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A quick look at ON1 RAW

I’ve had a long wait for this software to show it’s head and we are still only getting a pre-release version. The final release is due in late December just before Christmas time but the company really want to show what is on offer in their all new On1 RAW. Still features unavailable, still a few bugs but I’m getting the feel of something really good about this after a just a very short play around there are things I already love about using it. Here is a quick look at just a few of the features features and it’s RAW conversion capabilities. Apologies for the noisy mouse! ;)



Goshawk Workshop

A great day of photography despite some showers of rain the birds performed well. Thanks to buddy Scott Latham for organising the running the workshop together with Craig Davis of Eclipse Falconry which is located at Ash End Farm near Tamworth in Staffs. 

Here’s a few shots that I managed of 3 beautiful Goshawks that was used for the event.

http://wildstaffordshire.co.uk/

Local Deer Action

Well it’s coming to the end of autumn and the deer have been through a few battles although I have struggled to capture any battles this time round I did manage some nice shots of both the Red Deer local to where I live. (Staffordshire, England)

Here’s a few of the shots I managed to capture 



Flowers and Butterflies

It’s been a busy time during the holidays looking after the children. Keeping autistic twins busy for 2 months is hard going no matter how much you love them. They are back to school tomorrow so we can breathe again and get some rest :)  

Time also to take more photos hopefully although we have had a few days out with the kids you have to grab a few shots here and there. Here are a few from the last few days.


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Wedding Shoot

Been a while since I did a wedding so nice to be asked to cover a friends wedding at a local venue. It was tough work working in a position with the subjects in front of windows throwing a lot of backlight in otherwise quite a dimly lit room. I didn’t really want to use flash photography I prefer to use natural light so I used quite a high ISO using the Canon 1Dx an area the camera performs exceptionally well in. I also used used the Canon 7D MKII to record video inside the building and for a few external shots.  

On the 1Dx I used mainly these settings ISO 1000 at F6.3 giving me a speeds of around 1/125th second or there about in Aperture Priority. It’s rare I use manual on the 1Dx as I find it quicker to work in AV and just use the thumb on the rear dial to compensate if required.

Here are just a few of the shots.

The Bride Cheryl.

The Bride and Groom. Cheryl and Carl Jones.

Departure

Having signed the Certificates

The Ring

One of the young guests trying the cake for size!

During the ceremony

One of my twin Daughters (Who both played bridesmaids) Sarah Jane at the reception. For the reception I switched to using a pair of off board Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite  with the Canon flash commander. In this shot I just used the one off board flash head.

Another young guest at the reception



Northumberland & Scottish Borders

Travelling on holidays gets harder these days as our 9 year old twins have a severe autistic condition which makes travelling long distances and stopping in a location that is twin proof from destruction is getting harder as they get older! :) 

However the location we stopped at last week was a lovely farm cottage in Paxton (above) very close to the Scottish Border and Berwick-on-Tweed. It’s also located to two very special places I love to photograph Lindisfarne and further north just across the border the beautiful fishing village and harbour of St. Abbs.

Most of my photography during the week was basically done with my Canon 1Dx DSLR and my 16-24mm L Series wide-angle lens which is the business for landscape photography. With the children present wildlife photography is hard to say the least they can scare a bull from 400 paces bless them but I did take my Canon 7D Mk2 DSLR and a L Series 400mm prime incase! However what wildlife I did snap was mainly of the birds around the garden at the cottage with a Compact Bridge camera a Canon Powershot SX 60 which is a great little camera when a powerful zoom is required having a 65 X zoom it managed some nice shots of the Swifts, House Martins and Sparrows around. (below)


ST ABBS HARBOUR

One of the first locations we visited was St Abbs which is a lovely fishing village with rocky beaches and harbour as you can see from the shots below. All with the 1Dx and  Canon 16-24mm lens.

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LINDISFARNE 

We made a few trips to Lindisfarne and great to say all times produced great weather and skies for photography. Again the 1Dx partnered with the L series 16-24mm lens.























PAXTON 

A few shots local to where we stayed

Above: A shot of the Starlings that roosted close to the cottage everynight. A great sight to see so many birds perfoming ballet in the skies. Took with the Canon 7D MK2 and L series 400mm prime.

Above: The River Tweed in the grounds of Paxton House near the boathouses 

Above: An Avenue of trees alongside the River Tweed at the bottom right lies one of the boathouses owned by Paxton House

Above: The River Tweed

Above: Paxton House


Cannock Chase Skies

It’s very hard for me and the wife to get out the house after school times our daughters 8 year old twin girls have severe autism and development delay and need 100% care just recently we have a centre who give us one day a month respite giving the girls an over night stay. So being childless and feeling a little strange we decided to spend an evening over Cannock Chase to see if we could catch a sunset shot quite a rarity for us! We also had a friend in company and the night nearly didn’t happen the skies was grey and bland we watched a movie together in the house and got engrossed into a "Million Ways to Die in the West” lol what a great film I’m still laughing! So after that we half heartedly decided to venture out and see if things would change and I’m glad to say as the evening passed we witnessed one awesome sky surrounted by rutting Fallow Deer that was being very vocal all around us. 

Took at around 5.15pm and there is a glimpse of hope for better things to come but still some grey clouds around.


