Saturday 19 June 2010

The Patch and a Problem.

The patch is hardly on fire, but I felt that I hadn't been so long it was worth a trip. Mainly to see if it was still there. Frankly they could have razed the Flats to the ground and I would have been none the wiser. It was. Still there I mean.

I have been known to moan about June before, but my walk around Wanstead Park and across Wanstead Flats was very pleasant. OK, so it was quiet on the bird front, but that was to be expected. So rather than discover a first-for-Britain mega-vagrant, I concentrated on photography. This is becoming a bit of a problem as far this blog is concerned. You may have noticed that the number of photographs on here has increased somewhat of late. Almost exponentially in fact. This was never my intention. It was supposed to be a light-hearted take on birding in Wanstead, complete with snippets from my oh-so-exciting life. I've been going for nearly eighteen months now, and naturally it is becoming harder to find stuff to write about. Traditionally this is the moment that bloggers say "I'm done, finished, thank you and good night!"

That would have been a surprise wouldn't it?! Well, I'm not there yet. Sorry. Worry about staying fresh, agonise about becoming a slave to my blog? Hah! Not a chance, I am more than happy to regurgitate, recycle, drone on ad infinitum. But the compulsion to post photo after photo is beginning to annoy even me, so lord knows how you feel about it.

I'm not sure what to do. Take this afternoon by way of example. I was out for about four hours. During that time I took 443 photos. For the mathmos amongst you, that's one every 32.5 seconds. After my first edit, I binned 369, leaving 74. My keeper rate is about 17%. After my second edit, I was left with just 13 that I reckon are good enough to put somewhere. Here, generally. So even with a final keeper rate of just 2.9%, I still have way more photos than I know what to do with. Usually I just bung them up here and hope for the best, but I can see that it must get a little repetitive. Especially as most of them are of ducks.

Where was I? Oh yes. The problem of having too many photos and being at a loss as to what to do with them. Much as I'd like to be a full-time photographer, I'm under no illusions as to my limitations, and quite how good you have to be to stand out, let alone make it pay. Whilst there is no substitute for practice, and god only knows I get quite a lot, there is a huge gulf between what I produce and what the professionals are consistently capable of. One of the projects I've had on the back burner for a while is for a gallery-style website where I can display them all, and thus spare the blog. But I've ranted before now about how everyone is a wildlife photographer these days, trying to flog second-rate photos, so it would seem rather hypocritical for me to do it too. That said, I've never let hypocrisy stand in my way, so I'll do it.

Good, glad that's all sorted. A weight off my mind I can tell you. I'll post a link in due course and I expect the orders for photos of Mallards and Canada Geese to come flooding in.

So, back to my walk around Wanstead. Obviously these days I can't go anywhere without finding a moth, and so it proved again this afternoon. The brambles in Reservoir Wood are currently supporting an immense population of Longhorn moths - specifically the catchily-named Nemophora degeerella. They have the most amazingly long antennae, up to five times their body length. It would be like me having ears twenty-five feet long. There were easily a hundred in one relatively small patch, dancing about in the sunlight together. You know what? Now would seem like the perfect opportunity to display a photo of the aforementioned moth....

After burning through a couple hundred shots of Mallards and so on (all hail the digital revolution!), a sustained shower forced to me to seek shelter under the overhanging roof of the Tea Hut of Happiness. I supped a mug of tea and watched the rain clatter down for few minutes. As I leant against the wall watching a group of House Martins feeding low over Heronry Pond, and eight partially grown Mute Swan Cygnets swimming in a line behind one of their parents, I reflected that June was OK really. But that it would soon be July.

Gratuitous and Unnecessary (Copies available at £4.99 + VAT)

1 comment:

  1. Actually your photos of common birds are some of my favorites--they make me appreciate those species all over again. And, to be annoyingly earnest, mostly I find your photos really good or simply beautiful. The birds are doing interesting things, the light is lovely, the settings enhance the shots.

    I hadn't noticed any increase in quantity which I suppose is because I do enjoy them. And was just about to suggest a gallery-type site, so I'm glad you've got that all taken care of. Looking forward to it.

    The moth photos are not as exciting for me, but that one with the giant antennae is pretty impressive.