New year on Öland
New years eve and the week following was spent on Öland with the entire family. The main focus for the vacation was not to bird watch nor to take photos. But there was time enough not only for excursions where the kids got to grill hot dogs, play by the ocean or just take a stroll in the sun but also for an entire day of birdwatching and some photography.
Some initial landscape photography around the southern tip of Öland, the plan was to try to take some nightscape photos around the lighthouse, but as I arrived on location so did the clouds...
In the prevailing hard wind most of the expected species could be found but not within reach of the camera. With the exception of some purple sandpipers that appeared as I was walking along the shore. They were totally fine with me lying in the sand next to them with the camera shutter sounding. Initially I was disapointed that I had not brought my 600mm lens, I was only carrying my 300mm lens with a 1.4 extender. As it turned out, that was probably just as well since the sandpipers frequently got inside the close focusing distance of the lens!
The days with clear sky and sunny weather was followed by two stormy days with some snow fall. Luckily the wind was from the north west, hard northeasterly wind during the winter often gives rise to fåk, a blizzard that quickly covers everything with up to a meter (or more) snow. This time it fell barely a decimeter with snow. Which of course was more than enough to keep most people indoor. With high initial water levels the strong wind caused some flooding close to the sea.
A photo a day
Well, at least that is what it feels like. Work, preparing for christmas and three kids longing for attention leaves no time to spare for getting outdoors with the camera. Only opportunity to listen to the sound of the shutter was when a fly trying to winter in our livingroom appeared just as I was trying on an adapter ring for the ringflash on the 100 mm macro lens.
So instead of filling the Lightroom-catalog with new photos I have been busy developing old photos and completing the presentation of myself. Just adding a caption and short description to each photo takes almost as much time as devloping the photo in Lightroom and Photoshop. Except for a focus stacked photo of a bumblebee with mites on its back that took several hours of work in Helicon Focus to get somewhat acceptable.
So for the time being the photographic effort will be limited to developing and uploading a couple of images every evening. But with the holidays coming up next week there will hopefully be an opportunity or two to get out and get some new photos with bearded reedling and white-throated dippers as the targets.
So I finally got started with the construction of a website to present my pictures. Slowly but surely the pages take form, a couple to half a dozen images every evening is what I can complete after the kids have gone to sleep. With a few thousand photos in the archive, it may take a while before everything is in place. As the title 'Bird and Nature Photos' reveals, it will almost exclusively be pictures of nature and animals that I will present here.
All photos are taken by me and are 'real' in the sense that nothing is added to the images. How much you can 'pull the levers' in Lightroom and Photoshop without the image being seen as manipulated can be discussed endlessly. In a few pictures I have cloned away a leaf or a branch which interferes. But most images have only been exposed to Lightroom/Photoshop to remove dust from the pictures, adjust the contrast, saturation and sharpness (in some cases selectively), which means that they can not be counted as unmanipulated in the strictest definition, even if they are an accurate representation of reality.
I appreciate feedback, positive and negative, both on the images and on the page as a whole. Either through comment fields in blog posts, directly below the images in the galleries or by email from the contact page.
The idea is that the page will be updated with blog posts each week, usually during the first half of the week.