One of the things that has helped me through this year (which has been very bleak at times) has been the beautiful spring and summer weather and the opportunity to try my hand at something I hadn’t previously considered was a particular forte of mine – nature photography.
Anyone who has ever spoken to me about photography equipment will know that I love Sigma lenses – they seem to have all the quality you could ever want at much more competitive prices than the equivalent Canon lenses which, as a Canon camera devotee, you would imagine would be my first port of call. This year, I’ve extended my range of lenses and invested in a Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 ‘Contemporary’ lens. This is great for wildlife photography as it give great ‘reach’ via that 600mm focal length and amazing sharpness – I just love it. And with my Canon 7D Mark II, I get super autofocus capability and great ISO performance so the shots can, with practice (and I need more!!), be awesome.
The other lens which works brilliantly for the smaller members of the animal kingdom is my Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro lens which allows close ups of very small critters! I’ve got a few of these already but the lens required fixing (thank you Advanced Camera Services, who I’m more than happy to recommend) as it had begun to go a bit wonky!! Still, it’s back now and will begin to get some use again.
So I’ve been giving it a go, and developing a project entitled The Garden and Hills, which focuses on the astonishing variety of flora and fauna immediately around me – within my own garden and on Bullock Hills and Colkirk Hill, just a few minutes walk away each. I know some will go to the ends of the earth to search out unusual creatures and plants, and I take my hat off to them, but I find myself much more interested in what’s around me and what is also at ‘home’ in the spaces I myself call home. We only share this planet after all, even the little bit of it that we profess to ‘own’.
And I’m going to carry on, because it’s a hugely fulfilling thing to do, and it makes you see! see what’s actually there in front of your eyes but which we all miss on a daily basis. We are incredibly fortunate to live in beautiful Norfolk and I love, in my own small, haphazard way, recording my little bit of it.
The project so far can be found at The Garden and Hills page on my website. I might make a few of these available as prints at some point too if there is any interest.