Garth Peacock
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Further testing of the Canon R5

Monday 8th November 2021

Test driving the Canon R5

Wednesday 3rd November 2021

No photos

Sunday 24th October 2021

Two Norfolk Reserves

Saturday 9th October 2021

Two weeks of - well - not very much

Thursday 23rd September 2021

September to date.

Friday 10th September 2021

A brief conversation about photography

Friday 20th August 2021

Back again

Wednesday 18th August 2021

Not everything goes to plan

Tuesday 13th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 4

Sunday 11th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 3

Saturday 10th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 2

Friday 9th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 1

Thursday 8th July 2021

A different experience

Monday 7th June 2021

Interesting times

Tuesday 25th May 2021

The last 10 days or so

Monday 10th May 2021

Something different at last

Friday 30th April 2021

March/April update

Tuesday 6th April 2021

Remembering the highlights

Monday 22nd March 2021

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Monday 8th November 2021

Further testing of the Canon R5

Last Friday, I spent the day in Norfolk. The first priority was to try to photograph the Shorelarks that had appeared at Holkham. There were two present in a largish roped off area specifically to protect them from intruders, mainly human.

The weather forecast was for bright cloud - wrong again!!! It was sunny and the only place where it was possible to get the birds close enough for any photos was directly into the sun. I took quite a few photos but deleted them all - I already have much better. Disappointing.

After a wasted morning, it was off to Titchwell for the afternoon - or what was left of it as the clocks had changed. Heavy cloud at first but that dispursed to leave a bright evening sun. This is the golden hour for photgraphy but, not one I particularly like. The camera did not seem to be able to cope with it too well so most shots were deleted due to lack of detail.

In any event, there was only the usual common stuff there - Teal showing a wing flap before the sun got too low.

A good-szed flock of Dunlin came in to feed.

A Redshank suddenly appeared.

and a Knot amongst the Dunlin flock before taking off.

I have not yet come to a firm conclusion about this camera. I do not think the problem is the camera itself, more me not getting to grips with it. The other problem is that Adobe Lightroom does not handle the RAW images at all well - very noisy and some colour mismatching. I have taken to copying from the card to the computer and then loading into the Canon DPP software, picking the photos I want to keep and converting into a Tiff copy.

I can then load them as TIFF into Lightroom and process them as normal - gets rid of the excess noise and the colours are more true.

However, Cannon DPP is very slow and clunky - I do not like it at all. I had a final list of 50 odd photos to save and convert - it took nearly an hour as batch processing.

So while the camera is great, I still have reservations about my ability to make the most of it, and the unwieldy processing involved.

Surely there must be an easier way. More research required.

 

 

Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Test driving the Canon R5

Last Thursday, 28th October, I was at Welney WWT. It was trial time for the new camera and I couldn't think of a better reasonably local site where there was guaranteed to be suitable subjects. Probably not the most exciting, but that was not the objective.

Plenty of Geese around. This odd one is probably a moulting juvenile. Canada Geese

Greylag Geese

the usual Mute Swans

and the odd Whooper Swan. Still waiting for many to arrive from their migration from Iceland.

even a close-up head shot.

So far so good.

I noticed a female Pintail on the far side of the scrape, usually too distant for a shot but I tried the 500 lens, the 2x converter and the 1.6 crop - effective 1600mm - and a 50% crop on the computer.

Well the details and sharpness blows me away.

So I moved to the photographers hide under the observatory to try some close lower level shots. Pochard

and a drake Wigeon

Looking on the back of the camera, I was pleased with the results but editing on the desktop is the true test and this is where the potential problems occured, not with the photos but the software. I have used Adobe Lightroom for some years and like it but it needed an upgrade for the new camera. However, Canon has apparently not agreed to release the algorithms for Adobe to incorporate in their software so my first run was not really successful - images noisy and some colours not true.

So I tried another method of downloading, re-edited in Lightroom and also in the Canon software, DPP. This time, I was happier with the results from Lightroom so I have used them for the photos on this website.

However, there was more noise than in DPP that Lightroom can handle to a point. I will see how I progress with the higher ISO images that will inevitably come from winter weather. Acquiring Topaz Denoise is an option that I am looking into.

First impressions of the Canon R5 - excellent . Auto focus amazing, resolution great, even using the 1.6 crop, and it should even get better, once I have really got used to it.

