More Woodland Experiments

I’ll put a couple of wildlife shots at the end of the blog, but I’ve been spending more time taking dodgy woodland photos. I was better prepared today, and actually had a tripod with me. This certainly makes a big difference and will open up more possibilities. I have plans, but am not going to reveal them yet. Suffice to say, there are some interesting sections in the 7DII user guide which are going to come in handy.

Anyway today, it was basic stuff. Woodland path. Tripod and big tree in the centre of the shot. This is what it starts off looking like. Nothing fancy here, just a basic shot.


The I started playing around with the zoom. The tripod meant I could concentrate on how I was using the camera and the differences between fast/slow, pause/zoom, zoom/pause and so on. Counter-intuitive though it may be, the fastest zoom doesn’t produce the greatest blur. I suppose that should be obvious, but now at least I know for sure.

Woodland zoom

Here’s another pair, the second one being a steady zoom that moved for the whole period the shutter was open. As you can see, the effect is extreme.

Woodland zoom

Woodland zoom

I also played around with some proper woodland photography.

tree detail

As for wildlife, I took this shot of a robin earlier in the week but didn’t use it in the Cormorant post. I like it too much to waste it though.

Robin on wall

Robin on a brick wall

And the final shot is one from this morning… one of the local rodents.


Rat Portrait-style

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

This entry was posted in Birds, Landscape, rats, Wildlife and tagged , , , .


  1. Darko February 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Amazing effects! How long were the expositions for all three shots? And even more, how did you do it? Photographs are sharp and not overexposed at the same time. Is it the lens that you have or some special option that other cheaper cameras can’t do?

    • Words February 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

      Darko, the exposures are around 0.6-0.8s. I could set manually, but to control the light I opted for setting ISO at 100, and then played with the aperture setting to get the speed down. Having written that I realize I could set the speed and let the camera control the aperture. Anyway aperture is around f/32 – f/28 which keeps everything in focus.

      The camera is secured on the tripod, and the lens starts at the short end (100mm). Focus, click and then manually zoom the lens while the shutter is open. That’s it! Any dslr and zoom lens could do it. The effect varies depending on how fast (and far) you manage to zoom the lens.

      It’s better if you have enclosed surroundings (hence woodland) as otherwise too much light swamps the image.

      • Words February 28, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

        And just a bit of fun putting all three shots together:

        • Darko March 4, 2015 at 1:51 am #

          Thanks. I thought you did something like that but was not sure about the shutter time. On a daylight, too long exposure and it is all white 😀 It might be interesting to try that with a night sky 🙂

          • Words March 6, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

            I may give night shots a go, but I suspect the exposure will need to be very long indeed.

  2. Robin February 28, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Words, very interesting! The effect give a great image! Always wondered how this was done.
    I like the whiskers on your rodent friend!

  3. Words March 1, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    Robin, thanks. I’d read a blog where somebody had attempted the effect on a wildlife shot (not very successfully) and explained what they had done. I just wanted to see how it might work. Was pleasantly surprised with the results. The location has a lot to do with how it will turn out, hence the enclosed space.