Gannet’s – Puffin – Guillemot – Lightening Quick Auto Focus On Olympus OMD EM 1 MK ii

OH MY GOD

I went to RSPB Bempton Cliff’s (North Yorkshire) at the weekend, specifically to photograph Gannet’s, to hopefully see Puffling’s and to try out the auto-focus pn the OMD EM 1 MK ii. It was a very enjoyable day out for me, it can’t be bad when I can do two of my favourite things at the same time.

The auto focus on the Olympus OMD EM 1 MK ii is phenomenal. I mean that it’s so good that there aren’t the correct words to express how impressed I am. It uses both contrast and phase detection points, and it’s almost instantaneous. I was shooting in Continuous Auto-Focus (C-AF). Here’s the impressive bit, continuous auto-focus on somethings as small as a Puffin (28cm from tip of beak to tip of tail feather), three-quarters the way down a 300ft cliff (225ft below me), at least that far out to sea, and flying at roughly 45mph (they can go up to 60mph). That my friends, in my opinion, is f/’k”ng amazing.

This is a photo of a Puffin taken at RSPB Bempton Cliff's
(Please click on the photo for a full size image) The Atlantic Puffin is a member of the Auk family of birds, and is considered to be a vulnerable species with a declining population.

All of the photo’s accompanying this post are as shot. I’ve taken them into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to add metadata and to resize them for this post. I haven’t even cropped them. Once I am back from my travel’s I look forward to developing a few more, I have some shots that I can’t wait to show you. There are some that I am so impressed with that I will add them to Adobe Stock. All were taken on the Olympus OMD EM1 MK ii, manual, C-AF, 15fps on the Mzuiko 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 ii.

Here are a few taster photos In the mean time, and I look forward to developing the rest after my holiday.

This is a photo of two Gannets, taken at RSPB Bempton during July 2018.
(Please click on the photo for a full size image) The most beautiful part of a Gannet is its eye. A piercing blue eye, that is framed by such a delicate yellow head.
The bonding ritual of a pair of Gannet['s, watched over by two other Gannets.
(Please click on photo for a full size image) Gannet’s mate for life, and once they have a roost they will return to the exact same nest year after year. They have a bonding ritual in which they will preen each other and then perform a dance with their beaks, rubbing them against each other. These must be a newly formed couple. The dark streaks of the bird on the right mean that it is not mature enough for breeding and is probably around 2 years old, at least they will have two years bonding in preparation for mating.
A photo of a Gannet riding the thermals at RSPB Bempton Cliffs
(Please click on the photo for a full size image) A gannet riding the thermals at the top of RSPB Bempton Cliff’s in North Yorkshire. There is a large breeding colony here. RSPB Bempton Cliff’s is an accessible site that has gravel paths wide enough for wheel chair users, and each viewing platform has a space for visitors with disabilities.
A photo in which the main subject are three Gannets which are riding the thermals from the base of the cliff and up to the top.
(Please click on the photo for a full size image) This is a small roost of juvenile, non-breeding Gannets, and is set slightly away from the main breeding colony. It is an important place for bonding and developing the social and defensive skills required for breeding. The social skills include protecting your space from other birds who are looking to pinch your prime real estate for their nest. The birds circle around from the foot of these cliffs, riding the thermals until they reach the top.
A Guillemot in flight, with a Gannet also in the photo.
(Please click on the photo for a full size image) The Common Guillemot is a sea-bird whose numbers are on the increase, and is thereby classified as being of the least concern. How good it is to celebrate a bird population that is healthy and increasing. The Guillemot can fly up to 50mph, can fly as far as 200 miles on a trip to find food, and they can also dive to a depth of 100 meters. This Guillemot is flying in the opposite direction as a Gannet.

25 Replies to “Gannet’s – Puffin – Guillemot – Lightening Quick Auto Focus On Olympus OMD EM 1 MK ii”

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