Good morning Gary,
I can’t thank you enough for such an amazing day on Thursday! Your guidance, advice and mentoring far exceeded even my high expectations – with the much appreciated loan of your lens the icing on the cake!
It was a pity that the Met Office failed us, but in spite of the clouds, I have come back with over a thousand images to sort through. I am already certain that I’ve managed a fair number of “keepers” among them but no fishy ones, you’ll be relieved to hear!
Throughout the day, your intimate knowledge of the birds’ behavior helped tremendously to understand and predict what was happening. I love the way that you have even have learned the individual birds’ personalities! The visit from the red kite was a big surprise to me in spite of having visited Gigrin many times. I’ve no idea why I never thought of them taking carrion from the surface of a pool.
As far as technical aspects are concerned, I have found that my little D500 does not have the same ability to run at very high ISO settings as your grown-up D5 in spite of all the rave publicity it came with. Also, as you have found, the group continuous focusing isn’t as reliable as claimed either. I often lost the bird as it went in front of the trees, focusing on the branches instead. Added to which, in instances where I’ve managed to keep the bird in frame during its dive, it’s almost as though either the camera or lens can’t keep pace with the 10fps shutter, as some shots are out of focus, then the next few are in focus.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us. Both my photographic skills and my avian appreciation have benefited greatly from my day with you.
I look forward to hearing from you once you have arrived back home and have sorted through the backlog of requests for prints in return for charitable donations.
Finally, (I can hear the sigh of relief from here), please keep me in mind when you are organizing next year’s Bempton Cliffs gannet boat shoots. I’d greatly appreciate being able to accompany you on one of them.
My very best wishes and thanks to you,