At last I have been able to get out with my camera. I took a walk along the Thames river bank earlier this week and was surprised the amount of activity there was among the river birds, who were enjoying one of the few days of sunshine this year. Snowdrops are poking their heads out in the park and although cold there is a distinct feeling the Spring is on its way.
Higginson Park provides Marlow Town Centre with easy access to the river, where you can walk the tow path to Maidenhead to the East and Henley-on Thames to the West. During the winter months there are always large number of swans, ducks and geese vying with the seagulls for bread brought to the river by the visitors. The Authorities wish to stop us feeding of the birds as they feel it discourages them feeding themselves. All I can say is that I started feeding ducks at a very early age and don’t intend to stop now. Food is scares during the winter, with short days and cold weather and I am sure the bread brought by visitors is welcomely received.
When the river birds see that food is on the way they scrum the river bank to make sure they can get their fare share. Often when the weather is bad seagulls come up the River Thames and irritatingly attack from the air to pinch bread from the water birds below. It is therefore a running battle to ensure that these river birds get has much of the bread as possible.
Date: 06:02:2013 Time: 16.24.11 Camera: Canon EOS 30D Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Aperture: f/4.5 Shutter Speed: 1/250 ISO: 100 Focal Length: 32.0 mm
Having a wash and brush-up on the river bank in February sunshine. The birds are able to stand in the water here as the river is in flood and most of the tow path is under water.
Date: 06:02:2013 Time: 16.29.33 Camera: Canon EOS 30D Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Aperture: HDR Shutter Speed: 1/1000 ISO: 100 Focal Length: 80.0 mm
These birds have beautiful plumage and a classical shape. This Pen showed some interest in what I was up to as you can see from her stare straight into the camera lens. The Geese at the top of the image show their disinterest by swimming away.
Date: 06:02:2013 Time: 16.32.45 Camera: Canon EOS 30D Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Aperture: f/4.5 Shutter Speed: 1/1250 ISO: 100 Focal Length: 40.0 mm
This male also showed interest in what I was doing and swam up and down with a beady eye on me. This image shows off the beautiful white plumage of the swan on water.
Date: 06:02:2013 Time: 16.39.35 Camera: Canon EOS 30D Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Aperture: HDR Shutter Speed: 1/400 ISO: 100 Focal Length: 70.0 mm
With all the beautiful swans around it is easy to forget the other river birds, however the three caught my attention. The female is obviously a pretty duck to attract two boy friends. Because males are more colourful than females they often get centre stage in images. I was pleased here to capture a female duck displaying such colour.
Date: 07:02:2013 Time: 16.07.16 Camera: Canon EOS 30D Lens: Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Aperture: f/5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/100 ISO: 200 Focal Length: 120.0 mm
A very popular colour film in pre-digital days amongst professional and serious amateur photographers was Fuji Velvia made by Fujifim of Japan. The film, which is still available, is known for its colour accuracy and high level of colour saturation. I have recreated digitally some of the Velvia features in Photoshop CS6 and applies to the images above apart from the first one.
Prints of all the above images are available, so if you are interested please contact me.