Saw this little guy

Little Owl UK

What big eyes you have!

Also, he was TINY no more than about 30 cm in height.  Such a cutie!

Little Owl UK
I think this is called a “Little Owl”, rather appropriately
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Swiss Cottage

Swiss Cottage tube station

I love the underground.  If you’re in London and need to go anywhere you just pop down some stairs, jump on a train and then pop back up for air at your destination.  It is so much quicker than trying to get a bus anywhere, and not too expensive.  Today I was at Swiss Cottage on the Jubilee Line (the silver line).  I found myself here after the England vs South Africa ODI Cricket match at Lords.  Normally you would get on a St John’s Wood, but getting thousands of people onto the train at the same time seemed ludicrous, so I walked the extra stop up the line.  These older stations are beautiful.

Swiss Cottage tube station
Remarkably, if you walk one stop from the busy St John’s Wood, you get to the less busy Swiss Cottage and can get on the train with no problems.
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Tower 42

The building Tower 42
The building Tower 42
Tower 42

Taken in London on a solo photo walk.  Entered into the Dailypost  weekly photo challenge .

Walking around London is a great way to get shake yourself from the creative slump.  This image was an after though, I had just finished at the Leadenhall Market when I saw this colossal glass lobby.  Standing on the other side of the road I was able to get the whole lobby.  The tower it self stands back and rises high above.  Be Careful taking images around th city in London that you stay on the public footpaths, or you may be trespassing.

Wicken Fen

Wicken Fen Wind Pump

Approximately 16 miles outside of Cambridge is a national trust nature reserve called Wicken Fen.  We arrived at about 3pm with my idea being to set up for a sunset image of the wind pump.  These wind pumps were used to help drain the Fens in a similar manner to the techniques used by the dutch, and are partly why the netherlands are so famous for their windmills!  The draining of the Fens is a really interesting story and you can read more here.

Wandering around the nature reserve and up the board walk brought us to a bird watching hide.  Unfortunately nothing of interest was actually going on and I didn’t have time to spend waiting there for bird photographs as sunset was around 5:15. So we wandered off up the nature trail.  To say that we were under prepared for marshland is an under statement.  I guess the clue is in the name “Fen” but still, that place is boggy!  We attempted to make it up one of the dirt tracks only to be blocked by a some pretty deep water and mud, and with Candice nor or having Gum boots (and a rental car!) we decided to turn around and stick to the board walk.  That’s when I saw a huge barn owl swoop from the trees (no photo sorry).  Such a majestic creature though and for the rest of the evening we saw a couple flying high searching for prey.  Just after the barn owl we saw a Muntjac Deer.  Look at him, he is so adorable!  He was bouncing up and down the path about 100 meters away from us.  In fact I think there were several deer with only really one being spotted at any one time.

Muntjac Deer
Look at his adorable little legs!

 

Candice decided she didn’t want to stand in the cold while I took sunset photos so she kept on the board walk trail.  I, on the other hand, decided to head to the wind pump to set up for what I hoped would be a big reveal.  The day was fairly cloudy but sometimes all you need to be is patient and a burst of light at the right time can really make a photo.  Unfortunately I was out there for over an hour watching the light and that cloud would not budge.  There was no colour and no interest in the sky.  As I was setting up I tried a few different things with focal lengths and lenses. Due to the lack of interest from the sky at any part of sunset, I was happiest with this image converted to black and white from the 70-200.

Wicken Fen Wind Pump
Wind Pump at Wicken Fen

I guess this means I need to go back and try again.

Kudos to Hertz car rental though for the cheap car for the weekend.  No sponsorship here, they’ve just been the best deal and I’ve used them twice now.

All in all Wicken Fen is a great place to go and see some wildlife and I highly recommend spending an afternoon there.  I wouldn’t go during the school holidays if you want to enjoy a peaceful wildlife experience as kids tend to be noisy, but during normal days I’m sure it would be much quieter.

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Dear Deer, Why are you so majestic?

Deer in the New Forest

My last trip to the UK had me back to my roots in the New Forest.  Set aside by William the Conquerer, as a hunting ground, this National Park on the south coast of England is home to 4 different species of deer.  This guy was quite happy to roam free and flaunt himself in front of us safe in the knowledge the only shooting I’ll be doing is with my Canon 6D!

Deer in the New Forest
The Majestic Deer of the New Forest

Canon 6D 70-200 EF IS F4L at ISO 2500 200mm f4 1/125

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South Side of the River

Bankside in London

I never really took much notice of the lamp posts in London, but these ones have fish on the bottom of them!  I was thinking of naming this image Carp-ey-Diem but then I may loose followers due to the pun….

Bankside in London
Bankside and Bokeh!
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Tower Bridge

London’s famous Tower Bridge is often mistaken for London Bridge.  Constructed in the late 1800s it is still used as a major road to connect Tower Hamlets in the north to Southwark in the south.  A London icon, this bridge is famous throughout the world! A long exposure of about 1.5 minutes.

Tower Bridge in London

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City Hall – London

GLA City Hall

City Hall in London.  This is where the London Mayor has his office (now Sadiq Khan).  Apparently, Ken Livingston called it the Glass testicle and Boris Johnson used to call it the Glass Gonad.  What do you think?

This one was taken with my 10 Stop Zomei filter.  A 17-minute exposure (ISO 50, f/9.0) to erase the tourists.  This is the first time I’ve used it, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

GLA City Hall
City Hall in London
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Tower Bridge – From the river

London Tower bridge

Today we took the river bus to Greenwich and we passed under Tower Bridge.  I had never seen it from the river before and had only previously been able to get photos from the side.  The river bus costs more to get around than the underground…but it is totally worth it for views like this!

London Tower bridge
Tower Bridge from the river
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The Shard

Looking out towards London Bridge

When we visited London in 2012, the Shard opened to great fanfare.  Now the Tate Modern has a new (and importantly, free) observation deck. A great way to see a 360-degree view of London.

Looking out towards London Bridge
The Shard

Shot with a Canon 6D 24-70mm F/4 IS USM: 24mm 0.5 Sec f/7.1 ISO500