Photography is still on hold. I could with the new Lockdown ruling do an outside Dog shoot with one of the owners present and social distancing but have not yet started this.
So I continue to stalk the wildlife around locally. Since the lockdown rules have been lifted a little and there is no restriction on exercise, there has been a noticeable increase in the footfall in and around the village. So not always easy, as I also usually have three dogs and two teenage boys out on walks with me!
The Goslings are growing. If I miss a day of seeing them I can see that they have grown the next day. They don’t stay as fluffy yellow balls of cuteness for long.
The parents keep them at a good distance still and are very protective. Another goose was not greeted well. No more staying at home for them, they are out and about and being Alert!
The parents are constantly looking out for Danger…
The little ones like their independence and a solo swim is often taken when Mum is not looking!
Swiming together is also fun, but Mum often leaves them to it.
Then some playtime can be had, not mad paddling to keep up!
This last image was taken on the 17th May, they are just over a week old. All five are still with us.
There is not much that is exciting in Lockdown. I have become a Garden bird stalker, a Red Kite Stalker, bunny stalker and a Canda Goose Stalker!
The Canada goose is a large goose, with a distinctive black head and neck and large white throat patch. An introduced species from North America, it has successfully spread to cover most of the UK. It forms noisy flocks and is often regarded as a nuisance in areas where large numbers occur on amenity grassland and parks. (RSPB)
There are several breeding pairs in my area. This was the last image of the Geese on the 7th April before the breeding process started. Then Mrs Goose sort of has to go into Lockdown herself and sits on those eggs for 25-30 days, only getting off briefly to feed every day. (at least she doesn’t have to queue at Sainsbury’s!)
Sits some more……
Then sits some more! In various different positions. Daddy Goose gets to have a swell time wandering around doing what the heck he likes!
Then after days of waiting…. the Goslings arrive! They arrived today!
I was so excited… I tripped over one of the dog leads, fell flat on my face, thankfully the camera survived the blow!
Daddy Goose now has his work cut out for him. He has to keep them safe! Let’s hope the Buzzard that lives nearby does not get to them!
We are halfway through the first week of the second phase of Lockdown. My boys are back to structured days after having had two weeks off for the Easter holidays. Making sure they have good happy minds during this time is key to me. They have been coping well and have been mainly positive, the odd day of everything is boring but it soon passes. Start the day with a positive thought and the day always seem so much better.
We have been blessed with lovely weather for this lockdown period and spring is definitely here and lovely to see the leaves and some blossom arriving on the trees.
My 30-day Photography project is going well. I have struggled on a few days to get the inspiration for the photographing something to match the word of the day.
Days 4 to 8 – Rainbow, Mirror, Paper & Hands.
Days 9 & 10 – Artificial Light & Brown
Day 11 & 12 — Perspective & Time
The camera had continued to come out on most of the dog walks. We were lucky to not still be on top of the hill this day! Although probably would have managed a shot or two of the pilots!
The Kites have been giving us a few displays too.
Mrs Goose has been sitting on her eggs for some time now. The incubation period is 24-32 days so there they should not be much longer. I look forward to photographing the Goslings as I do most years from a distance. Geese are very protective over their young. Last year the entire brood survived.
Three weeks of Lockdown completed and at least another three weeks have been announced by the UK government tonight.
It saddens me that only three days ago I wrote and the death toll for the UK was 11, 329. Today a further 861 deaths were announced and the total deaths have risen to 13,729. My Sympathies to all the affected families and friends. It really is hard to believe.
We will embrace another three weeks of this different world we live in and help and support each other as best we can.
I will continue to try and keep my lads focused, we have hit some boredom patches and it’s hard to motivate them when actually, there is not much fun about at the moment but you need to keep a positive mindset and think of nice things to do and keep your days filled with activities.
We have had some lovely walks in this nice weather and I have been taking the camera out with me. It’s not easy to do wildlife photography with three dogs and two teenage boys with you! The chorus of the birds is amazing at the moment, however, I can hear them but they are not so easy to spot! The Kites have been enjoying the clear skies.
04/04/2020 – Red Kite
I manage to get this shot of a Magpie, they are really shy birds and do not stick around for long. So with all my company I was amazed it did not fly before I got the camera up, which is what usually happens.
04/04/2020 – Magpie
The Canada Geese are back. Lots of noise in the mornings as they fly around.
04 & 05 Apr 2020
I love to see the birds early in the morning finding the sun spots to warm up to start the day.
This Jackdaw couple have found a great nesting spot. A really snug little hole.
Not far from them I found this Rook getting his morning Rays.
