Monthly Archives: May 2015

Gaggle of Goslings

Is that the right term for a group of geese?

Another long gap since my last post, life is pretty hectic at the moment! And it’s half term here in the UK so the kids are off school, meaning time is really at a premium!

Anyway, before the school holidays started I managed to get out and take these pics on a rare sunny day ( ie not raining). I knew of a village pond in one of the villages nearby and next time I drove up there, randomly on a trip to the dentists, I went to check it out. When I saw the little family on the pond I knew I’d have to come back and bring my long lens- nobody wants an angry parent goose close up with a 17-55mm lens!

All photos taken with my EF 70-300mm 4-5.6 lens.

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I was definitely getting the eye from the parent by the last shot so I went back to the car!

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Shooting modes on Canon SLR

I’m back- that was a much longer gap since my last post than I anticipated! I wanted my next post to be about the shots I’ve been taking for my photo course though, and had to wait 1) to have some free time and 2) for it to stop raining ( in the UK that’s not an easy job).

Anyway- the course I’m doing wanted me to use the different shooting modes on my camera. I have a Canon 550D ( which I think is known as a Rebel T2i in the US?) and although I moved out of just using Auto setting a while back, it’s good to take things back to basics sometimes as it makes you think through the process step-by-step.

I went to a local park using my EFS 17-55 lens to get a few shots, on a very changeable day (basically it wasn’t raining so I got out there) and played around for a while with the shooting modes.

The first one I experimented with was Close-up mode. This is a macro mode which will focus on your subject and produce background blur to separate the subject from its background. In other terms it produces a shallow depth-of-field ( otherwise known as DoF).

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You can see that the flowers are in focus but the background is blurred- in this mode, the camera has adjusted the f-stop automatically to make it smaller, which widens the aperture and creates this effect.

I took another close-up shot which shows the effect well-

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Here’s a shot using the Landscape mode-

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Here everything is in focus, even the car sneaking past under the trees! In landscape mode the camera has increased the f-stop which narrows the aperture and brings near and far objects into focus. If you’re shooting a landscape then generally speaking everything is of interest so you’d want to capture it all.

Finally the course required me to use the Sports shooting mode. The camera then picks a fast shutter speed automatically to capture any fast moving object, and might increase the ISO in low light as the pop-up flash won’t be much help in this instance.

But what to shoot? I found a flock of starlings that were quite jumpy every time I moved in their direction, but they have a pretty unpredictable flight and I knew I’d never catch them. However there was a jackdaw that seemed less bothered by my being there. I walked up slowly towards him, as he continued his pecking around in the grass. He eventually stopped and looked me in the eye. I stopped and looked back. There was a pause and then, almost as if he felt sorry for me, he took off-I managed to catch this as he left-

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Again the camera has done a good job of automatically selecting a fast shutter speed, you can see the blur on the bird’s wingtips meaning it wasn’t quite fast enough, but I like the effect, as it shows that he is actually moving and not just spread-eagled on the ground.

Hope you’ve found some of the points I’ve mentioned interesting. Maybe I should do another post on how shutter speed, f-stop and ISO come together?