A Bit Of Everything This Week


I sometimes wonder what the guys who dream up the WordPress Weekly Challenge themes are on. So they take a photograph, dream up some vague relationship to time passing and then name the theme Delta. Seriously! So here’s my alternative. By the way, if you want to see a larger version of any photograph, just click on it. You’ll be taken to my Flickr photostream where you can view the larger version.

Over the last week I’ve been out an about the Olympus E-M1 Mark II testing some settings for photographing birds in flight. I’ve also been doing a bit of street photography and took the opportunity to capture some birds of prey in captivity, which were on display at Llandudno. As far as I know they are all rescued birds who have got in difficulty.

First up this beautiful Harris Hawk. He’s a male, great to photograph, when he kept still. Their natural hunters and Llandudno has it’s fair share of gulls and pigeons. He kept moving his head to watch them fly over.

Male Harris Hawk

Being in captivity, I was able to get very close, so the level of detail is amazing. For this photograph I used the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75‑300mm 1:4.8‑6.7 II lens.

Using the same lens on another day I was out trying to see if I could actually capture Birds in Flight. Now down at Prestatyn Beach you can always find gulls, flying around, but not this day. Only the odd one about and flying pretty far away. Wing definition is not too bad but it could be sharper.

Over The Top

Back to Llandudno and another little beauty, a Barn Owl, I’m pretty sure this one is a male.

Barn owl

Now to a bit of street photography, which I did on the same day as the bird of prey. This time using my goto lens the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12‑40mm 1:2.8 PRO. I tried this time to get really close to my victims err subjects before firing the shutter. There’s more chance of error this way but it makes for a better photograph.

Over There

I’m quite pleased with these ones

Red Headed Girl

Yes I do photograph men as well

He's Not Seen Me

I think she knew because that sardonic little smile just appeared.

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And now for a real beauty. A Eurasian Eagle Owl, this one is a female and is apparently a runt being only two-thirds of the size it could be. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a big bird.

Eurasian Eagle Owl

Another bird in flight. A bit sharper this time.

Gull in Flight

I’ve obviously got the shutter speed just right because the wings aren’t blurring when they are moving. I just have to get the focus sharp enough now

A shutter working at a speed of one-fourth to one-twenty-fifth of a second will answer all purposes. A little blur in a moving subject will often aid to giving the impression of action and motion. – Alfred Stieglitz – “The Hand Camera” (1897)

Not with birds in flight Alfred. I’m using 1/1000th second to ensure that the wings aren’t blurred.

Landing Now

And finally today’s weather here in North Wales. A dark grey day with very light rain coming in from the sea. You can see the wind turbines in the background fading away as the rain comes in, they almost look like shadows against a grey backdrop.

Ghosts in the Mist

Well, that it for this week and I’d like to leave you with this final thought.

A great photo happens when a photographer sees a situation unfolding in front of them that evokes an emotion that the photographer feels deep down, in the middle of their chest. And in a split second, they then make a conscious choice of exposure, lens, depth of field, lighting, body language, composition, etc., and releases the shutter. The film is then processed, scanned, laid out on a page, printed on a press, driven across town to the newspaper carrier who throws it on some guy’s porch, who then opens the newspaper and looks down at that photo … and if that guy gets the same feeling deep down in the middle of his chest that the photographer did when they viewed the situation in the first place, they have made a great photo. – Anonymous

Hopefully, you liked one my photographs this week, maybe enough that you thought it was a great photograph.

As usual, here’s what other great bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Delta – Seafield Castle Beach – Eye For A Pic
Madame Zenista Delta- Illusory like…
Cellular Jail – Through the Lens
Delta- December to June – Time of Transition… – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
Change – More 2 Explore
McKenzie Falls – By Sarah
Delta – Optimistic Odyssey
Leya WPC- Delta
Transition & Change – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Erin’s Big World Weekly Photo Challenge- Delta

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17 comments

  1. Great collection of shots! I know what you mean about the WP theme! It used to worry me, then I realised everyone just offered their own take and I actually kind of like that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The birds of prey are really good and the street portraits are quite good. Don’t know how you got so close without the people knowing except for the one with the smirk which made the pic cute. My favorite is the gull with the grassy dunes in the background. That one seems the most dramatic because there is more going on in the pic and the bird was captured in a pleasing angle of flight.

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    • My camera has a silent shutter, Yvonne. and I don’t need to bring it up to my eye to take a photograph as I can use the rear screen to see if I’ve got a photograph. If I stand still and let people pass me, it just looks like I’m messing with the camera and not taking photographs.

      I need to practice more with birds in flight, but since I switched cameras to the Mark II I’ve certainly been getting more useable BIF photographs. Also Olympus sent me some instructions on how to set up the camera for BIF which have helped a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent photos – I love all the birds!
    We see Harris Hawks quite frequently in Arizona, where they generally form a group of two males and one female to look after the chicks in one nest.
    Here in Alberta, I have a family of Great Horned Owls on our property. They look a lot like your Eagle Owl because of the ear tufts!

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    • Around our way it’s mostly buzzards, Margy. Living near the coast we have large colonies of gulls nesting and they will gang up on any birds of prey as soon as they fly into their territory. I love watching the aerial battles between the noisy gulls with their strident alarm calls and the buzzard who will give the odd call and gracefully just keep climbing and climbing on the thermals, whilst avoiding the gulls.

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  4. I find so many of the photo challenges (since I joined, at least) have in ways resembled each other. In one way it’s great because it really makes me think even harder on different perspectives, but in another way it feels a little limiting. But I do enjoy the inspiration nonetheless.

    Great shots you have here! My favourites would have to be the owls. My love for them is quite well known with friends and family so I am starting to get quite the collection if owl related things! The Eurasian Eagle owl is so beautiful, and I adore the somewhat grumpy look it has, even if it isn’t (or maybe it is? Haha).

    Also I really like the photo with the wind turbines. I can’t put my finger on it, but I do suppose, as that anonymously written text you shared said, it spoke to something deep down.

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    • The turbines was a last shot of the day sort of thing and it was taken about 11:30 am. The sky had gone really dark and grey and as I looked out to sea I could see the rain starting to fall. Looking over to the mountains behind me it was the same, Lotta. I just decided to take one quick photograph and get back to the car before I got soaked. The sea-front is very exposed here, with no shelter so if it rains, you get wet, very wet.

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