Monday, 12 June 2017

30 Days Wild - Day 12 - A New Toy

I've been a hobbiest photographer for quite a while but more seriously over the past few years and I especially love wildlife photography, as you can see from this blog.  I have found though that it is not a pastime regularly associated with middle-aged (ahem!) women, even generally photography it is often depicted in adverts and articles as a male interest. Possibly now, with A level and degree courses available, younger women are taking it up but I've certainly not come across many 52 year old females. I'm not saying they aren't out there enjoying the art but I don't come across them out on their own, in the early morning, in the middle of a nature reserve. And this isn't surprising really. It should be but it's not. I often take my husband anyway as we enjoy walking. He is a great 'spotter' but doesn't like to sit still for too long! It sadly, and I accept it is mostly unjustified, feels a bit intimidating sitting in a hide with big men and their big lenses!

This brings me on to my new toy! My birthday is next week and my husband has bought me a new lens. A longer one for the birds and beasties. I had a 300mm but this is 600mm - and it's massive! I am sure there is always going to be an issue to a certain extent with longer lenses and weight, but I wonder how much this is researched and looked into, and if more could be done to loose the lbs? I'm all for equality but there will also men out there, not into weight training, that would struggle carrying some of these around for any length of time!

Then there's the strap - firstly the best ones are shaped and are meant to be worn on the left shoulder with the camera on the right hip. I'm left-handed so that's a disadvantage to start with. There are a few straps for lefties but not much choice. Secondly that choice disappears completely if you happen to be a left-handed woman! There are one or two straps with the shaping designed to sit round our curves but I've yet to find a left-handed version. Perhaps I'm being fussy and there really aren't many women photographers out there who are going to use these heavy lenses. Perhaps there are even less left-handed ones. In the meantime I am seeing the positive and relishing in the exercise my bingo-wings are going to get!

For my 30 Day Wild act today I had a practise with the new lens in the garden after work. Of course when you want a bird to fly in they are conspicuous by their absence, but eventually one or two popped by, along with a beautiful Hummingbird-Hawk Moth. This tested my ability to manoeuvre the lens quickly as it skimmed around the honeysuckle, but the real test was holding the camera up to the sky as a group of Starlings flew over.  Weight aside though I'm really pleased with my present, if I only manage to take it out locally while I build up the strength, and courage to take it to a hide, it should enable me to get some closer images without worrying about disturbing the wildlife. PS - it is irritating me intently that I chopped the tail off the baby Blackbird in the last shot - but they were getting too close for this lens. I know - never satisfied!!

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