Wednesday, 25 November 2009



Another trip down to East Mersea to photograph the shore and wading birds. I would love to get a real good close up of these little birds, but they are just to skittish.

I just love watching them fly in their flocks all synchronised, very beautiful.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Male Tufted Duck

This is a shot of a male Tufted Duck on Ramworth Broad in Norfolk. This is the first time I have seen these ducks. They are very tame ducks, and didn't mind being approached. There must have been at least 40-50 ducks in the flock.

Trip on the Norfolk Broads

Female Tufted Duck
This is one of the shots I have got from our recent short break on the Norfolk Broads. I couldn't believe how many birds there are on the Broads, and was a little spoilt for choice. This shot is a Female Tufted duck.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Female Stonechat

Female Stonechat
Well here is the female of the species too.
Both of the birds seem to have been more interested in us too.

Male Stonechat

Male Stonechat
A male Stonechat taken a East Mersea. This is the first time I have ever seen one of these birds before, and he was being a very good model for me.


A shot of a Stoneturn taken at East Mersea. We arrived just before high tide, and to be honest I think we were lucky to see these. More often at high tide you don't seen any waders.

Sailing boat


We were at Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve yesterday at high tide, which is not a particular good time to look for wading birds.
Saw this beautiful sailing boat coming past. The light was pretty much perfect for a late autumn afternoon.

We also saw a seal in the water, but only managed to catch a shot of it back as it went underwater.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Calm Days

Calm Days, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

This morning's weather was terrible, windy and heavy rain. For the last couple of weeks we have gone out on a Sunday for a walk, or to the nature reserve at Fingringhoe. Today was out of the question.
I started to wonder what the weather was like this time last year, so decided to have a look at last years shots. I discovered that I didn't take any on the 1st of November, so looked to the closest date, which was the 3rd.
Calm, cool and a beautiful day, that's what I discovered. So I decided to do a little work on a couple of shots. Here is the result on one of those images.

Saturday, 31 October 2009


Birds, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

A group of mainly Redshank. They tend to feed in groups, but on some occasions they were fighting each other off.

Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 500 mm
Exposure Bias: -2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 200


Fungi, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Well please no rude comments. Yes, I know what you are all thinking....... isn't nature strange and wonderful. ;-)

Monday, 19 October 2009


Hedgehog, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Sadly a not so frequent visitor to most peoples gardens. We have a hog box at the bottom of the garden, just incase one wants to stay the winter. There are plenty of leaves on the ground for his to build his nest. The temptation of wanting to look is almost unbearable, but you are meant to leave them undisturbed. I just like to think that he is in there, all snuggled up for winter.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Taken at Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve.
Of the larger waders, the Spotted Redshank is one of the more dynamic and energetic in its feeding actions, often found leaping and running in shallow water.

Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/800)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 500 mm
Exposure Bias: -2/3 EV
ISO Speed: 200

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sulphur Tuft

Sulphur Tuft, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Went to Chest Wood at Layer de la Haye this morning. It is such a lovely little wood, and this time of year not that many people around. Autumn is well and truly here, and the leave we falling all around.

The recent rainfall made it perfect for mushroom/fungi hunting, and found these beautiful collection of Fungi.

They are sulphur tuft fungi.

Monday, 5 October 2009


Robin, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Now who doesn't like a Robin, I am sure these must be one of the most photogenic birds. Happy to sit there while you mess around with your camera settings.


Kestrel, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

This Kestrel was brilliant to photograph, saw it flying towards us, so grabbed the camera which was still setup for panning. Cropped and lightened in CS4. Please with the results.

Little Egret

Little Egret, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Really pleased with this shot. First attempt at panning shots with the Sigma 150-500mm DG OS. Using the OS on mode 2 and the focus set to AI Focus.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Seed Heads again

yellowflowerseed, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Not sure of the ID of this flower, it was taken at RHS Gardens at Hyde Hall (Which is fantasic BTW). It was in the Australian gardens there, so I am guessing that it is not a natural plant of the UK. The petals felt like plastic which was a strange thing indeed.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Mushroom, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Went to Shut Heath woods this afternoon. Only found a few mushrooms there, but I guess when the damp weather comes, there will be a lot more. So I think another visit will be required.

Apparently there are deer in the woods to.

Seed Heads

seed-head, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Well, not sure at all what these are from, but I thought they were most eye catching. Again taken at Mark's Hall in Essex.

It's a great place in the autumn for the nature photographer.

