Sunday, June 13, 2010

night and day

Unusually for this country we seem to be having a proper summer so far, in that the sun has been shining. It didn't really do this for the last two years so I have been out and about a lot and not on the internet as much as I usually am, so apologies if I am a bit slow in getting back to anyone at the moment.

The first couple of photos were taken on the beach around the time of the last full moon in May. I lightened the second photo a bit to make it easier to see. The exposure for this was 20 seconds with an ISO of 800. It is quite odd on the beach at the time of a low tide and full moon. I don't like to get near the cliffs as they crumble and fall so often, making it a dangerous place to be. Under a moon at night they seem even more imposing for some reason. The red stone is about 250 million years old and at that time it is reckoned that this place was a desert.

The last two photos are of a swallow flying out of a mill door. I tried to take photos of the swallow flying in through the mill door but it just came in too fast. Instead I took it from the inside, as it had to fly round the interior before exiting, so it was moving a lot slower. After about an hour I had five pictures, these were taken at 1/1250 of a second. I was trying not to disturb the bird but it was very busy and didn't appear to be bothered by my presence. I don't have the type of lens that is good for taking pictures of birds and it isn't often I can get this close to one so it was a nice thing to try.

The nearest I usually get to a bird is the very cheeky blackbird who hops in through the back door to shout for food, something that I try to discourage at this time of the year as there is plenty around outside for it.

All the birds here are very busy now and the days are about as long as they get. It starts to get light at around a quarter to four in the morning and doesn't get dark until ten o'clock. In the winter it gets light after eight in the morning and is dark again at five, though some days it doesn't really seem to get that light at all. If you stay up at night now you can easily follow the progress of the sun as it moves round just below the northern horizon to come back up in the east again.