Astronomy, Photography and Weather
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News: IAA lecture programme continues alternate Wednesdays from September - an excellent programme of lectures- Queens University Belfast - Bell Lecture Theatre. Also keep an eye out for the Summer Events
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46  General Category / Photography / Re: Quality Time on: February 22, 2010, 07:17:24 pm
Great shots Richard. It really is a beautiful bridge, all curves columns and arches.
47  General Category / Photography / Re: Crep Clouds on: February 22, 2010, 11:06:37 am
Lovely skies.
48  General Category / Photography / Re: Went for a walk on: February 22, 2010, 11:05:13 am
Nice images John.
I'd say its a good spot for photography in the summer.
The one through the wall is interesting a good perspective. At F16-F22 the DOF would be increased and the wall and background would sharpen up nicely - you'd probably need a tripod though.
49  General Category / Photography / Re: Wexford on: February 22, 2010, 10:59:55 am
Cheers John.
The lapwing was miles away so its a very tight crop and not too sharp. I'm afraid Flickr seems to be having a problem with the Blue Tit so I have removed it (maybe its the word tit?) Roll Eyes
50  General Category / Photography / Wexford on: February 22, 2010, 12:12:10 am
Wexford - where I was born and grew up. I haven't been back in a while but got down there over the weekend. Of course I took my camera. The North slobs "Wildfowl Reserve" was a fovourite haunt of mine as a kid, I used to walk out from town along the beach and get to view all the visiting geese and wildfowl thro' a crappy old pair of 7x50 binos. Things have changed, one can no longer wander at will and viewing is very stricly limited to a few hides. Still the sight of hundreds of Brent geese launched into the air simultaneously is awe inspiring. Got a few shots of this but none that do justice. I sat for a while outside the visitor centre and got a few shots of smaller birds:




Next day I went to Hook Head, a great spot for Geologists and Fossil hunters:

On Fiday I tried a poletrail shot - 124 x 30 sec with a nifty 50:

Whew.... thats me done...
51  General Category / Photography / Re: Dublin Zoo on: February 17, 2010, 02:21:10 pm
Thanks guys glad you like them.
I might just try an organise a camera club outing to the zoo sometime, though I reckon that might be more distracting even than children. (20 or so photographers jostling for the best shots Roll Eyes ) mmm.... might re-think that. Grin
52  General Category / Photography / Dublin Zoo on: February 14, 2010, 10:04:01 pm
I took my two youngest to Dublin Zoo yesterday. The light was very poor and it was freezing, but I managed to get a couple of keepers. Trying to look after the kids and photography don't mix well, but it does teach you how to muti-task Shocked, I'm surprised I managed to get anything at all. Hope you like 'em.

African Hunting Dog African Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus) shot through a wire fence (can you tell?).

Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) shot through a wire fence (you can probably tell from this one?).

Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens), sometimes called "shining cat", "firefox" or "bearcat". He was moving quite quickly so this as a panning shot with a bit of motion blur on paws and branch.

Southern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) running - this put my panning skills (or lack of) to the test, I'm sure John jgs could have done better here:
53  General Category / Photography / Re: Another Sunset on: February 14, 2010, 09:47:50 pm
Fabulous shots Richard. You live in a truly beautiful part of the world.
54  General Category / Photography / Re: BIF's part the second - Edit added 12th Feb on: February 14, 2010, 09:45:38 pm
Excellent recovery John, thats orders of magnitude better than the original shot. Isn't photoshop masking and dropping in a "new" sky an excellent technique Cool. Well done.
55  General Category / Photography / Re: Bewick Swans on: February 07, 2010, 01:10:17 am
The water skiing swan  (at 1/800 sec. btw.) made it into today's local paper Lol.

Nice one John - it's nice to get a pic published.
56  General Category / Photography / Re: Mallard Duck for John M. on: February 07, 2010, 01:07:53 am
Love it JohnC -  Grin.
Arentn't computers great - "To fck up is human, if you really want to mess things up just include a computer".
Nice to know though that Apple also get it wrong from time to time. I am an Electronics Engineer and have been an IT manager for the last 15 years or so, and knowing as much as I do on the subject, it still amazes me that any of it actually works at all.
Might be a while yet before I invest in a 7D, but it would certainly suit my needs (purely because of the 1.6 crop). The 500D I am using will do me for a while yet. I don't believe that anyone should should "upgrade" unless their existing kit is holding them back - (or unless they have loads a money, in which case why not?).
57  General Category / Photography / Re: Sunset on: February 07, 2010, 12:49:28 am
Lovely shots Danny - nice one.
58  General Category / Photography / Re: Little Flowers on: February 07, 2010, 12:47:20 am
Excellent stuff John - love your Macros.
Particularly like #2and #5
59  General Category / Photography / Re: BIF's on: February 07, 2010, 12:44:31 am
Excellent shots Richard.
Given that your backgrounds are so sharp, you must have been using a small aperature, F11 or so. It must therefore have been quite bright to freeze the action as you have so well done.
Gulls can be quite scary when they are behaving as per your shot.
60  General Category / Photography / Re: Mallard Duck for John M. on: February 04, 2010, 11:36:36 pm
Brilliant BIF John -
I know what you mean - I hate it when you get home and what you thought was an amazing shot is ruined by clipped wings etc.. Aaaaaah!!! Like I said in a previous post, most of my BIFs are thrown out due to framing rather than focus/camera shake errors. Again I suppose its a matter of practice and experience - We'll keep on trying, and getting better as we go.
The 7D really does sound like a great piece of kit and its been getting great reviews. I think its going to be my next big purchase also, though I'm reasonably happy with my kit at the mo'. I also use centre weight after having tried everything else on the BigmOS lens, and found it gives the best results depending on the subject (throw a dark subject such as a Sika deer in winter coat at it and you'll find all your highlights BADLY blown). I normally try to overexpose in camera anyway (Expose To The Right) so as to get more detail in my shadows (typical in wildlife shots) and then pull back and recover in PS RAW. This technique really works well when trying to bring out detail in dark feathers, fur etc. without bringing in lots of noise and centre weight average lends itself to this technique automatically without having to add any extra exposure compensation.
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