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Photography is an addictive passion that once embraced can never be forgotten.
This is a journal of my passion for photography which I will endeavour to update regularly with my latest photographs. I hope you enjoy my efforts.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Captive Birds at WWT Llanelli. 6th May 2012

Continuing with my series of captive bird projects I visited WWT Llanelli on 6th May 2012 with a view to photographing the resident collection of ducks and geese. For the photographer these collections provide excellent opportunities to get close to many photogenic species enabling us to practice and improve our skills with the camera. Patience is as necessary here as with wild birds because even the captive species like to move about. The difference is that they are right there in front of you whereas with wild bird photography perhaps the patience has to last a little longer. For all of the photographs shown from this trip I used my Sony a290 DSLR fitted with a 55 to 200mm zoom lens and a 2x converter giving a maximum focal length of 400mm.


The first subject that presented itself for a photograph was a male Eider Duck which sat quite happily whilst I readied the camera and framed him the way I wanted.
The camera settings were as follows:
Focal length 400mm
ISO 200
Aperture f13
Shutter 1/400




This lovely female Eider was next in line and it took 3 attempts to get this shot.
Camera settings were:

Focal length 400mm
ISO 200
Aperture f11
Shutter 1/125

Being able to get this close to the birds allowed me to get the background blur.


A male Smew was well within reach of the camera and I managed to get several reasonable photographs of him. The two shown here are my favourites. Camera settings for the first were:

Focal length 400mm
ISO 200
Aperture f11
Shutter 1/250




The second shot was from far closer and for this one the camera settings altered to:

Focal length 400mm
ISO 400
Aperture f11
Shutter 1/640

These are really striking birds and I was lucky enough to observe the wild male smew that was on the lagoon that day although a little too far away for me to get a decent photograph.


This Red-crested Pochard was quite a challenge as he was extremely active I like this shot as the reflection of his head gives an illusion that his bill is larger than it actually is.

Camera settings:

Focal length 400mm
ISO 100
Aperture f11
Shutter 1/160


This male Red-crested Pochard was a little more sedate and sat quietly whilst I photographed him.

Camera settings:
Focal length 400
ISO 100
Aperture f11
Shutter 1/20

this was quite a slow shutter speed considering the shot was taken hand held but it turned out ok.



And to finish with, this lovely headshot taken at focal length 400mm, ISO 400, Aperture f11, Shutter 1/1250



The next trip is to Slimbridge WWT and the blog will be updated soon with the resulting photographs.