 

 

Sunday 24th October 2021

No photos

I have been very quiet for the past three weeks - no trips out so no photos to show.

For the past week I was on a family holiday around the Padstow area of Cornwall. I did take my camera and 100-400 lens just in case there was anything interesting. Despite being the quieter period of the year, there were no photographable birds - in fact more dogs than birds that seems to be the norm for coastal areas at present but it was a very enjoyable break with eldest son and family.

I do have something to report however. Just before I left, I part exchanged my trusty Canon camera 5D MK4 that has served me very well for the past 4 years. I am waiting for its replacment, a Canon R5 mirrorless camera that should be delivered tomorrow (Monday 24th).

At this stage, I am keeping my old lenses but the intention is to move over to the new Canon RF lenses in due course - lighter and more portable.

This will be a rather steep learning curve. I have had to upgrade my software too and that is a steep learning curve on it's own.

Hopefully, the next blog entry will be to show some photos with the new camera.

Saturday 9th October 2021

Two Norfolk Reserves

22nd September 2021 - North Norfolk

A wasted morning around the normal harbours, not even too many people (or dogs). No wildlife to see at all. So, after lunch in the car park at RSPB Titchwell, it was off to see if this reserve could do any better.

Nothing momentous, as charactarised by these two photos - resting Ruff and Teal.

So down to the beach where a distant Bar-tailed Godwit was really the only bird of interest.

A few Knot in winter plumage were lazily feeding on the mussel beds.

And then back to the reserve where bathing Shovelers were the only items of interest.

Not a very successful day, but that is the current situation.

4th October 2021 - Welney WWT

A morning spell in the observatory hide produced nothing of interest except for a long chat with a fellow photogrpaher who was testing the new Canon mirrorless R6 camera with the 100-500 RF lens. I was impressed, even with a 2x converter so I resolved to order one.

A small flock of Black-tailed Godwits was on the scrape. Now I have well over 100 photos of this species so I should pass them over but they always seem to do something interesting that is worth another photo.

The main reason for the visit was that there was a large party of Common Cranes on the Ouse Washes. A small group flew over the observatory with a juvenile getting close enough for a flight shot.

I found the main flock further down the reserve. Not as close as I would have liked (nothing rarely is) but I Iike this group photo.

Yesterday, there were reports of a flock of 57 so this was just a part.

Surprisingly, a pair popped up out of the grass much close to the hide.

Now that was better then I expected as, after all, I have not been that lucky with photographic subjects recently.

Back to the observatory hide. A pure white Greylag Goose with the normal flock was of interest. I think this is a Leucistic bird rather than an escaped farmyard bird so worth a shot.

and also a rather strange Canada Goose with a white head.

So, with nothing else to tempt me, it was time to head home to continue to research the new Canon R5 before I spend some cash.

Thursday 23rd September 2021

Two weeks of - well - not very much

8th September - North Norfolk

The recurring problem with the Covid crisi is that people that would normally holiday abroad go to places like Norfolk instead. Should have realised it would be busy but I didn't expect just how busy my favourite harbours would be - more dogs that birds - on fact no birds at all.

So it was ending up at RSPB Titchwell for the afternoon as the morning produced nothing. In fact Titchwell was unremarkable too. Considerable work has been done to remodel the freshmarsh - yet to make up my mind on that as any birds of interest were on the far side and certainly too distant for photography.

One lone Black-tailed Godwit produced one of my favourite types of shot - small subject in a plain background.

A  Greenshank was feeding in the brackish marsh - just a little too far away for eye-catching shots but needs must!!!

and a Curlew came close at low tide on the mussel beds.

As I said, an unremarkable trip.

17th September - back to Frampton Marsh RSPB

No real rarity this time. Most of the morning spent in East hide - it was another case of trying to make the best of not much. Subjects on white backgrounds are called High Key photos. The white sky reflection in the water provided the opportunity to try it out on this Shelduck by overexposing the whites. Some like it, some do not - a Marmite taste - but just an attempt to try something different.

Moving on to the next hide, the same opportunity came when some of the large flock of Greylag Geese took off.

There were 29 or so Spoonbills on the North scrape, too distant for anything meaningful until they were put up by a raptor and settled just a little closer.

The best photo of the day - still too distant.

And then two started bill waving.

Finally, a Spotted Redshank showed on the closest island - still too distant.

So another day with nothing eye-catching. That's wildlife photography.