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My love for photography waxes and wanes, indeed sometimes I consider cameras a hindrance when I am out in the field, but there is little doubt that when it comes to blogging and social media that illustrating a post with some good quality photos makes a real difference. As of 2017 my camera gear consists of a Nikon P900, a bridge camera with an incredible 83x zoom which I generally try to keep with me at all times, the versatility of bridge cameras meaning that a record shot can always be grabbed if I come across something interesting, be it a distant bird or an interesting bug, beetle or wildflower. However image quality and macro capabilities of the P900 are average at best, and therefore most of my ‘better’ photos come from my DSLR kit which currently consists of an ageing pair of cameras in the shape and form of the Canon 7D Mark I and the Canon 1D Mark IIN. Lenses meanwhile include the Canon 24-105 mm f4 L (Mark I), the Canon 100mm f2.8 L, and the Canon 400mm f5.6L, the latter likely to be sold in the near future to fund the acquisition of the new and impressively capable Canon 100-400mm Mark II.
It was thanks to birding that I first became interested in improving my photography, and in 2011 I moved on from my little point and shoot camera with its 3x zoom which I had used since 2005, and bought myself a Lumix bridge camera (the FZ45) with 24x zoom. From this point on I was hooked and in 2012 I entered the daunting world of DSLR’s and the bewildering array of lenses, initially choosing the Nikon route to improve my nature photography. However since then my photographic needs have changed and I have now jumped ship over to Canon, a decision I have never regretted. Whilst I do not get to enjoy photographing birds as much as I would like, indeed possibly less than once a month, it is by far and away the most challenging form of photography which I enjoy, my very amateur photos bringing me much personal satisfaction.
In 2013 I bought myself a macro lens, primarily to photograph the moths which I study in our garden, but since then this simply superb and super sharp lens has found many other uses, especially in the spring and summer months when the likes of butterflies and dragonflies are on the wing. Indeed compared to photographing birds, where speed is often so important, macro work is much more leisurely and relaxed, indeed I can think of few better ways of spending a warm summer’s day than trying to capture the rich diversity of invertebrates and other wildlife which can be encountered in and around the garden and countryside.
I have enjoyed country living for most of my life, and therefore have long taken an interest in many aspects of the countryside, be it farming, country shows and even country sports (though I have no interest in actually shooting or fishing myself). British livestock are a particularly passion of mine, as are working dogs and equestrian sports, whilst both modern and vintage agricultural machinery never fail to provide interest, the continuing technological advances in arable farming being simply bewildering.