Before and After

This is my contribution to Tina’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: From Forgettable to Favourite prompt.

Initially I struggled to come up with an idea for this challenge. I ended up scrolling through some of the folders of photos on this tablet looking for inspiration. At that point I quickly came up with a couple of photos showing before and after.

Lens-Artists: Before and After

The full frame, unedited version of the European Robin standing on my 600mm lens. The camera isn’t square or centred in the frame and has tape on it. There’s also a light band running at an angle across the top of the frame.

Lens-Artists: Before and After

The edited version. I squared and centred the camera, cropped the top of the frame and took a little off the bottom. I then converted the camera to monochrome to hide the tape as much as possible. I have been using a variety of edited versions of this image as my online avatar for years.

Lens-Artists: Before and After

An old post box in a sandstone wall at Bickerton Hill in southern Cheshire, England. A film shot from the mid 1980s. I have scanned the original with two different scanners and copied the slide with two different cameras. All the digital versions have a strange colour balance. If I get the grass and red post box looking right the sandstone and sky look wrong.

One Word Sunday: Homophone

A selective colour treatment converting the image to monochrome while leaving the post box red.

Month of Squares

One Of A Kind

This is my day 1 contribution to Becky’s October Squares on the theme of Kind.

It’s not the European Robin standing on my 600mm lens that is the one of a kind. It’s the one of a kind mix of camera equipment it’s standing on. The lens is an EBC Fujinon 600mm f/5.6 that has been converted to an Olympus OM mount. Out of shot, the lens is being supported by a home made gimbal tripod head. Built before any of the commercial gimbal tripod heads were available.

April Squares: On Top of the Lens
Throwback Thursday

Backlit European Robin

Throwback Thursday travels back to the mid 1980s with a backlit European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in a hedge in Hatherton near Nantwich in southern Cheshire.

This slide sat in my archives being overlooked until I started digitising them. Now I rather like the backlighting.


Throwback Thursday: 2nd July 2020


Weekly Topics

An Olympus using European Robin

Welcome to my new weekly feature, Saturday Bird this week featuring a photo of a European Robin from 1988.

Given the recent announcement that Olympus is selling their camera division to a Japanese investment company the future of the brand is now uncertain. So I thought this photo of a European Robin checking the camera settings on an Olympus would be appropriate.

The bird is standing on my OM Zuiko 300mm lens. I had already taken a hacksaw to the tripod mount to make clearance for a sound proofing blimp. The chrome OM2n body is taped up to cut down on reflections. The camera is loaded with the ubiquitous Kodachrome 64.


A Saturday Bird: European Robin


Photo Challenges

A Photo a Week Challenge: Fleeting

I had a few ideas for the A Photo a Week Challenge: Fleeting but none of them really worked for me until I started thinking about some of the “grab shots” I remember taking over the years.

I remembered sitting in a garden shed I was using as a hide (blind) waiting for the resident European Robin to land on the telephoto lens I had set up. While waiting for the bird I noticed a pair of House Sparrows mating in the hedge. I swung the lens around and managed to get three photos before it was all over.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: The Birds and the Bees

House Sparrows mating in a garden hedge.


Some time later one of the shots of the mating House Sparrows was published in BBC Wildlife magazine. None of the photos of the European Robin on the lens have been published but I have been using a version as my avatar for years.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Fleeting

The European Robin on a telephoto lens in a Cheshire garden.



CFFC: Sense of Hearing

My idea for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Hearing quickly came to mind. Waking up in the spring to various birds singing and calling to proclaim their territories made it an obvious choice.

In the spring the males of lots of bird species are proclaiming their territories by singing and calling. As much as humans may enjoy hearing some of these songs they’re doing it to let rival males know they’re claiming the area as their territory and to attract a female.


Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Hearing

A European Robin proclaims the area as his territory, Faddiley, Cheshire.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Special Spot Shots

A male Yellow-headed Blackbird proclaiming his territory in Saskatchewan.


Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Hearing

A Tree Pipit singing from the top of a tree on Bickerton Hill in southern Cheshire.


One Word Sunday: Inspiration

A male Red-winged Blackbird proclaiming his territory in Saskatchewan.


Month of Squares

April Squares: Standing on Top of a Lens

This is my day 12 contribution to Becky’s April Squares: Top photo challenge.

A European Robin standing on top of a lens.

April Squares: On Top of the Lens