Otherwise known as a lamprotornis Purpureus, the Glossy Purple Starling Bird is found in tropical Africa. I found this little fella in London Zoo. Photographing birds is extremely difficult without a long and expensive lens. However, there is a great bird area at London Zoo and with a lot of patience it is possible to capture an image like this. Here I used my 135mm zoom lens and pop up flash on my camera. Ideally I would have used an external flash. There wasn’t much light that day as the weather was very overcast – the flash caused the purple coloured feathers on the bird to light up. It may have startled the bird a little bit but I am happy that I was able to take this photograph.
I have photographed this scene before and was really happy with the results, but there were always going to be people in the way. Last Sunday morning, I got the Tube down to St. Paul’s Cathedral and walked across the Millennium bridge – it was still as busy with people as ever. This time I had my tripod and super wide angle lens and if you compare what you see below (the original first attempt taken last May) with the new version above, I think you will agree my latest photo is much better. But, I hear you ask, where have all the people gone?
Being on a tripod there is no movement of the camera, therefore the only thing that moves is the pedestrians. So by taking half a dozen photographs, not moving the camera but just waiting till the people move themselves around or out of the frame at different areas of the composition I am left with a range of images that have all the detail of the bridge but the people moving around. Using an advanced feature in Adobe Photoshop I can then tell the program to look through all six images and remove the parts of the image that change from picture to picture (i.e. the people) and then I’m left with a people free photograph.
Yesterday I started working for a new client photographing apartments around the city centre of Manchester. This was one of the 750 images captured using my new super wide angle 10-20mm lens. The most difficult thing about the day was lighting.
I ended up using as little flash as possible and setting the ISO up to 400 or even 800 at times. This might seem high for a camera like the Nikon D80 that I use, and you would be right to think so. However, with Lightroom’s advanced noise reduction and software such as Noise Ninja I am able to remove almost all the grain. The client is using the images primarily for online distribution and so the higher ISO / noise problems are dramatically reduced with lower resolution web files and my post-processing techniques.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you which apartment building this bedroom is in, but I felt it was very stylish and modern, as were almost all the apartments I have been in so far. The artwork above the bed seems to work very well with the cool blue of the bed linen in my opinion.
It has been difficult to work out which Gorilla this is; London Zoo has three females and the animal pictured above is either Effie or Mjukuu (both females). I believe this is Effie as Mjukuu appeared to be holding a baby when I photographed them on Saturday morning. Taken through glass it was very difficult to get any good quality images of these wonderful creatures. Ideally there wouldn’t have been glass in the way, but then my focus would probably have moved to running away rather than photographing, but who knows. I would have used flash if it wasn’t for the glass and the grumpy zoo keeper who shouted at me asking if I was going to use flash. I wouldn’t dream of it as it would probably scare the animals.