Sunday, 19 March 2017

Indoor Meeting 5th April


Our next indoor meeting is on Wednesday 5th April when club member Paul Fuller will kindly provide an illustrated presentation on the wildlife of Tanzania, a stunning country in East Africa famous for many wildlife chronicles.

Even committed birders with cameras can't ignore the amazing mammals of this African arena and I'm sure Paul's images will reflect this with a cross-section of creatures prepared to be photographed.

As usual we start at 7.30pm and hot drinks and biscuits will be available and all are welcome to our venue at the Fishing Lodge, Pitsford Reservoir.


Neil M


Spotted Hyena

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Bird Club Photographic Meeting

Another successful meeting over with many topics covered including:

  • ISO - 'don't be afraid of the dark'
  • Auto-ISO - 2 members ahead of the game and already using!
  • Blurred image or grainy image? You choose
  • Cleaning up digital noise - Neat Image©
  • How to get that perfect background - thanks Paul
  • How the judge judged the BC competition
We ran out of time before we'd covered all the topics on the agenda so next time we'll be getting to grips with the camera settings and going outside to practice on birds in flight, depth of field and anything else you'd like to cover. 

See you next time.

Jackdaw taken with a Canon 7D Mark II on ISO 6400


We’ve been holding meetings at the usual venue for coming up to 2 years and thanks to Robin, the next date is Saturday 18th March where we’ll be looking at camera settings.

The aim of the meeting is to help you get the best out of your digital photography, but is it for you? Here’s a questionnaire to see if you’d benefit from coming along.

How often do you change the settings on your camera?

1)    Frequently, whenever you’re in the field and depending on conditions
2)    Occasionally, but not very often
3)    Almost never, you let the camera decide what’s right

How often do you shoot in RAW

1)    Every time
2)    Not sure, tried it once but didn’t like it
3)    No way! Have you seen the temperature out there?

You shoot a hundred photos and they’re blurred or under/over-exposed. Do you:

1)    Blame yourself & read the manual to see what went wrong
2)    Blame the light conditions, winter’s never a good time of year for photography
3)    Check out cameras & lens prices on Wex/eBay/MPB etc.

Everyone seems to be getting better shots than you, do you:

1)    Compare your shots, check the exif data and change your settings
2)    Resign yourself to the fact that they’re better photographers than you
3)    Tell yourself they’ve got better equipment

How often do you up your ISO?

1)    Whenever conditions dictate
2)    Only if the light isn’t good, but rarely above 400
3)    What’s ISO?

You’re disappointed that your shots didn’t do that well in the competition. Do you?

1)    Congratulate the winners and ask for tips
2)    Shrug your shoulders and try to take similar images for next year’s entry
3)    Blame the judge and sell all your equipment on eBay

How did you do? I’m sure you have a good idea but if you add up the totals e.g. if you answered question 2) for all of them then that’s 6 x 2 = 12 points. Your score:

6 – 7; Well done, the meeting starts at 10.30, be early as you’ll be running it!
8 – 10; Impressive. Come along, we’d love your input
11 – 18; The meeting is made for you, please come along, we'd love to see you

Below: Great Spotted Woodpecker. ISO1600, f6.3, 1/200 tripod mounted. Cropped, no noise reduction.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Foto Club Meeting

Hi All,

Our next photographic club meet will be on Saturday the 18th March at the Fishing Lodge Pitsford Water.

If you have ever wondered what all the settings are for on your camera or struggle to get the images you would like, then this might be a meeting not to miss.

We shall also be looking at some winning entries from the NBC  Competition to see why the judge commended them.

Award winning Dave J and acclaimed photographer Dave T will be there to try and answer all your photographic questions, I'm just going along for the tea and bikkies.

As always anyone who has an interest in wildlife photography is more than welcome. The meetings are informal, friendly and everyone is invited to join in.

Kick off 10.30 am.

Dave left,  receiving the Graham Soden Photographic Award
Just think, one day all this could be yours! see you there Robin.

Monday, 27 February 2017

JEWEL in the VALLEY NBC car trip

Every now and again you find a place that just feels like you want to immerse yourself into. A place of big sky and at the same time secret little places offering exploration.
Nestling in a valley near the quaint village of Noke and accessed via a narrow track lies a gem of a reserve, Otmoor RSPB.

Greeting our arrival in the car park was the sweet songs of Robin and Hedge Sparrow

Taking our time we gradually made our way toward the wetland watch lookout hide.
On route we looked for any raptors as Merlin, Peregrine, Marsh and Hen Harrier had all been seen recently. Distant Marsh Harrier and Red Kites were available.
The wetland held almost invisible Brown Hares hiding then chasing across the vista, a prelude to a little bit of boxing.

Red Kites investigated us coming very close at times.

A welcome sit down in the hide provided views of numerous Reed Buntings and others hungrily feeding on the grain put out for them.

Our ever vigilant spotter Mark found a distant perched Buzzard later put to flight by the local crow.

Moving on a Marsh Harrier quartered the wetland

putting rise to large flocks of wintering Lapwings and Golden Plover.

Moving ever on toward the screen hides.

Roy and the Stig
To be fair we didn't see an awful lot more but expectancy was always in the air.

Ever quarrelsome Coots

That expectancy paid dividends with a sturdy Peregrine  located again by Mark (I knew there was a reason we took him along).

Peregrine and Marsh Harrier

I was first introduced to this reserve by my good friend Graham and will be ever grateful, it's a beautiful place, tranquil and exciting, I only wish he could still be here to enjoy it.

Cheerz Rob.

Shots courtesy of Dave J and Robin (RDG Wild Images)