Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 14/11/2011

All his geese are swans.


Autumnal Sun, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

It just goes to show that even when all photographic opportunities have seem to have been exhausted, don’t pack away that camera gear (unless of course you’re driving). I should have learnt from my recent trip to Barnes when, having packed all my gear away, I happened upon a tree full of Rosy-Ringed Parakeets adjacent to where the car was parked. In this instance, having walked visited a number of hides hoping to photograph something interesting bird (a bearded tit had been seen there that morning*) I gave up hope and started to head back to the car. The main path on the walk ran parallel to the main lake, on which are usually an assortment of ducks, geese and swans, from where they are fed by the general public. Obviously the more interesting birds tend to be a bit more shy around people and so I wasn’t looking to take any photos until I saw the late afternoon sun on the water at which point my pulse quickened, knowing what an opportunity was there for the taking.

I was quite surprise how much lead I had to give the birds to allow me to set up the gear, get the exposure right before they swam into the spot I wanted – whilst they seemed to be swimming quite slowly, they actually caught me out a couple of times and so I had to race ahead of them time and time again. I’m not sure I have the perfect shot yet, but I was pleased on the whole with the images I took. Ideally I would like to include the skyline in the next batch of photos (if the winter sun decides to reappear) as well as the sun – so the photo would be broken up into multiple levels of light and dark**

The sun didn’t make an appearance at all today, hidden behind a grey miasmic sky which in itself could present quite good photographic opportunities from a landscape point of view – unfortunately my camera seems to like the 600mm too much these days and does want to be separated from it.

Today’s blog title? Well, it’s a Cardiacs song but interestingly the title may well have been borrowed from either a book about Manic Depression (as was) or a phrase uttered by the late Richard Burton – both which refer to “all our geese are swans”. I prefer the Cardiacs tune myself – and whilst their songs are often manic, they are never depressive.

*I’ll let you come up with your own joke for this one.
**Mimicking The Pixies’, one of my favourite band, approach to their songs – quiet, loud, quiet loud (Nirvana quoted them as an influence and copied their approach for their songs – but IMHO not half as well).

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