Friday 6th June 2008

Could this be your solution?

Have you felt that you could really do with a longer lens, but didn't want to spend very much or carry a lot of additional weight? This week we look at one potential solution.

Teleconvertors, sometimes called doublers provide a means to extend the focal length of any lens, and for most  a x1.4 is completely practical, perhaps allowing a 400mm to become a 560mm, a x1.7 likewise giving 680mm is often workable and with some lenses you can use a x2 or more. As you extend it more, you may encounter autofocus problems. This week we have two articles looking at teleconvertors, advantages, problems as well as how to overcome some of these.

Ever fancied photographing Puffins ?

Image taken with Nikon D2x, with 80-400mm VR lens

Notice the Yellow Spot,
now put your mouse over the picture

The first of these articles explains teleconverters and their effect of the brightness of the lens, and the second is based on a recent day out where we used both a lens with a teleconverter and a longer telephoto lens.

This is based on a a day we recently had at the WWT site at Llanelli (Wales Wetland Centre), and decided to use the opportunity to produce a practical demonstration of the use of a teleconverter, compared to lenses without and a 1000mm mirror lens. Of course as you would expect we did a lot more while visiting including taking photographs and making notes for a location guide we have yet to produce on this location. We also the same day went to Cardiff bay, took photographs and you will see information on that as well shortly.

Its often wildlife photography where the teleconvertors are of use, but in the wildlife photography area we are looking at this week, getting close often does not require long telephotos. We are taking a look at how to photograph puffins, with an article on this topic, a list of places where you can find them, a page explaining all about puffins, and some location guides of some of the places you can visit. This includes featured guides on both Skomer in South Wales and the Farne islands off Northumberland. The time to photograph Puffins is from mid June to mid July.

Remember when considering training that you can select a practical 1 to 1 session, so a day out photographing wildlife, and this could include a day photographing puffins is a possibility worth considering.

We are into June, and we have this week put up the calendar for July of events that you may like to consider photographing, as well as extended the nature calendar by 3 months, covering July to September.

We have a number of site changes in hand, including changes to the menu bar, improvements is some section structures and a variety of more minor items not all fully implemented at the moment, but should be within a week or two. Location guides you will see, starting this week, to have a help bar added, although we haven't yet implemented the pages they lead to. There are a number of other additions and although we try not to half implement changes where we can, the testing of these pages just could not be completed in time to go live this week, without holding everything else up.

Last week we loaded the new site for the first time, this is not replacing the newsletter website but in addition to it. This will provide more capacity, allowing Camera Images clients to get a really fast response from its server as wider use grows on the promoted one. You should start shortly to see advertisements and press coverage on to make the work we do more available to more people, at the same time there are some administrate changes on the site, connected with its ownership and placing of adverts etc, but no changes in editorial control or content.

Take a look at what we have achieved so far, featured weeks, location guides articles and more, and this is just the two of us working on this part time. Now I want you to consider what could be achieved if we got a lot more people involved each producing a fraction of what we do, perhaps adding new location guides or taking on a theme of their own to develop over a period. From the beginning its been our objective to get this developed to a size where people start to see how useful it is and feel that they would like to join in. For some time now we have had comments about how useful many find the information, but we are still producing all the material. We would like you to consider becoming involved, and perhaps suggesting how you would like to. Approaching the holiday season this might be an opportune moment, perhaps taking on the task of producing information on photographic opportunities where you go on holiday. This site is not restricted to covering UK locations its just we have too many to cover here to produce others, so if no one else does they won't get done for some time. So how about it, a chance to use some of your photographs and share information.

Summary of Articles Included this week

How to photograph puffins

Puffins species  factsheet

Teleconverters and Long lenses

Teleconverter and a longer telephoto lens Practical

Lists relating to Puffin Photography

List of places in the UK where you can see Puffins

Locations Guides Added This Week

Farne Islands, Northumberland

Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire

Skokholm, Pembrokeshire

Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire

South Stack, Anglesey

Sumburgh Head, Shetland

Isle of Noss, Shetland

Fetlar, Shetland

Hermaness, Shetland

Uyea, Shetland

Foula, Shetland

Fair Isle, Shetland

St Kilda, Inverness-shire

Fidra, East Lothian


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