As the time went by the sky improved with the cloud clearing all began to look magic this tree being a favourite of mine it made a fit foreground subject  for that sky beyond. I think this was my personal favourite. 


The Fallow Deer are rutting here at the moment and we seen many and heard lots of Bucks throwing out there bellows in competition with each other. I never had a suitable lens for any great shots but I quite like this one despite it’s blurred as I panned them as they moved at a setting on the camera that was meant for a landscape shot they appeared from nowhere and ran alongside me. Shot with just a 70mm lens no crop it’s no contest winner but it just captures the magic of the evening.

And the skies continued too shine :)





And just the to end the day this shot was took as we drove back across Brocton Common and although it looks like broad daylight on the shot it was actually only just possible to see the deer from the car window but the Canon 1Dx does what it’s best at in the high ISO and shooting at ISO 10,000 I pulled a shot out the bag to record the moment.


The Canon 7D Mk II Reviews

Really looking forward to using the new Canon 7D MK II when it comes out in late November here are a few reviews below before the release for myself I’m hoping it will get me that bit closer with my 500mm lens for nature shots I cannot expect it to have the same dynamic range my 1Dx delivers but nice to get those extra pixels with a crop sensor for the smaller wildlife and birds. The 7D was never an option for me as the noise wasn’t brilliant in the higher ISO’s for my liking but the new model from the reports I’ve seen are looking good in this area and the autofus system is the same almost as my 1Dx that is outstanding for the price of the model and I say almost, infact it’s improved from the 1Dx with every single focus point being cross point incredible for fast moving wildlife and sports shots. All looking good on paper and reviews cannot wait to get my hands round one :)

Love the work in this first review give me those locations!!! Grrr :D


The second video love or hate Scott Kelby he’s a top man and this really shows his feelings about the camera




Online magazine images

I have recently been luck enough to have a few of my images selected by some large FB Groups and magazines over the last week so I thought I’d stick a few of them up here for people to view.


Katie and the fairies. A very personal one to me of one of my twin daughters Katie Lou staring through the window at the local fairies ;)

 Both the twins have servere autism and develpment delay. They are our lives we have to provide care 24 hours a day for them it’s a hard life but a treasure to have such beautiful daughters


Welcome to my Nightmare! The Scaecrow Lady. 

This was took at Calke Abbey in the a room that was used to grow mushrooms in the garden area. I think some of the scarecrows may have digested a few after Photoshop got to work?


Hoverfly. 

A macro shot took with a Canon 1Dx and an L Series Canon 100mm Macro lens. I personally think this is one of my personal favourite macros I have took to date? The depth of field required at close range takes time and dedication with a full frame camera working close up. I don’t think I could have bettered this for the detail I managed too catch with this shot.


Under the Moonlight. 

A Red deer stag posing under the moon is two shots I have layered together that I took in Autumn 2014. The moon was shot from outside my house in Norton Canes, Staffordshire and the Red deer are located very close to my home just down the road on the outskirts of the village. This is the king of the clan at the moment a thirteen point antlered emperor stag.


Misty Morning. 

This was one of the most beautiful mornings I have ever witnessed whilst on holiday in North Wales 2014. The mist is acually not mist at all but being so high in the hills the cloud level was travelling through the valley below me and two cows very kindly posed for me to get some added interest in the shot.


Update to What’s Going Down!

IN GENERAL

It’s been a while since I have posted a blog and a lot has happened since my last! Lots of more locations covered, new equipment, quite a few photography awards on various photography groups and an interview on the site AfterRaw by top Australian photographer Thierry of Nomad Photography. I must admit it was a welcome and surprising thing to have thrown at me from a top aussie photographer and I enjoyed answering the questions and submitting some work for display. Take a look at the article here http://www.afterraw.com/les-arnott-photographer-wizard/ 
Another thing I’m now working on is I’ve been reinstated witth New Color the hugely popular Facebook Photography Group as an administrator and it’s lovely to work along some great people and to help get the group more organised. It’s a wonderful group with over 13,000 worldwide members if your a facebook photo freak check us out. Also I continue my Admin work with the Simply My World Photo and Art Group alongside my lovely wife Sally and Angel Wheller the creator of this friendly and talentated group. A big admiration for the talents of the members in both cases and a thumbs up to you guys you are the tops!

NEW GEAR UPDATE

Gearwise I’m now using a 70D as backup too my Canon 1Dx and as most people who know me it’s very common for me to have 2 cameras round my neck I hate changing camera lenses and missing  photo opportunities so a good second camera is always with me. However I’m being gifted the new Canon 7D MK 2 which looks stunning on paper and the reviews I have read so that will be replacing the 70D as soon as it comes onto the market in November. The more robust body will also be a blessing as it now sports the same weatherproofing as the 1Dx and in the UK that’s welcome for our weather! It’s nice to have a good perfomer for the 500mm with that crop sensor as I get the extra magnification from the lens than I do with the 1Dx although the 1Dx has the advantages when the light is not so good or fast shutter sppeds are paramount.

LATEST PROJECTS

I’ve just spent 3 days checking out my local herd of wild Red Deer. I’ve been watching these beauties since my teens (a very long time!). They are just starting to rut and the leader of the pact is a lovely 13 point antlered Stag. Here’s a few shots and art pieces I have created over the last week.




© Les Arnott 2013