Photo Friday #18

Climbing out of the car, I headed towards the footpath and away from the main road. Less than a minute of walking brought me away from civilisation, and into a colourful meadow, buzzing with life. Bright flowers could be seen in every direction; bees steadily making their way around, dipping into the sweet nectar on offer. Butterflies flitted around the meadow and, upon closer inspection, lots of little insects darted between the grasses.

Making my way through the tall vegetation, spiders scuttled away from my feet as I headed towards the river. Once out of the meadow, I was surrounded by trees. Bird calls were louder and more frequent here, the high pitched warning of an intruder ringing in my ears. I walked quietly and slowly, looking into the trees along the riverbank, hoping that the birds would get used to my presence. My goal? To find a kingfisher. I had seen the striking, blue bird twice before – both times, the bird simply being a flash of blue as it flew past me and down a river. I had heard that there was a resident kingfisher here, and had seen many photographs from other people. Having had no luck on my first visit, I was hoping this would be the special one.

As I neared ‘Kingfisher Gate’, something caught my eye. Sitting on a small branch, hanging over the river, was a very plump looking object. I snapped a quick photo, realising that yes, it was a kingfisher!

Slowing down, I kept my eye on the bird as I made my way around a huge bush, hoping that I would get a better view from the other side. I was not disappointed! This bird was eyeing me, though not showing any signs of distress, as I made my way forwards getting as close the the river’s edge as possible. I sat down, pushing vegetation out of my way so I could get a clear view. Sitting still, I watched and happily snapped away, not believing my luck. I believe it was a juvenile, though possibly on the older end of the scale! Whilst it’s coat was a lovely, bright blue, it’s feet were very dull and you could just see a little white on the end of it’s beak – both signs of a young kingfisher.

The sound of small feet padding along the floor disrupted the silence, and the kingfisher flew high up into the trees. Once the dog had passed, I spotted the kingfisher again, this time nearer and easier to photograph. I managed to watch for a little longer, before it decided to move on and settle somewhere else.

Wandering back down the river, and towards the meadow again, I reflected on just how lucky I had been. I did not expect it to be so easy. Coming home from university for the summer, and hearing about this place, I had set myself a goal to photograph a kingfisher. It is June, and that goal is complete! Now I will just have to go back, again and again, in the hopes of getting to watch more behaviours and capturing them. Until next time…

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Photo Friday #12

I visited Talkin Tarn earlier this week – it’s such a great place to walk around. I saw so many different birds (including treecreepers and woodpeckers – yes more than one!) and the sun was a lovely addition to the day. It was still quite windy, but there’s nothing better than just walking outside and sitting, watching the nature around you.

Anyway, this week I’m going to ask for something from you. I want to start featuring photographers on my ‘Photo Friday’ posts. Now I’m not asking for you to be a professional; it doesn’t matter if you have a simple compact camera or a fancy DSLR, I just want to showcase different photos and have a few words from the photographer! I’m looking to include all kinds of photography. You’ll have noticed that the photos I post are mainly wildlife related, and I know that doesn’t interest everyone. I thought that by doing this, I can reach out to a broader audience and hopefully help some other photographers out!

If you’re interested, comment below, tweet me (@katehlouise) or send an email to katie_halsall@yahoo.co.uk and I’ll get back to you with more information!

Photo Friday #7

This week is a post of ‘firsts’. There are so many different animals in Britain, but obviously some are more abundant in specific areas and you may not actually see them all that often. Since living in Cumbria, I’ve seen so many different species that I never really noticed back home. The main one being the otter – I don’t believe they are in my area back home as we don’t have a big enough river close by. (Being, in my little town!) Anyway, the animals here are ones that I can find back home, but I’ve just never managed to get photos of before. I finally managed to do so this week! None of the photos are ‘brilliant’ but I’m pleased with them.

The common frog… As I was walking to university one day, and walking through the park, I noticed a splashing in the corner of my eye. Closer inspection showed a few frogs in the small pond. I went back the next day to get some photos! Really pleased with these, though I do want to go again to better ones!

