I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Thursday 10 February 2011

I HAVE A PROBLEM (10/02/11)

Well I have more than one………One at a time. At least that way I have a chance of sorting them. This problem is sorted and sunlight has sorted it. I own a Sigma 50-500mm lens f4-6.3. I almost always use it at full zoom so it is very slow. Today we went down to the Tees, the weather could not be better, the birds are singing, the fish are jumping, the Swallows are swooping over the water…………sorry, meant gulls. We managed to get to the edge of the pond. Sat down on a bin bag tied the dogs to the giant corkscrew thing I have and watched the Tufted Duck. These pictures are cropped and they are doing what ducks do………..floating about but I was pleased to see them even at a hundred meters or so.

I took both cameras and the monopod. Need a Sherpa if I get much older. We’ll start off Where I started.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Tees Barrage same place as yesterday. The seals were not about but this image is off camera with colour curves boosted for contrast. Yesterday I could barely make out the Barrage from here but with a bit of shoving and pushing the camera could.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The view down stream……………same treatment. Not a breath of wind. Who would believe we are in the middle of the industrialised North East. We caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher, Cormorants and Herons. Terns, (I use this term loosely, like a gull but with a stumpy bum)  but they weren’t fishing and the Blackheaded Gulls were behaving themselves. No entertainment to be had here today. This stretch of the Tees was dug out by Navvies. To the left is Porttrack Nature Reserve that was where it used to flow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I’ve found a way to the edge of the pond………the lump of wood in the water to the right is, I suspect, the bird hide……..bloody vandals by the score around here.We settled on our black plastic and waited. Good job I carried two cameras this is a stitched panorama….Two camera Tommy am I.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA First along is the Coot…………Nothing worse to photograph….a black bird with a white bill….floating along.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A female Tufted Duck……Floating along………Nobody contradicted yesterdays murky picture so Tufted duck they are.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    He was not far behind…..Floa…………You’ve got this bit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Both together and another pair in the background.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Ten minutes later another half dozen flew in……………Missed the landing, was busy retrieving West Highland Terriers from the pond………I do like birding but it is almost impossible with two dogs…………….I’ve sorted the problems. A monster f1.0,  10000mm lens, two Sherpas, a Donkey to carry the gear, a very sturdy tripod and the bit that is missing… a man that can work a camera!  What are two Sherpas for?………….To take two dogs a walk miles from birds.

A grand day if it’s not going to freeze and snow then lets enjoy this false spring.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I’ll leave todays post with a Harris filter version of the Tees barrage. Okay not to all tastes and to be honest not to mine but teach a dog a new trick and he will push it till the audience cry NO!  You have to look at the last image large amazing colour shifts in the water. I said amazing ……not necessarily good.

We are back up to Darlington tomorrow for the weekend then away to Ullswater, after the truck is rebuilt on Monday.

One step at a time……………pictures solved………truck sorted……Me………….suggestions welcome.

That’s all for today.

* For anyone going down here then do be aware. The wee hoodies would steal a biscuit from a starving kid. Twice now I have been accosted. It’s not nice but the wee buggers have known nothing different for at least one generation. Just hit them first…….it’s what there parents do!


  1. Your writing style keeps me smiling. Thats a good thing. I live in a very safe area but when I travel and meet up with 'wee hoodies' I tend to walk towards them with purpose, sort of takes the edge off of them and catches them by surprise.

  2. I think you are moving in the right direction with the bird photographs Adrian. I have already given up with the Hide and tripod (far to heavy to go wandering about with) and take the easy option.
    The one thing I do like to have with me is my camouflage poncho, a very versatile, multi useful, piece of clothing.

  3. Adrian at his entertaining best! Oh, and the photos are great too.

    I'm amazed at your politeness in referring to your "wee hoodies". Their equivalent are everywhere (except, thankfully, close to where I live but no-one much lives around here) they broke into my car in Auckland recently, and when they couldn't find anything to their liking, left a long, deep, scratch along the paintwork. Bloody louts is what I call them.

  4. Best of luck finding the sherpas. I'm glad you're working on new things--the coot came out well. (I know what you mean about taking photos of dark-colored animals. A black lab turns into an ink spot with legs.)

  5. A couple of sherpas would be a welcome addition I think; and a shotgun for the hoodies.

  6. ITTL, the kids are a nuisance ripping stuff to bits. I wouldn't consider them dangerous more pests.

    Trevor I'm afraid it is one step forward and one back. Today the sun was behind me so ideal conditions. I have thought of getting a Poncho. I'll see what the army store has.

    Pauline, I didn't mean to give the impression the area is knee deep in them.......but they do cause an awful lot of damage.

    JoLynne, I have always enjoyed wildlife photography it just doesn't reciprocate. Normally I spot meter and overexpose a stop. It doesn't work if one has white bits on the subject.

    Keith, you are spot on. Staff are required a year ago I watched a fashion shoot outside the photographer must have had half a dozen folk running around after him.

  7. I've arrived home and decided to start here and work my way back over the next few days.

    Pauline said it: You at your entertaining best - and with good photos to boot. It's good to be back!

  8. Graham, have some 'Settlers' handy.....there are some weird pictures that have somehow escaped onto the blog this last week.......don't want you being sick.
    Glad you had a good trip.

  9. Great posting Adrian...Good images and an interesting and entertaining read.....

  10. Trevor thanks, it lifts the soul does a sunny day.