Sunday, 14 August 2005

Cute Birds

It was quite a nice day today, rather warm with the occasional rain shower. So I went to the London Wetland Centre. It is actually quite close to where I live but I had never been. To be fair, I don't think many Londoner realise that they have a waterfowl nature reserve just across the river from Hammersmith. This is why the WWT, who run the centre, have been doing a serious advertising campaign in trains and buses over the past few years. This is something I love about London: it is the largest city in Europe but you have amazing parks and nature reserves virtually in the centre. But I digress. So I went there today, armed with my camera, tripod and lenses to take snaps of cute birds. It was the opportunity to try out features of my camera I had never really tried, in particular the AI-Servo auto focusing mode and the continuous shooting mode. The 100-400mm zoom lens I bought in the US earlier this year is great for that sort of shots. Although quite often I wished I had had a longer focal length as I couldn't really fill the frame. It might be time to invest in a 1.4x or 2.0x extender. The only problem with those is that they reduce the effective maximum aperture of the lens, which is used by the auto-focus mechanism. Considering the smaller aperture my camera can auto-focus at is f/8, which is already the best in the Canon range, and my lens has an aperture range of f/4.5-5.6, I would lose the ability to use auto-focus, let alone AI-Servo, with the 2.0x extender. This obviously would not be good to take pictures of birds in flight. But I digress again. I will get the pictures developed tomorrow and post them online afterwards. Hopefully there will be a few nice shots.

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