Thursday, 30 April 2009

An Introduction to Digiscoping

Digiscoping is a photographic technique using a fieldscope, eyepiece, camera and a bracket for fixing or placing the camera in line with the eyepiece. This allows the photographer to get nearer to the subject without causing it distress or disturbance. It is a perfect, if difficult to master, medium for bird photography but is also very useful for photographing animals and insects, particularly butterflies and dragonflies.

My chosen equipment is a Nikon ED50 fieldscope and a Nikon ED78 fieldscope, a Nikon DS 30x wideview eyepiece (providing 16x magnification with the ED50 fieldscope), a Nikon Coolpix P5100 12.1mp compact digital camera and a Nikon FSB-6 bracket. I also have a Nikon FSA-L1 adaptor for attaching my Nikon D50 DSLR to the ED78 fieldscope.

The Nikon ED78 set-up is shown in the following picture:

Digiscoping (Nikon ED78)

And this picture shows the Nikon ED50 set-up.

Digiscoping (Nikon ED50)

There are many experienced digiscopers across the world creating examples of bird photography at its very best. As a newcomer, I still have much to learn but as a digiscoping contact in the USA said to me recently: "It just takes practice, patience and persistence". You can view almost 3,000 of her superb images here

These are examples of my digiscoped bird pictures:

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) seen in a neighbours garden

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) at Lantern Haugh

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Watching Fallow Deer

Fallow Deer (Cervus dama)

I spent an afternoon recently looking for the fallow deer in Billsmoor Park, on the edge of Coquetdale. It's a beautiful place and fills much of the ground in the centre of my title picture. You can see the wall enclosing the park taking an up hill line in the right of the picture. As might be expected, the deer are very nervous and they move around a good bit, shifting each time you get close to them, so I had a long walk to keep up with them.

Fallow Deer (Cervus dama)

The buck, pictured below, was seen on an earlier occasion and photographed from a greater distance, some 350 yards, from outside the park wall. All of the pictures were taken with my Nikon D50 DSLR camera and Nikkor 70-300mm VR zoom lens.

Fallow Deer Buck (Cervus dama)

Bramblings in my Redesdale Garden

I have been a little surprised by a pair of bramblings, lingering into late April in my Redesdale garden. The female is active this morning but I have not seen the male for a couple of days so perhaps he has moved on. I know that bramblings sometimes stay as late as May and have, albeit rarely, bred in the UK. Whatever the story with this pair, it is a delight to have them in the garden.

On the 30 April, the female was not seen, so she too might have moved on. The two pictures below were digiscoped using my Nikon ED50 fieldscope and Nikon Coolpix P5100.

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)