Starlings Masterclass


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Stag versus ram

August 2010 |

They say never work with children or animals, but my advice is at least always keep your camera handy. You never know when they’ll do something funny that’s unmissable - but so often is missed – right in front of your eyes. And as August is the ‘silly season’ I’m offering this image I took recently at Culzean in Ayrshire as my silly season animal photo. The ram finally backed off,  looking discombobulated (a wonderful silly season word, too).

The original photo had another sheep just behind this pair, a distraction I thought slightly spoiled the picture. So in Photoshop I used the clone tool to rub it out. This took very little time, and involved taking bits of adjacent grass to cover the sheep. It’s an invaluable piece of equipment, and while I draw the line at using it to airbrush people, I’m quite happy to ‘disappear’ the odd annoyingly parked red car, obtrusive sign or whatever. In fact in garden photography I find it handy to ‘weed’ the gravel, and ‘deadhead’ flowers. If only real life was so simple.

Obviously this was a grabbed shot and with my Nikon D300, I used the setting it was already on (aperture priority, ISO 200, f11, resulting speed 1/125th sec.) Fortunately this setting  worked fine, I was lucky. However it would have been safer to have used the Auto or Speed priority setting on the camera, but then I might well have lost the shot while twiddling with the dials.