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Novice trip to the nature reserve....

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  • Novice trip to the nature reserve....

    I think this is my very first post on here, certainly the first pictures I have put up.

    Anyway, to give you a bit of background I'm new to the world of photography, I started off with a bridge camera, the S100FS - a fine camera but my only niggle is the LCD viewfinder, I find it much harder to view/track shots.

    Anyway, I wanted to move into DSLR - but budget was tight (isn't it always!) I came across a used E-510 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm lenses and thought I would take the plunge. I've been reading both this, and other forums but have been a bit of a lurker, until now.

    I am interested in a wide range of photography, from macro to portraits to nature to sport!!

    At the moment my interest is mainly focusing around nature (creatures/flowers rather than landscapes)

    I've been shooting pictures while out walking my dogs, to try and get a feel for the camera (steep learning curve!!) but today I decided to go to my local nature reserve (approx 5 minutes walk from my front door!!) and this is what I found.....

    Now, I moved away from the pond on the reserve and took a walk. When I entered the reserve I knew there were no other people there, other than the 3 or 4 people who worked there - as all visiters have to sign in and mine was the only signature!!

    As I walked, something moved in the woods to my right, it was a rabbit. I thought to myself well rabbits are 'ten a penny' but as I am trying to learn how to use my camera there as good as anything to capture.

    I moved into the woods in stalk mode....(I was wearing camo clothing....) I knew each foot step had to be slow and deliberate in order not to make too much noise. I spotted the warren some 15 yards infront of me and slowly creepd down from above it (what breeze there was was blowing into my face)

    There was nothing moving it the woods, which I expected, as quiet as I thought I was the rustle of branches and leaves under foot was unaviodable. However I knew that if I got into position carefully and got comfy for a long wait i might get lucky.

    I sat down next to a tree 10 yards or so shy of the warren, as I was above it I couldnt see the holes themselves but gambled on the rabbits moving slightly away which would give me a chance.

    After about 15 minutes of me not moving, say for the odd move of my head, I heard a noise about 25 yards or so to my left.........

    A female badger and her 2 young decided to pop out of their sett and have a bit of a play!

    I must have watched them for some 10 minutes or so before a deer crashed through the woods way off in the distance and spooked them!!

    Such a wonderful sight, mother was stood infront of the sett and the 2 young were chasing each other around her, fantastic, I was almost shaking with excitement!!

    Please could you take the time to give me some advise about shooting under the cover of trees. The problem I had was that although the sun was bright, the canopy was quite thick, meaning that there were plenty of pools of light dotted here and there to blow some of the shots out.

    I was using an E-510 with 40-150mm (hopefully I'll be getting the 70-300mm for a bit more reach)

    Because of the relativley low light I couldnt get the shutter fast enough to capture the badgers as they were moving around a lot - I was at full zoom with the apeture as wide as it would allow. If I remember correctly I was set to spot meter to try and get the exposure of the bagders at an optimum (and to hell with the light spots!!)

    Any advice you can offer will be gratefully recieved, this was my first outing to the reserve so I hope to do some more badger watching again real soon, though next time equipped with seat, tripod and guille suit!!

    Sorry for the long post!!



  • #2
    Re: Novice trip to the nature reserve....

    Welcome , nice shots and very lucky to see the badgers above ground in the daylight you have a good stalking technique.

    Live life in the slow lane.


    • #3
      Re: Novice trip to the nature reserve....

      The damselfly shots are fantastic for the 40-150 I am impressed, if you are into macro then consider the EX-25 extension tube quiet expensive but it works well with the 40-150 but its even better with 70-300 keep an on ebay for a second hand 70-300 they come up quiet often and are not to expensive.

      So welcome to the forum and keep these great photographs coming.
      Barrie Norman

      Digital Equipment: Olympus E1 - E30 - E-500 | EC-14 & EC-20 Teleconverter | Zukio 14-45mm, 40-150mm, 150mm F/2, 50-200mm SWD, 70-300mm | Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 SLD, 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC MACRO, 150 F2.8 Macro & 50-500mm (Bigma) |Tamron 135mm f/2.5 Macro 200mm f/3.5 | Optecka 800mm f/8 Prime | Wallimax 500mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens | Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-4 O Digital Flash | Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, Opticron Carbon Fibre "Traveller" Tripod, Sidewinder Gimbal Head, Manfratto 676B monopod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Head Lowpro Nature Trekker AWII, Lowpro Vertex 100 AW and Lowpro Toploader Pro 75 AW.


      • #4
        Re: Novice trip to the nature reserve....

        I can't give you any advice regarding technique ( I am probably the worst photographer on here) but do please keep posting your shots, fascinating stuff.

        I had an S100FS too and moved on for pretty much the same reason, plus once I'd seen some shots taken with an E510 by a friend I knew the game was up!


        • #5
          Re: Novice trip to the nature reserve....

          Thank you everyone for the kind words, and warm welcome.

          Barrie, I certainly am looking at the 70-300mm, infact watching one on ebay as we speak! I have considered the EX-25 (along with teleconverters!) but as with a lot of things I think they'll have to wait!! I currently have a long list of 'wants' including lenses, filters, flashguns etc etc!!

          Dan - with regards to the S100fs - did you keep it? For me its still a great camera with bags of potential, of course it has its limits, but I do find it handy as a general shooter and handy to carry round for those 'oppertunity' shots.

          I moved to an E-510 for the flexibility and the fact that an SLR will perform better that a 'bridge' camera - once you've mastered it!!

          Some examples from my S100fs......




          • #6
            Re: Novice trip to the nature reserve....


            I didn't keep the Fuji, funds wouldn't permit. Agree with you though, it's a very good camera. I am tempted maybe later in the year to try the S200EXR or maybe even the HS10 as a spare walk around camera - we'll see.

            Cracking shots with the Fuji.



            • #7
              Re: Novice trip to the nature reserve....

              Another warm welcome from me. You have some good shots there. The Oly kit lenses relly are very good aren't they.Look forward to seeing more shots from you.


              she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

              E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
              OM1n, OM 50mm f1.8.
              Oly Viewer3, Dxo Pro 11. FastStone.


              • #8
                Re: Novice trip to the nature reserve....

                Lovely shots Neil. I've never managed to get any good shots of badgers, as I've only seen them in the dark. Lucky you.