Experiences not gear

Experiences not gear. A while ago I wrote about whether experiences or more gear would be beneficial to us as photographers. I also said I would be putting my money where my mouth is. So here are some photos from an experience I had for my birthday, along the Fort William to Mallaig railway line.

We started off on this:

Steam loco
Loco 45212

Sat here:
First Class
First Class

Went through here:

Glenfinnan
Glenfinnan

And ended up along here:

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct

The ‘Harry Potter’ bridge or its more correct name The Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West Highland Line in the Scottish Highlands. In the film its pictured from the other side. This image was actually taken on the return journey. If you’ve ever tried to take photos from a train carriage you will realise how many reflections there are πŸ™‚

If your a railway enthusiast, at least in the UK you will be familiar with this line in Scotland.

It’s very popular:

Bun fight to get near the loco
It’s a bun fight to get near the loco

So what do you take photos of when you cant get near the engine? Well if your me, you look at the stuff other people aren’t taking photos of:

Coupling
Coupling
Workings
Workings
Nameplate
Nameplate
Steam Loco
One Final shot

OK I’ll stop there for those of you not into trains as much as I am.

The weather on this particular day was gloomy and overcast, we had to take a chance because we pre booked the tickets.

According to my wife though, it didn’t detract from my excitement πŸ™‚

Should you fancy a trip along the Fort William to Mallaig railway you can find out more information at http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/jacobite-steam-train-details.cfm

Arrive early in Fort William because you may have a longer walk from the car park than you think and it can get busy.

For at least part of the journey put the camera down, take in the scenery and enjoy the experience.

You’ll be surprised at how smooth travelling on a steam train is.

 

(Camera / lens: Nikon 1 V1, 10mm, last image Iphone SE)

 

 

Snipe

Snipe – have you seen any lately? That was the question put to me in the bird hide. Actually I had. Only a couple of weeks ago at least four of these well camouflaged birds were about.

Heres a couple of them:

Snipe
Two snipe….does that make them snipers?

Snipe are reasonably common and love wet grasslands. The average lifespan is around three years for this medium sized wader. In a previous post I joked I needed to find bigger birds or get a longer lens. I took these images with my Nikon 1 V1 and the 70-300mm AF-P zoom. The V1 has a silent shutter and the 70-300 is extremely quiet in use. With the crop factor of the V1 and the 300mm end of the zoom that gave me an equivalent of 810mm lens.

Four snipe
Look carefully….there are four in this image

These birds have some marvellous gold and black bars with a brown and gold head and a very long bill. When they stand still they are very difficult to see and blend into their preferred habitat quite nicely.

Snipe in wet grassland
Nice camouflage

As you can see in the picture above the one on the right is harder to see than the chap on the left.

It was only when these guys started moving that I noticed them at all. Chances are if they had stayed still I might have missed them completely, that is why I always take few minutes when entering a bird hide. Set up the gear and have a look around before taking pictures.

Take your time and have fun.

 

Camera/lens: Nikon 1 V1, FT-1 adapter, Nikkor 70-300mm AF-P DX VR.

Heads up

After a few cloudy days the weather has warmed up, the sun makes an appearance and I take the opportunity to look for dragonflies at the local reserve. The last couple of years, warm days in September resulted in some decent dragonfly activity so I was quite hopeful.

Sure enough they were out and even with the breeze, fairly active. If you’ve ever tried to photograph dragonflies in flight you know how quick they move. Out of all my dragonfly shots I’ve only got two or three decent in flight captures. Today I went for the (slightly) easier resting poses.

I like to try and capture dragonflies at different angles if I can. While a decent head shot is nice the wings and body can also be quite interesting.

Talking of wings the shot below shows some detail. I found it covered in dew on top of a post. Don’t know what happened to the body.

 

More dragonflies and other insects appear in the macro gallery here.

 

All images taken with a Nikon 1 V1, 30-110mm lens and Raynox dcr250 adapter.