My Recent Trip To RSPB Bempton Cliffs

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

Please click on any photo to see a full size image

Northern Gannet

The Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) is one of my favorite sea birds. It has a beautiful blue eye which us set against a pastel yellow nape. They nest in large colonies and are very territorial. Gannets mate for life and return to the same nest year after year.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

A photo of a Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshire.

 

Guillemot

The Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) is a member of the Auk family. It spends most of its life at sea and the only time that you will find ut on the land is when it is breeding. These birds are very pretty to look at despite being quite plain in appearance.

A photo of a Common Guillemot at RSPB Bempton Cliffs in North Yorkshire

Puffin

The Puffin (Fratercula arctica) is one of the most beautiful sea birds, and one that brings the crowds to RSPB Bempton Cliffs. It has an unusually shaped beak, which is has bright orange streaks and has saw like mandibles. The serrated beak means that the Puffin can catch many sand eels at the same time and they cannot subsequently fall from its jaw.

This is a photo of a Puffin taken at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, North Yorkshure.

Kittywake with chick

I love to see the new chucks sitting upon the nest and being attended to by their parents. This photo is of a family of Kittywakes, and a hungry chick.

A photo of a Kittywake chuck and parent taken at RSPB Bempton Cliffs in North Yorkshire.

Photographers

Some of these people had incredibly large lenses, and I am aware that they cost several thousands of pounds. I was left wondering whether their lenses really made photos any better than what I have taken today? I suspect not, I have a few high quality photos that I am really impressed with.

This is a photo of photographers taking photos of Gannets at RSPB Bempton Cliffs on North Yorkshure.

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

A Guillemot in flight, with a Gannet flying in the opposite direction

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.

Puffin

It’s the time of year when Puffin’s return the UK for their breeding season. RSPB Bempton is England’s only mainland Puffin colony. I was a few weeks too early to see the Puffling’s (honestly, it’s what baby puffins are called), so I’ll have to make another journey.

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

Puffin (Bempton)

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Two Shoots In One Day – Part Three Nearly Complete – Busy Week Ahead Pufflings

I’m exhausted and I really should be in bed already. The busy week ahead is fun. Photography for enjoyment, slowing down, mindfulness and switching off. Fingers crossed that I see and photograph Pufflings – I’ve not made that up, baby puffins are indeed called Pufflings.

There hasn’t been the time to catch up with everyone’s blogs today as I have been making photos for part thee of Foundations in Photography, which is now almost complete. I have one more shoot to do, which is the compliment to one of today’s shoots. Then I have to develop and upload everything.

I have a large collection of crystals and minerals. and I’ve been photographing them in different environments over the past week, for exercise 3.12 (2014 manual), Photography as Research.

In collaboration with a friend I have the photos ready for 3.7 A Significant Object.

Today I have undertaken a part of exercise 3.10 – A Formal Portrait. I’ve blogged before about how I need to make this shoot different from the brief, so I’m taking the time to follow my tutors advice from the conclusion of assignment two. For this I’m going to create a body of work which questions identity, and today I’ve been exploring gender. I’m pleased with today’s results, and I look forward to making the photos for the contrasting set. Gender and gender identity have been featured on the news and in journals a lot recently. Gender is such a broad field that I have narrowed my view down to gender identity. What is gender? Male, female, transgender, gender non binary, gender queer, asexual, third gender. Self identification has become a hot topic and it’s now possible, in some countries, to have your gender altered on your birth certificate and passport, and in more enlightened Nations it’s possible to tick a box for Non-Binary gender. The following is just a test shot and doesn’t include the props or staging.

cof

A Staged Photo is one option for assignment three – A Narrative Photograph. At the start of part three I had an idea which I wanted to explore in relation to gambling. It’s been in the news a lot recently due to fixed odds betting terminals, and their impact upon individuals, families and communities. There has been some government intervention over the past couple of years, with the development of gambleaware.co.uk . On the one hand I think it’s a good idea to have a specific means of help for those who identify that they may have a gambling problem, but my main belief is that it’s a token gesture so the government looks like it’s tackling gambling addiction, when in reality it’s doing as little as it possibly can. The government has no intent on helping those with, nor preventing, gambling addiction. There’s far too much tax involved for the government to want to change the status quo.

My staged photo is an exploration of this. Here’s a taster from today’s shoot.

oznor

There isn’t going to be the chance to follow your blogs for around three days. Phone signal is poor where I’m going, so I’ll catch up on Thursday. Happy snapping.