Tag Archives: newt

More Badgers, plus something to Google for

More badgers tonight, but I’ll get to them in a minute. I’m going to start with an early morning shot from Falmer Pond of one of the local rodents.

Rats

The rats were very active today (sunshine brings them out), and so it seems were Google; or at least their Street View car which I encountered this afternoon outside the university’s conference centre at Varley Halls, on the outskirts of Brighton. The car cannot have missed me so I’ll now be checking Google Maps to see when they update the image.

Google Street View car

Meanwhile our garden goes on providing a haven for local wildlife. A fox popped its head up early evening (but was gone before I could even think about a photo). The newts don’t have such an easy escape and since I cleared it out a little at the weekend I can actually see them.

Smooth newt

I’ll get down to some serious macro work at some point, but at the moment my 200mm is glued to the camera at night all the better to photograph the badgers. Here’s a couple of portraits.

Badger

Badger

Camera note: newt and photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens. The rat and Google car taken with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Newt Climbing a Toad and Badger Photo special

Last night (Friday) was one of those nights in the garden that turned out to be quite special. It started down at the front of the garden where I spotted a toad just outside the back door. It took a second glance to see exactly what was going on. The toad was reaching up towards a raised step, and a newt was using the toad as a climbing frame!

Toad and newt

Toad and newt

Toad and newt

The newt eventually scrambled up to the higher level, while the toad decided on an easier route.

Toad in garden

While all this was going on, a badger had emerged unnoticed at the back of the garden. I’ve no idea how long it had been there, but it was well settled in and allowed me to photograph it for around quarter of an hour. With care I was able to move around slightly, which is significant progress, though it was still quite jumpy if I made any sharp noise (such as standing on a twig). This is a small selection.

Badger

badger

badger

Badger

Badger

Badger

It eventually wandered off when some fox calls came from nearby. I didn’t see any foxes last night, but there’s always a chance one will show up. For now though it seems the badgers (there are at least two of them, though only one in this sequence) have taken claim of the garden.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

Introducing the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Yes I finally got my hands on a 7D mark II today and have spent the evening slowly getting to know it. I’ve got some of the basic settings where I want them (back focusing with the * button, custom modes set), but there’s still a lot to get to know about the camera and I’ve had no daylight to work with. Inevitably I have pushed the ISO settings just to see how good they really are. This shot, for example, was taken hand-held at 1/80s shutter, f/3.8 and ISO 52,000. Yes, you read that right. It’s not a setting I’ll use a lot, and there is some post-processing, but it’s surprisingly ok.

night scene ISO52,000

Night view taken at ISO 52,000 with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

The rest of tonight’s post is closer to my usual stuff. We’ve got several newts in the garden at the moment. I took a short series of shots at my usual night time flash settings of ISO 400, f/7.1, 1/100s. There’s been very little post-processing on these partly because Lightroom doesn’t recognize Mark II Raw files yet, so I’ve been using Canon’s DPP 4.0 which is a big step up from the 3.n series. Another learning curve.

Anyway, to the photos. Nothing remarkable about them, but nice colour and the camera was very responsive.

Newt

Newt photographed with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Newt

Newt photographed with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Newt

Newt photographed with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

I should be able to give the camera a bit more of a workout tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing just how good the focusing system is.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.