Owls By Moonlight and Why I Love A Challenge

I love a challenge, and the invitation to take pictures of Owls by Moonlight (okay torchlight for me!) could not be passed.
I used a prime 50mm lens with the setting on F4 and a shutter speed of 1/8th of a second/ I gently pushed the lens against the wire mesh fence to keep it steady and squeezing the shutter carefully while holding my breath.
Here is one of the images from the set of 16 taken and the caption which has already been printed in a newspaper.
Hope You like!barn-owl-andy-compton-co

We all know what goes on at night in the cities during the festive build up but an excellent chance to witness what goes on in the countryside in the dark, can now be seen.
A magical chance to see our feathered friends at night can be enjoyed at the Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre’s ‘Owls By Moonlight’ evening near Kington in Herefordshire.
All six native British Owls can be seen along with 26 other breeds from around the world when they are at their best -after sunset.
‘It was certainly a unique experience seeing and hearing these beautiful birds. And along with the informative talk by the centre’s Alice Pond it gave me a completely different perspective on life in the countryside’ said photographer Andy Compton.
The next ‘Owls By Moonlight’ group experience, which includes refreshments, will be held on December 10th, please ring 01544 231109 for further details.

KEEP THEM PEELED…….It Is Always Worth Looking Around

It is always worth looking around and keeping your eyes peeled on your immediate surroundings while taking pictures. Quite often animated faces in a crowd can help tell a story or other picturesque things can happen. krakow-photoproandy

This image I am particularly proud of because it shows the atmosphere at Wisla Krakow of a European Cup game.
So it is worth remembering, not all the best photographs happen on the pitch!

Something I needed to ‘Figure’ Out!

Challenge: I have to take pictures which need figures in them but I am alone. Friends are working- sometimes being a photographer can be lonely!
Obviously I can’t include myself in the picture……………unless of course I am in silhouette!
This image of me has been used to promote Kington Walking Festival.
wyche-way-7
The camera was lay on the ground and metered for the sky, the timer was set to ten seconds and I just walked past.
Hope you like the result!

Fun Photographing Fireworks

I always challenge myself to get something different, you have to stand out and catch the viewers eye. And while it can be easy to get a picture of exploding fireworks it is also, dare I say it, a tad expected and boring.
In the past I have tried photographing people lit up by a bonfire, which can give an atmospherically (not sure if that is a real word!) warm colour cast.
I was pleased with this picture of the traditional (tad boring) firework explosion because of the way the sparks are flying outwards and the silhouettes of the people watching the display add that extra element needed. andy-compos-photo

LOOK UP…………….LOOK DOWN……….CONSIDER THE ANGLES

Look Up or Look Down……… I pop my mind into gear and consider different angles to make my images interesting.
Sometimes my camera is aimed down either from a step ladder or by simply holding the equipment above my head.
Obviously it does depend on circumstances.
This technique offers a different angle and is an excellent way of obliterating cluttered backgrounds.
I also look up, which can work well with high ranking business men and women as it gives the subject a sense of power.
looking-up

In the above image I opted for the visually interesting colourful ceiling.
The ceiling was a far better background than the rather dull cream wall which was my other option.
I am sure my subjects thought I was a bit zany and ‘out there’ as I asked them to look down on me. But who cares, I certainly don’t, as in these circumstances the image does the talking!

A perfect Stag Night for a Butty Bach Loving Photographer

butty-bach
My perfect stag night was spent on nearby Bradnor Hill with a bottle of my favourite tipple in one hand and Nikon camera in the other.
I know this is slightly off the photography subject but I have spent a lot of time up on the hill taking landscape pictures and have often wondered what it would be like to enjoy a bottle of Butty Bach while watching the sunset over Wales.
I couldn’t resist, I had to take my camera to record the scene as I toasted to the beautiful view.
I focussed on the bottle holding it out in front of me at just the right distance and angle.
Looking at this image brings it all back to me, the taste of the beer, the smell of the grass, I can sense the wind blowing past my ears and the scene will stay with me forever.

A Different Angle Will Catch The Eye

Flowers

I am always on the look out for a different angle while taking pictures. A different angle will help the image stand out from the page, or in this case, a submission to a television channel.
I simply pre-focused, lay my camera on the floor pointing upwards to the sky to get this unusual photograph of flowers in the sunshine.
The picture was selected and used to illustrate a news story on the weather.

Always Look for the Unusual

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Always look for an unusual picture to accompany a story.
An image was needed to accompany an article used to promote an exhibition. People and paintings are so hard to make interesting in a photograph. Luckily on this occasion I was ‘rescued’ due to this work of art and the willingness of the subject to trust me to make the image different.