I had quite a few ideas for the challenge, none of which I could build a theme around. In the end I decided to simply pick one favourite nature or landscape image from each decade I have been taking photos. Because landscapes and nature have been constant subjects during my photographic journey.
As a result it’s also partly a journey around some of the places I have lived over the years.
1970s. Trees in snow covered farmland in Hatherton, Cheshire, England. I was still in secondary (high) school when this shot was taken. Taken a mile down the side road from my parents house at the time. It was part of the portfolio that got me a place at art school. Despite having been online for nearly a quarter of a century this is the first time I have posted the full frame, uncropped version. I have always cropped to a panoramic format in the past.
1980s. Storm clouds and light beams over Loch Arkaig, Scotland. Memorable because I had spent three days shooting landscapes in almost constant rain. The rain stopped early evening of the third day and the sun started breaking through the storm clouds. This shot was published worldwide by Olympus Japan and won a national photo contest in the U.K.
1990s. An American White Pelican on Last Mountain Lake. Probably the hardest decade to pick a favourite. I moved from the U.K. to Canada and was doing a lot of nature and landscape photography. One of the most memorable moments was sitting in the water at Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada while a flock of American White Pelicans swam and fished around me.
2000s. Osprey with a White Sucker over Lake Huron. This decade saw me living in Ontario, Canada. For the first 8 years I lived in Southampton on the Lake Huron shoreline. I would frequently head down to the lake shore for sunrise and sunset. If I was down there for the sunrise I would often hang around looking for birds. One morning I watched this Osprey catch the fish and immediately start getting harassed by a couple of Herring Gulls. The Osprey is looking at one of them while the water still drips off the bird and the fish. This was my second year shooting digital.
2010s. A juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird in late summer. I was now living on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario and in 2018 did a 52 week photo project which is how this blog started. This shot didn’t make it as a weekly pick for the project but it was published in a bird calendar the following year.
2020s. A portrait of a Coneflower. One year into the 2020s and a surprisingly difficult pick. I had a few nice sunrises from the local bay and a nearby lake last summer and autumn. Which meant that I couldn’t pick a favourite because they were all too fresh in my mind. However, I spent part of the first Covid-19 lockdown photographing flowers and plants with various unusual lenses. For this Coneflower I used a fast portrait lens wide open. It’s been a favourite since I took it.
I started thinking about some of the species that use their sense of sight to eat. That got me thinking about some of the bird species that can see and catch fish. Here are two very different birds carrying very different fish they had caught in Lake Huron.
A Caspian Tern with a small fish in its bill flies along the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada. I’m guessing the fish is for the birds mate or young as it hadn’t swallowed it.
An Osprey carries a recently caught White Sucker towards the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada. It’s under attack from two Herring Gulls and will have to drop the fish in a few seconds.
This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #55 and a ramble about a lens I have been using for 24 years.
I brought the Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm f/2.8 used in 1996 and over the past 24 years it has been used to photograph a wide variety of subjects. The idea for this post came from exchanging comments with Jez after my recent Fan Of… Olympus Cameras post.
Having owned the lens for so long I have thousands of photos taken with it and I was having a very hard time selecting just five or six for this post. So this will be part one of two, this post will cover bird and wildlife images while the second post will cover everything else.
The 350mm lens on my home made ground pod. The ground pod dates back to the early 1990s.
An Osprey with a White Sucker on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario in 2008.
An American Red Squirrel in dappled sunlight on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in 2018.
American White Pelicans on a channel where a marsh drains into a section of the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan in 1999. I was sitting in the water with the lens on a tripod in the water with me.
A Eurasian Wren singing in the spring of 1997 at a reservoir in south Cheshire, England.
A juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in 2018.
A Richardson’s Ground Squirrel looking for something to eat having just emerged from hibernation in the spring of 1998. Taken close to the town of Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Canada.
This is my day 14 contribution to Becky’s January Squares: Light photo challenge and day two of my Flight sequence.
An Osprey with a White Sucker in flight along the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario. I was considering going with White in Flight or Sucker in Flight as the fish is a White Sucker but neither really make sense. I should also explain that sucker is the Canadian name for a lollipop.