John Tait took first place in Grade A with this shot in our recent 'Festive' competition. This is how he made the image:
Having received the usual reminder email, exhorting us all to get our
entries in on time for our "Festive" competition, I began to panic. I
had nothing!.... I had no valid excuse either, as Christmas was just
over, so most normal photographers would have lots of shots of Christmas
trees. Santa Claus. Christmas pud...Carol singers etc, etc. But I had
nothing at all, as I had spent most of Christmas chasing wildlife
shots... Then I had a Eureka moment!
I had been up in Co Laois with Dave Harris, trying to get
shots of a Pine Marten. As we sat in a tiny hide for about two hours,
waiting for our Pine marten to appear, boredom had us searching the
trees and undergrowth for something else to photograph. After shooting a
Robin, a couple of Chaffinches and other small birds, I suddenly spotted
a Blackbird perched high in a Holly tree. The Holly tree had lots of
berries, and the Blackbird was feasting on these. I took a couple of
shots of the bird with a juicy berry in his beak and promptly forgot all
about him, as the Pine Marten suddenly made an appearance. My camera
settings on the day were as follows.
Everything set to manual except for
ISO which was on Auto. Shutter speed would be not slower than 1/1000,
and Aperture f6.3. F6.3 is the largest Aperture that I can set the
camera to when using my Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens. I would also have
set my exposure compensation to +1 or +2 stops, so as to expose for the
bird against the much brighter sky. Without this compensation, I would
have had only a silhouette, and no detail in the bird.
Luckily, I remembered my "festive Blackbird" just in time to pop
it into Lightroom for a quick crop, and a couple of tweaks before
sending it off for the competition.
- John Tait
Well done John!
Click here to see a gallery of images from the competition. Enjoy!
How I took that Shot - Noelle Lowney
How I took that Shot - Neil O'Carroll
Winners Presentation Photos
Competition Results and 2018 League Table
If you are interested in photography and would like to know more about East Cork Camera Group, click the 'Contact Us' link above.