park

There's more details on my original blog post, and here's a short video with the highlights, including, if you look very closely, a mother snow leopard, with her two sub-adult cubs.

Lake District

In April, I went to the Lake District, and had some luck with some nocturnal wildlife, as it were.



London Marathon



In July, Istanbul beckoned for a long weekend.  I could not recommend it more highly as a city break, with so much to see within a compact area, and an easy-to-use tram service.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Istanbul Old City, Sultanahmet


In October, a trip to Iceland was coupled with some extremely challenging weather conditions - 120mph winds meaning one day was a complete write-off.  I'd wanted (again!) to photograph the Northern Lights, but cloud cover/rain meant this was very difficult.  In one brief opportunity, we managed to get out into the darkness (and cold!) to get some shots, albeit they aren't great!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland

Gullfoss, Iceland

Deer rut

The Red Deer rut is very popular with photographers, so I thought I'd check out some fallow deer instead.  This video shows some males preparing for the rut - well worth watching with sound!

Fallow Deer rutting

Birdlife in the UK

In January, the year started nicely with a sighting of a Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) in Surrey - an infrequent visitor to the UK.  They have incredible plumage in the right light.  Apparently.

Glossy Ibis

 The following week, I tried to get a photograph of birds landing on my feeders, but need to work a lot harder to get a decent shot:

An 'artistic' (i.e. technically poor!) shot of a Blue Tit

...and in February, I got a nice shot of a Nuthatch in the garden too:


More recently, Redwings have returned, so it was good to get a shot of one of them eating a berry whole:


Stock photography

Finally, my year of stock photography has yet again suffered from an almost complete lack of uploading new images.  Some of the old favourites still paid-out though, and continuing a trend of the last few years, Shutterstock is easily my most successful site:

My most popular images for sale at Shutterstock:

Finally, following my footage of flooding on Christmas Eve 2013 in Guildford which was shown on BBC London news, I was paid for the footage to be used in a Channel 4 documentary, "The Storm that Stole Christmas", which aired around April time.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Canon News: EOS 7D Mark II

One of the most anticipated new bodies from Canon is finally here - the EOS 7D Mark II.  It promises to be a popular purchase, especially for wildlife and sports photographers who will benefit from the extra reach of a cropped sensor, and a high frame rate.
Canon 7D Mark II
The original 7D took Canon's cropped APS-C framed sensor to new limits, and set a new bar for movie recording.  That was back in 2009, so with competition from Nikon and Canon's own fullframe 6D, it was time for the 7D Mark II to fight-back.

Here are the headline specifications:
  • Shoot continuous bursts of images at up to 10 frames per second.
  • Shoot at high frame rates and enjoy superb colour reproduction, with dual Digic 6 processors
  • Focus on subjects wherever they are, with 65 cross-type AF points spread across the frame.

65 cross-type AF points

  • Capture movies at up to 1080p resolution and 60fps frame rate. Mic and headphone sockets for full audio control.
  • Produce great quality photos that are packed with fine detail, with the 20.2Mp sensor
  • Enjoy smooth continuous focusing when shooting movies and photos in Live View mode.
  • Integrated GPS means you can Geotag each photo and movie you shoot with your current location – great for travel photographers.
  • 150,000-pixel metering sensor, with IR detection
Weather sealing of the Canon 7D Mark II

As the lucky owner of a Canon 5D Mark III, this would make a perfect second body.  in particular, if the continuous AF focusing when shooting movies works well, that would be incredibly useful when capturing wildlife footage.

It's currently retailed in the UK for around £1600 (that's overpriced for the early adopters, and should come down relatively quickly).

More information is available here.