There are Fallow Deer around the area too, only saw a very small glimpse of one yesterday, before it ran off through the woods.

Mark's Hall has a good visitor centre/Coffee shop, which sell some nice home made cakes :-)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Autumn Colour

redleaves, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

There is some autumn colour around at the moment, captured this at Mark's Hall in Essex today.
Not sure what the plant is called, but loved the way it has a succession of berries from the branch.
This was taken with the Sigma 24-70mm lens and processed in CS4.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Went back to East Mersea today in the afternoon. The light was pretty much perfect. These little Reed Buntings are so hard to capture, as most of the time they are in the bushes, so you cannot see them.

It is only when you walk past them that they fly up, most of the time they fly off in the distance, but this one decided to fly up and land on the top of the bushes. Managed to get off a good couple of shots.

Shutter Speed: 1/160Sec.
Aperture Value: F8.0
Metering Modes: Spot
Exposure Compensation: -1/3
ISO Speed: 200
Lens: Sigma 150-500mm
Focal Length: 500.0 mm

Monday, 21 September 2009

New Perch

This is my new perch, well not my perch, one for getting good Garden Bird shots. I know its got no bird on it at the moment, but I think it takes time for them to get used to it. Hopefully after a while they will start to come down.

Watch this space.
UPDATE: they have started to come down, but not managed to get a capture yet. As when I have got home from work the light is to dim to get a good shot.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Autumn is coming

Autumn is coming, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

As the title says, Autumn is just around the corner. I do like walking through woods when autumn is arriving, seeing all the leaves changing colours. I think this year will be great for the colours of autumn. Off on holiday in a couple of weeks time, and hopefully all the colours will be shining.

This was taken with the Sigma 150-500mm Lens. It is a good versatile lens, the light was not that bright in the woods, but pump up the ISO level on the 40D and it manages to produce a good shot.

I have a couple of excellent plugins for CS4, one being Define 2.0 from Nik Software, very good at detecting noise on a shot and smoothing it out. The other plugin is Nik software sharpener. That is a serious good plug in.


Swan, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

There were thousands of Swan at Abberton yesterday. I am thinking this was a male swan, he came swimming in with his wings all puffed out.

This was taken from inside one of the bird hides. I wasn't sure if there was any etiquette in a bird hide, and if the shutter noise would disturb the bird watchers. Well no one complained, so I guess it is ok :-)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Blue Tit

Blue Tit, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Really liking my new Sigma lens. Today we went to Abberton reserve (Essex Wildlife Trust) This is actually captured through the visitors centre window. The light was pretty much perfect today.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Gull in Flight

Gull in Flight, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Mode 2 of the OS on the sigma 150-500mm lens. This is used for panning shots. This is really is the first half decent shot I have done with this lens.

Hopefully I will be visiting a couple of wildlife centre tomorrow, and I will be able to practice some more.

Look out for some new shots soon.

Herring Gull

Herring Gull, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Some fine detail captured from the Sigma 150-500mm lens. The light was pretty fantastic today, and the canon 40d and Sigma worked a treat to capture some very good details.

If anyone is thinking of purchasing this lens then GO FOR IT!

Black Headed Gull (Winter plumage)

A blackheaded gull showing its winter plumage - yes I know it's only September.


Swimmer, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

This was taken with my new Sigma 150-500mm DG OS lens. Quite staggered in the details. The optical stabilization is amazing to see working. Totally worth the money and glad after much research buying the lens.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Dragon Fly

Dragon Fly, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Today we went to Finginghoe Wick nature reserve. There were not that many birds over there today, but plenty of dragonflies.
Managed to capture this one.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Common Blue

Common Blue, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Another view of the Common blue butterfly in my garden.

Common Blue

Common Blue, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Whilst having a cup of tea in the garden, this little critter comes and pays a visit. QUICK, grab the camera I shout!!

Normally this would send any wildlife running/flying for cover, but today this little butterfly just stayed put, thankfully.

Managed to get some good shots off.

Unknown Insect

Unknown Insect, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

I have been ill for a couple of days, typical that it's the bank holiday weekend too. I feel better today, so grabbed my camera and headed out to the garden.

No idea what this little fellow is, but the eyes are quite amazing really. I know my macro photography is not the best in the world, and there are more expensive equipment out there, but all the same I think this is a fairly good shot.