Photograph Frog. by Katie Halsall on 500px

Photograph Peeping. by Katie Halsall on 500px

Another one is the Dipper. They’re great to watch! It’s quite funny to see a bird in the water, and swimming around like a duck… Unfortunately my photos of that were focused on the water and not the dipper…

Photograph Dipper. by Katie Halsall on 500px

Photograph Dipper. by Katie Halsall on 500px

And finally, the Blackbird… Strangely enough, this is my first photo of a blackbird in which it looks recognisable. I find them really hard to photograph as they move so quickly! They seem to be more wary of humans than other birds I’ve photographed…

Photograph Blackbird. by Katie Halsall on 500px

Photo Friday #3

I don’t know about anyone else, but robins just seem to always be around when I’m out. I’ll go out to take photographs and I will very likely get a photograph of a robin. They’re just always around!

Earlier this week I visited Talkin Tarn, and I saw three Robins whilst there. Two on the way up, and one in the actual area. Anyway, I was sat at the feeding area and I heard a flutter of wings very close to my ear. Turning around slowly, I saw one robin standing around half a metre away from me, almost at eye level. I put my camera up to my face – the robin still watching me – and snapped a few photos. It was just watching everything I did, probably deciding whether I was a threat or not… It flew away, and came back again not long after to watch again. I’m really pleased with this photo!

Note: Please do not pin any of these images onto Pinterest.

I thought I would show a couple of other robin photos that I’ve collected over the past few years…

Untitled


Untitled by Katie Halsall on 500px.com


Robin by Katie Halsall on 500px.com

Photo Friday #2

For the second ‘Photo Friday’ I said I would show some photographs from my 52 Weeks project. This project showed my photography improving – there’s a huge difference between the photos in my 365 from 2010, and my 52 Weeks in 2011. I played around with colour and editing more, and I gave my photos more of a sense of ‘me’.

I’ve showed this one because I really like the shallow depth of field. This was my first year in college studying photography, and I really started experimenting with aperture and using manual controls rather than the aperture/shutter priority ones.
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Now whenever I go out to take photos of wildlife, there’s always a robin. I really love robins, and I’m actually planning a robin tattoo! Anyway, this one was watching my dad doing the gardening. Robins often hang around when you are working with soil because you tend to bring the worms up – thus the robins getting an easy dinner!
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This is one of my favourite photos. I managed to entice Charlie into posing with me, by holding a treat out… She stood up to reach for it and I used my remote to take the photo. Brilliant 😉 I just think it looks so funny.I’m not a fan of the editing though, so I’d like to re-take it though to get better colours! (And a better outfit!)
30/52;

Another Charlie photo… She wasn’t really co-operating here, and I’m sure it was sort of a last minute idea. Charlie was hanging around so I just picked her up before the timer went off. I like the square frame though, and I really like the tones that I used. (How scraggly was my hair?!)
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And the final one! This one just screams ‘summer’ to me. Again, I like the tones that I used.
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I said I’d started experimenting with my editing, and I think that really shows in all of these photos. Now, I don’t really use so much editing. As I photograph nature/wildlife mostly, I like it to look natural – you don’t want to portray something completely different! The photos above are of a different style, more ‘artistic’ if you will, and I don’t have a problem with editing used in these instances. I’ve really enjoyed looking back at past photos! It’s shows me just how far I’ve come. Next week I’m hoping to have some new photos, but I may show one or two older ones too from the beginning of university.

It’s getting closer to Christmas…

Yep, I realised today that I have three weeks left of university and then it’s Christmas. How did it get here so quickly?!

Anyway, I ordered a graze box as I had half-price vouchers, and it arrived today! Now I’ve used graze before, and I know which ones are my favourites. I actually have a lot of foods binned – I’m not adventurous! I really dislike dried fruit and olives.

I’m not sure how long they’ve looked like this, but I thought it was awesome! Upon opening, I saw two giftcards which you can give as presents. Each include a voucher for two free boxes so that’s cool!

The next thing that I saw made me really smile. A make-your-own christmas robin! On either side of the card there is a different style robin to do. I chose to make the winter robin… (which you can see at the end!)

The nutrition booklet was cute too! I love how much effort they put into everything!

These are the items that I got… I love the brownie. They’re all great picks though!

Now when I mentioned effort, just look at what I found underneath the food! Robin tracks! The attention to detail is brilliant.

And finally, here is Mr Robin! Isn’t it cute?!

I have not been paid or asked to do this post.


  • I am 21 years old, currently studying Wildlife and Media at University and blogging about life, stationery, Filofax, fitness and more.

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