First Day Out With My New Camera

Broad-bodied Chaser - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Broad-bodied Chaser - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
I decided to treat myself recently to a new camera (I've had my Canon 20D since 2005 and it is starting to show it's age in many ways, but especially with the dirt on the sensor, I ended up spending longer removing that in post processing than anything else!), and so on Thursday my new Canon 70D arrived, but it was not until yesterday (Friday 13th June) that I actually managed to get out and use it. This post is basically the results.

A day of learning


I must say it is a real learning curve jumping up to this camera, most buttons are not where I'm used to and some of the features are completely new to me (Video and Live view especially), but I think I am getting the hang of things, at least from a still photos perspective.

Video


My first moments around the lake I decided to try the video function, I dreamed of being a wildlife cameraman when I was young, even going so far as talking to a local chap that my mum knew who worked for the BBC, but alas as I aged that dream became more distant, now with the 70D in hand I can achieve my old dream (well I can attempt to take some footage once in a while). Anyway my first effort is now up on Youtube but here is the video:



I'd love to know your thoughts, or tips on improving things, either let me know here or on Youtube, either way, constructive criticism is how we learn.

On to the Stills


One aspect of why I chose the 70D, was the articulated screen combined with live view, I have found quite often that is is tricky to get really low down photos, as getting my eye to the viewfinder becomes tricky (getting down there isn't easy with my back issues), but I have also found that those tricky to reach insects are within reach now as well!, this Large Red Damselfly was perched just that little too far into the bushes for me to reach it comfortably and still look through the viewfinder, but step up live view and I got this result.

Large Red Damselfly, shot with Live view - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

As you can see perfectly usable!

Sorry this is not a review


I'm not reviewing the camera here (although I will at some point), but just wanted to highlight the above two features. 

The walk itself wasn't great for our Avian friends, there were the usual water birds (although this did include quite a few chicks or Ducklings), and a nice fly by of a Buzzard (I think I may have startled her as she was very low), other than that, I heard a few young birds dotted around (see Long-tailed tit pic below), but there was nothing staggering.

Mallard in dappled light - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Mallard in dappled light - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Duckling (Mallard) - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Duckling (Mallard) - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Long-taiuled Tit (Youngster) - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-taiuled Tit (Youngster) - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Lepidoptera


I was quite amazed today at how little there was in terms of butterflies - Speckled Wood, Large White, Meadow Brown (1) and Brimstone - yet how many day flying moths there were - Yellow Shell, Cinnabar, Burnet Companion, Nettle Moth and various other small micros - I will never understand the flying habits of these creatures I think sometimes.

Burnet Companion - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Burnet Companion - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Yellow Shell - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Yellow Shell - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Meadow Brown - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Meadow Brown - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Odonata

There were planety of Odonata around though today, and actually it was Broad-bodied Chaser that made the bulk of the larger dragonflies, but I did also see Migrant Hawker in a few places. In the smaller odonata world of damselflies there were Azure Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly everywhere, numbers were really up and the odd Banded Demoiselle was also flying about, the season doesn't seemed to have fully kicked into life yet though to me when it comes to the bigger flyers.

Broad-bodied Chaser (Male) - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Broad-bodied Chaser (Male) - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Broad-bodied Chaser (Male) - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Broad-bodied Chaser (Male) - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Blue-Tailed Damselfly - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Blue-Tailed Damselfly - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

I had to try again


Recently I photographed a Rosemary Leaf Beetle (see Photo of the week #1), and with the new camera I couldn't resist having another go at these stunning beetles (I think it helps that I only seem to find them on lavender so the colours really pop), this time they were not sitting a top the flowers but I still like the images produced.

Rosemary Leaf Beetle - Great Holm, Milton Keynes
Rosemary Leaf Beetle - Great Holm, Milton Keynes

Rosemary Leaf Beetle - Great Holm, Milton Keynes
Rosemary Leaf Beetle - Great Holm, Milton Keynes

Finally Some Flowers

As a final addition to today's blog post I snapped a few flowers while wandering yesterday and wanted to add them at the end here as I was quite pleased with how these look. I've no idea when it comes to plants (I make no excuses just way too many to learn) so please do let me know if you can name them.

photographed next to the lake - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
photographed next to the lake - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Cow Parsley? - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Cow Parsley? - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

No idea - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
No idea - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

some kind of daisy? - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
some kind of daisy? - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Linking with....

Please feel free to leave me a comment, I really appreciate the interaction and will reply as soon as I can. I apologise for any issues with posting comments, but sometimes Google's blogger platform plays up.

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CONVERSATION

7 comments:

  1. WOW I am in awe of all your photos. Your new camera and your skills I just got the 1100D canon and I can't get the detail you get with yours. Amazing. What lens are you using? And how do you get such clear close ups? To my eye doesn't look like you need advice you are doing great. But please teach me hahahah thanks for linking up to Share With ME. I love photography and learning more by seeing others photos and what they are doing. Thank you. #sharewithme

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    1. Hi, many thanks :)

      For my macro work I use a canon 100mm f/2.8 (the older non IS one), usually at around f/9 for decent depth of field. My trick for getting close though is just patience and practice with slow movements, I miss more than I catch though, especially with damselflies they tend to be quite jumpy (and dragonflies have great eyes to see you coming).

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    2. I wrote a how to article on photographing Dragonflies earlier in the year you might find helpful - http://www.viewsfromanurbanlake.co.uk/2014/05/how-to-photograph-dragonflies.html

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  2. I love these photos, especially the one of the blue damselfly. The contrast of the colours and the clarity is just amazing. I've been looking at getting a new Canon so I look forward to reading the review of the 70D!

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    1. Thank you. The camera is taking a bit of getting used to, but I'm slowly getting there, love the video function, which is odd as I never thought I would.

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  3. Whoa! Those are so crisp & vivid photos! I am using an old DSLR, a nikon d70 and its got a small stain on the lens that shows in so many photos. I want to have it cleaned or get anew one but I dont really have budget. Your photos are just so awesome =) #sharewithme

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, yes my old camera was really showing muck and took me ages to process to remove all the marks

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