The days are flying by and I dont get time to do look at what I have every day. I will post some more pictures soon. Keep safe and well.
A strange Easter for us as I am sure it was for everyone. We were thinking of going away for a few days and we usually visit my Mum in Somerset which we have not been able to do.
The boys 13/15 are being really good but there have been some signs of them getting a little fed up with the restrictions it has on them this week.
It’s shocking how quickly this virus has taken hold another 717 deaths in the last 24 hrs and a staggering total of 11,329 deaths since the first documented UK transmission on the 28th Feburary all cases before that were believed to have been caught abroad. There are also many deaths that have not been documented here, in carehomes and at home. My heart goes out to all the family and friends of these individuals.
Keeping positive and busy is key for a healthy mind and body. I have been taking the camera out with me on all my daily excersise outings in the hope that I will be lucky enough to capature some wildlife and have been stalking birds around the garden.
I am also doing a 25 day dog training challenge, which has been great fun. Its games based positive Training. The focus of the training is to help you get your dogs attention more on you and off the enviroment and distractions that they may go running off to.
If you want to join in and have a go with your dog, a great thing for your kids to do then please click here. https://app.myphotoapp.com/bth9/25_Day_Dog_Challenge The challenge is for 25 days you have access for life and can start at any time. The cost is only £27. Maybe this looks familar for your dog?
On the photography front I am doing a 30 day photography challenge, which was sent to me by one of my agility friends. I am working through the list in order. Here it is if you fancy having a go.
Here are my first four days. Dirt, lowlight, Laudry and Water.
Well, its Easter Saturday, the weather is lovely and I am sat here listening to the Coronavirus update glad to hear that the majority of people are listening to the Government guidelines to stay at home.
I am lucky enough to live in a rural village and have been taking my camera out on my dog walk early in the morning but also making the most of things in the garden.
What a strange time we are in. If they had made a movie about it, we would have said that wouldn’t ever happen!
I hope you are all keeping well and safe. I have tried to take and image every day. Not always with my camera, sometimes just with my i-phone.
There is obviously no photography work. I have had a few jobs to finish editing which are now done. I await the Print labs to open to be able to get printed images to clients. I can do digital but I would always recommend getting Professional quality prints done of your favourites. The quality is so much better than that you will get on the high street and an image comes alive in print. They look so much better when printed properly than they do on a screen.
Respect to all the key workers taking risks every day to look after all of us.
I have volunteered to help but have not heard back yet. So we just help our older neighbours by getting them shopping, doing a bit of lawn mowing and getting prescriptions.
I have been a member of the Guild of Photographers for a few years now. They are a really friendly bunch of people and if you are intersted in photography as a professional or ametuer I would recommend you joining. I recently gained my Master Craftsman Qualification with the Guild which I am very proud of.
There are regional meetings held which provide a great way for photographers to meet up. You dont need to be a professional, you just need to enjoy photography.
There are yearly seminars where you can attend workshops on a variety of subjects.
They provide a mentoring service, where you can get advice from one of the panel members from just improving your photography to help with working for qualifications or competition entries. There is a fee for this but it is worth every penny. I would recommend it to anyone.
They also produce a colourful and informative magazine. I have attached a version here has some of the images on from the panel I submitted and gained my Craftsman qualification with last year. Pages 3 (botton right image) & pages 94-95
Very pleased to have been awarded the “Photographers Bar” again this year. It is a unique distinction award to Photographers in order to acknowledge the fact they have submitted strong images consistently throughout the year in the monthly international competition judged in accordance with national scoring criteria – a distinction that is very difficult to achieve!! Thank you to Rachael Foster photography for the image.
Yesterday, 9th May I travelled up to Stoke on Trent to the Headquaters of the Guild of Photographers to sit my Craftsman Qualification. This qualification is equivalent to the Assocatiate Qualification I gained with the SWPP but the difference being the images had to be presented in person and in print.
The images are judged by 5 Judges that all hold the Master Craftsman qualification and have been through a tough training programme to become judges.
20 images have to be submitted printed in mounted at a minimum size of 16″x12″. If you are a proffessional photographer you are also required to povided proof of Public Liability insurance, a finished product that would be given to the customer and a book showing all the images. The the images also have to be provided in a digital format should they judges want to look at the images more closely on a computer screen.
I didnt realise how nervous I was until all 5 judges were facing me and I had to read my supporting words about my panel to them. I was begining to wish I had not laminated it as at one point I was in danger of it sounding like a thunder storm as I shook so much!
The Judges then turn to view your panel and you leave the room while the look at the images closely and then a vote is taken.
I am glad to say that I got the thumbs up from all five judges.