Posts

Showing posts from January, 2014

Enjoy the Silence

Image
I had the pleasure of introducing Alex Lawrence to Beachy Head in January 2014. Attractive cloud formations and warm afternoon light added to an already stunning location on the Sussex coast. And what better way to finish a trip to Beachy Head with a vindaloo or phall at the Elizabethan Cottage Tandoori in Brighton.





The Beautiful Starling Murmurations at Brighton Pier

Image
Every winter, starlings escaping the harsh Scandinavian winter migrate to the British Isles and other mild European countries. Starlings feed in gardens and farmland in the daytime and gather in huge groups called murmurations over Brighton Pier in late afternoon.  Murmurations are thought to serve a number of purposes. Firstly, they are a defensive strategy against birds of prey; each starling monitors and shadows seven of its neighbours and this leads to murmurations adopting a typical fluid movement. Should a predatory bird attempt to intercept a murmuration, each starling in its path will automatically move aside, allowing the adversary to pass straight through. Flying in murmurations generates body heat and the collective warmth of bodies acts as a giant radiator when the starlings roost. Competition for the most sheltered places to roost is fierce and dominant males get first preference. Females and juveniles have to sleep in more exposed spots.

Although migrant starlings begin …

Fun with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM

Image
I don't photograph people nearly as often as I'd like, but I always enjoy it, especially when they are photogenic and look natural in front of the camera. Developing bonds with people unfortunately means having to say goodbye at some point and on Saturday, two lovely people said farewell to us on a night out in Brighton. Zane is returning to Latvia, while Laura is returning to Albert Square as Kat Slater. I wanted to create a permanent record of the occasion and chose the super-fast Canon 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens for the job. This exotic optic is designed for use without a flash in dim light by maximising the transmission of available photons to the camera sensor. Depth of field is extremely shallow, requiring very careful focusing and lens calibration. The resolution is surprisingly good at f/1.2 and bokeh is absolutely beautiful. I would however, like to see a version with an image stabiliser, as shutter speeds of 1/60th second are just on the margin of acceptability.