January 25, 2016

When the days draw shorter and the clouds close in, it can be very frustrating for a photographer like me. It becomes very unlikely that I will be able to shoot my favourite fast moving (often distant) birds or broad sunlit vistas. 

 

Poor weather means poor light. Technically speaking this means that, in order to capture photographs of anything that moves, the camera will need to be set to a high ISO, which increases "noise" or "grain", thereby losing definition. The only alternative, in order to keep the ISO low enough to keep definition, is to reduce the shutter speed. Goodbye crisp birdy photos and hello blurry messes! 

 

Fear not! You...

January 5, 2016

This New Year ("Hogmanay" here in Scotland) brought two quite photographically different challenges within minutes of each other. Both outdoors, both after midnight, both capturing lights in the sky.... 

 

 

FIRST there were celebratory fireworks. I love fireworks. I get very excited and bounce around like a small child. Photographing fireworks requires a bit more attention and care... You will need a tripod (a LOT of fireworks images are spoiled by blurred foregrounds or building silhouettes) and you will need to keep tweaking your settings throughout at least the first few shots. 

 

Fireworks are fleeting, and an exposure over 2 seconds or so will start...

November 23, 2015

This November the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh staged an after-hours event called "Botanic Lights". Each evening, as the sun set, the gardens lit up in spectacular fashion, with colours, projected images and videos, and sounds and music, which combined to create eerie, tranquil, exciting, and magical atmospheric experiences for those present. I couldn't help but take a camera to capture the effects (which usually would have to be added in post-production).

 

On camera, the power of the vivid colours juxtaposed into this natural setting is evident:

 

 

Light and colour was spread throughout the undergrowth, as well as the larger freestanding trees, creating de...

November 3, 2015

As a keen bird photographer I don't mind admitting that I used to fall into the trap of desperately seeking more unusual species to photograph. And I still love capturing those images... BUT.... it would be foolish to simply discount the birds around you on a daily basis as "unphotogenic", because they really aren't!

 

The power of a good photograph, combined with a respect and admiration of even the commonest birds, can produce a print-worthy image. For example - that pesky nuisance of a starling (or should I say a whole flock of starlings - they're rarely alone)! Get close up and in the right light...

 

 Look at that iridescent colour! The fancy spots!

 

Speaking o...

October 5, 2015

A week spent with family in East Sussex turned out to be a gloriously sunny photographer's paradise this September. Visiting local landmarks and towns, and time spent in the rural garden near Burwash, provided me with a satisfyingly full memory card.

 

The garden was teeming with small birds just awaiting my camera:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was evident that the smaller the bird - the faster it moves! Bright sunshine was essential in order to get a fast enough shutter speed, in tandem with a small enough aperture, to catch the birds in focus. Additionally a long lens was also a requirement, as small birds seem to prefer tall trees:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A more helpfully st...

September 21, 2015

 Over the last couple of months I must've totted up  at least 20 hours of photography time in Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens.  As someone who is inspired by nature there are a million photographic opportunities at every turn there - with plants from around the world showing flowers, leaves, seeds, bark, all attracting insects, and birds filling the many types of tree, as well as beautifully landscaped (or carefully un-landscaped) scenes.

 

The showstopper this year for the Edinburgh garden was the once-a-generation opening of the amorphophallus titanum (titan arum), and I will admit to being caught up in the interest - it did not disappoint!

 

 

Every Bot...

September 4, 2015

Over the course of the last month I've been experimenting for the first time with photographs of light trails. I've learned a few things and  I've taken a LOT of photographs. Even for me.

After a few tests I settled on a pretty closed aperture (F22 mostly) and a low ISO (125-200) to enable a nice slow shutter speed of 30 secs. Obviously for this long exposure photography style a tripod is essential, I also used the 2 second delay feature of my Canon in order to avoid hand-induced shake at the start of each shot. I happen to have this view of a busy road from the window of my (3rd floor) front room - I recommend finding a location where you can look down onto tra...

August 20, 2015

I'm Meg Walker and these pages hold a few of my photographs. Oh and this, in the photograph, is Alecto. She keeps me in check (and offers her services as model quite often - usually unwittingly). If you browse a while you'll soon realise that I'm most often inspired to lift my camera by the beautiful, weird, and often simple, scenes provided by nature. I am also, however, to be found with camera in-hand pretty much any time or place, whether rural or urban, alone, or in a social setting. The challenges of the technical camera settings and composition, teamed with the joy in capturing a particular light or moment in time, are what keep me passionate about phot...

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