I will be getting a new laptop on Wednesday, and hopefully will be able to breeze through processing more photographs in Photoshop soon.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Painted Lady Butterfly [Edited]

Painted Lady Butterfly, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

I used Photoshop to desaturate the background to emphasis the butterfly and thistle. Ideally I would've liked to get lower down to take the shot, but as you know butterflies I easily spooked.

I have really enjoying the British summer at the moment, there seems to be an abundant supply of insects and flowers to take pictures of.

Although the forecast for the next couple of weeks seem to be rain showers, but then again I think we should take that with a pinch of salt, as the met office said that we should paint our houses white to deflect the intense heat.



Butterfly, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Another shot from our walk at Chest Woods. Still amazed of the amount of butterflies there that day.

I thought that scientists said that there was a big decline in butterflies this year, well I think they need to visit some other area's rather than their labs. OK, I might be being flippant and they are probably suggesting other species of butterfly.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Smoke Mark II

Smoke, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

This is another shot of the smoke session, expect to see some more. I think I will upload some with the black BG.

Would just like to mention that I was inspired by this:


Smoke, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

I have been trying my hand at some Smoke Photography. Equipment used:
1 x Incense Stick
1 x Black Background
1 x Canon 40D with Sigma 28-70mm Lens
1 x Canon Speedlite 430II flash with an Elastic band and 2 pieces of Cardboard.
1 x Table light - to light the smoke for the auto focus on the camera

Ok I will describe the cardboard first. With the flash you do not want any spill over of the flash, so you strap to pieces of cardboard on the side of the flash head, so that you direct the flash towards the smoke.

Setting for the camera, F/9.0 Speed 1/160th. Flash was set to 1/2 power.

After shots were taken, I processed in PS CS4, inverting image and then adding another layer and blending in some colour.

This is the results.


Damselfly, originally uploaded by Markonmersea.

Not sure what kind of Damselfly this is, but it was a remarkable blue colour. I am sure it was playing with me too, as I got close it would fly away.


While we were at Chest Wood we saw hundreds of butterflies all over the place, it was quiet an extrondanary site to see. Well here are a couple of shots.


Well after a hiatus of taking photographs, I went mad at the weekend with a few projects.

We had a lovely walk to Chest Woods at Layer-de-la-Haye. And found an abundance of fauna and flora.

These wildflowers were very eye catching (well just about, as they are tiny). I have no idea on the ID of the flowers either, sorry!!

These other flower I am guessing it a Thistle of some kind. If you can help with the ID of either these 2 please let me know.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Cactus Flower

This is a shot of my Cactus flower, it only last between 24 and 36 hours. I read on the internet how to get it to flower and thought I would try.

Basically you have to NOT water your cactus between November and end of March, none at all. It's now July and I have had success with this beautiful display.

Once the bud starts growing, it is so rapid, probably only took a week to get to this stage.

Apparently the flowers in the wild are pollinated by Bats. Hope you like the shot.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Colour Impact

When do you stop messing about with the colour in a photograph?

I pushed the colour saturation up on this one. To be honest, I think it really does portray the colours that I saw that day.

Very pleased with the details I have captured. The sky is pretty much perfect too.

Once again, thanks for looking.


This is a shot of the Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District. It shows the sinkhole for when the water levels are high. I think this is the lowest level I have seen the water at.

Last time, the water was flowing over the top of the sinkhole.


No Excuses for not posting.

I haven't updated the website for a while. I think I was just going through a lazy phase.

Anyway, The 3 shots here are from a recent trip to the Peak District. They are taken at Padley Gorge and they are of the same waterfall, but in three different placed. I was really pleased with the outcome of the shots, and this is probably the most success I have had with capturing water like this.

I may have overdone the saturation slightly on a couple of the shots.

Any way I hope you like.


Monday, 25 May 2009

Geranium - Cranebill

Found this flower underneath a tree in the garden.  I think it is from a packet of wildflower seeds that we spread there.

There is a little patch underneath a tree that we thought we would try and make a little wildflower meadow with lots of natural wildflowers.  At the moment we have this flower, which I believe is a Cranesbill and there are 2 foxgloves.

Hopefully, there will be lots of flowers there in the summer.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Something a little prettier

Another shot of a Cosmos Daisy in the garden, they are excellent subjects for a flower photographer.

The wind was only slight today and made the job easier.  Used a very shallow DOF, I used f2.8 with the Sigma 105mm Macro lens.  Using the shallow DOF really focuses you onto the flower.

Any way hope you like it.