I have taken hundreds of photo's around my garden of all manner of irrelevant subjects just to give me something to point my camera at but one day last week I treated myself to a walk in the park. It was great fun - I was only there for an hour and during that time I took 266 photo's. Here is just a small selection.
As nice as it was to watch these birds and take photographs of them, I was even more delighted when a pair of Mute Swans moved in fairly close and one of them started 'displaying'. It looked so majestic, stately and regal.
The Swans were near enough for me to get some really close head-shots. I like this shot because of the water dripping from the beak but I can't profess to skilfully timing my moment. I was just lucky that this is a messy Swan that dribbles a lot.
Later I found one of them enjoying a spot of preening in the shade of the tree-covered island and thought what a great watercolour painting the scene would make, especially with those reflections. White Swan and white reflections ... could this involve some interesting negative painting?
But not all of my shots were clear and sharp. I tried my hand at shooting (photographically) flying birds. I salute all those photographers who have posted on the net pin-sharp shots of birds in flight. This is something I've tried many times with the small birds in my garden, with little success, but I believe that if I keep trying I will one day get the hang of it. Either that or I'll buy a shotgun and find another way of shooting them. My efforts aren't complete rubbish as I managed to get a few shots where at least the bird was in the frame ... but hopefully I will eventually learn how to get them sharp.
And there was one hilarious moment when a handful of Gulls were about to share out a large slice of bread and a Black-Headed Gull swooped through and stole it from them. It was over in a flash and there wasn't time to worry too much about camera settings, but I did react quickly enough to at least record the event, as this sequence shows. The culprit was last seen disappearing into the distance with a gang of half-a-dozen furious ex-mates on his heels.
During my brief walk I took many photo's. Some carefully planned that turned out bad, and some hastily taken that turned out reasonable. I had some lucky shots, like the drips from the Swans beak and some unlucky ones, like the kissing Swans disturbed by a barking Alsation just as I was framing them, but every single click of the shutter brought pleasure, and that is what I went out to find. Do I have a favourite from that particular day? Yes .... this one.
I look at the work of competent photographers submitting their work to online photo sites and know that I have a very long way to go before I'm even close to being good but I have the same feelings when I look at my paintings and drawings. However, what I have learnt over time is that the pleasure of our hobby doesn't come from how good we are, it comes from the journey we are on. ;-)