Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Water Droplet

This shot of a water droplet was taken in February 2014.

A pipette was used to drop water droplets into a baking tray full of water. Two speedlites, one of which gelled blue, were positioned either side of the tray and bounced off of a large white reflector behind it. The camera was mounted on a tripod with a borrowed macro lens (Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro). A remote shutter release was used so that I could use the pipette with one hand and activate the shutter release with the other when the droplet hit the water in the tray.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Southwark Bridge

SUPS took park in the NUPS Photo Hunt again in November 2013, where we were given the task of finding and photographing 25 objects around London as well as getting images for 10 different themes. This photo of Southwark Bridge was taken from Bankside near to The Anchor Bankside pub while hunting for the next object on the find list.

I entered it into the individual competition, which is a competition that any photo taken on the day can be entered into, and was surprised and delighted to come fourth. The competition was judged by Mike Deere, Professional Photographer of the Year 2013, who had this to say of it: "A really well composed architectural shot with spot on colour and contrast. St. Paul's is framed amongst the lights on the bridge adding another layer and element to the shot."

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bald Eagle

This is Liberty, the female Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Liberty's Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre. The centre, which was named after her, is located in Ringwood, Hampshire. This shot was taken in February 2014 on a visit with SUPS.

The Bald Eagle is a sea eagle that can be found throughout North America, especially near to coasts, rivers, large lakes or marshes. Their wingspan is typically between 1.8 and 2.3 metres (5.9 and 7.5 feet), and the females are around 25% larger than males.

The majority of their diet is comprised of fish, which they catch by swooping low over bodies of water and grabbing with their talons. They will also hunt other birds, small mammals and reptiles. They live on average for around 20 years.

The Bald Eagle was once endangered due to pesticides and hunting. It was placed under protection in 1918, and this plus the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1978 have led to populations flourishing again. It was reclassified from "endangered" to "threatened" in 1995, and de-listed completely in 2007.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

The SUPS international trip in January 2014 was to Munich, Germany. We happened to pick the day it snowed to visit Schloss Neuschwanstein, or Neuschwanstein Castle. The castle is located in the Alpine foothills above the village of Hohenschwangau near F├╝ssen in southwest Bavaria, which is two hours from Munich by train.

King Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the castle as a private retreat, and construction began in the 1860s. He died in 1886 with the castle still incomplete, and many rooms remain unfurnished to this day. The castle was opened to the paying public shortly after his death.