Wheat Fields and Sunsets and Why I love IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilisation)

I’ve been enjoying the balmy summer evenings of late and whenever possible I try to get out for a stroll in the warm setting sun. It’s probably my favourite part of the day and there’s something calming about watching the world around you slowly winding down for the night as the light gradually fades.

On this occasion, I took a walk through Berkswell, Warwickshire (the small picturesque village perhaps best known for its church - St John Baptist Anglican - parts of it dating back as far as 1150 AD) and it’s wheat fields.

As on most occasions when I’m having a walk, I had a camera with me, and I was lucky to be rewarded with a beautiful sunset. I love these big impressive trees and think they make for great subjects against the colourful sky.

Now, camera nerds are a funny bunch… I’ve noticed a lot of debate around the merits of IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilisation), with some people saying it’s a pointless gimmick and a waste of time, only serving to compromise image quality and add extra size and weight to your equipment. “Why bother? I have a tripod!” they smugly exclaim. These people, clearly have no imagination, foresight or lateral thinking, because there are plenty of scenarios where IBIS is massively useful to have.

Take these shots below, for instance. At least two of them are shot handheld at 1/50 of a second. Whilst not a really slow shutter speed to be shooting handheld, certainly one you’d want to be holding your breath for, ensuring good technique and keeping as still as possible. With IBIS enabled, I feel confident that I won’t see any camera shake at this shutter speed, and so I feel comfortable to click away without a tripod. No lugging one out, adding extra weight to my bag, no setting up, adjusting the height and angle and composition. Just quick and easy handheld shooting with no restrictions.

If that’s not a reason to have IBIS as standard, I don’t know what is.

All photos of Berkswell were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF16 - 55mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link and following me on social media.

The Benefits of Working From Home: Part II

In what might become a regular feature of this blog (- returning readers may recall the very first post advocating the unexpected quirks of working from home), I've continued to have fun watching the wildlife out of the little window to my left as I perform my photography post-processing duties.

It's been fascinating watching the blue tits using the feeder and rearing their young. Over the weeks across spring and summer I've seen the offspring going from being fairly dependent on their parents,  all fluffy and uncoordinated, being brought and fed the seed, to developing a full plumage, mastering the art of flight and learning how to pick, sort and break into the seed for themselves.

I’ve also witnessed a fairly lucky slug managing to avoid becoming the lunch of an oblivious blue tit. I can confirm they did drop down safely to the ground without being eaten, shortly after the final photo in that sequence.

All garden bird photos were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF50 - 140mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link and following me on social media.

British Bluebells and a Rare British White Bluebell?...

Earlier this week I continued to enjoy the bright spring sunshine by heading to my local woods. I knew the bluebells were out in full effect, having first come across them last year and taking some really nice images then - see my photo gallery for much more landscape and nature photography from the UK.

They manage to make an already beautiful woodlands even more spectacular, to me, almost like something out of a fairy tale, carpeting the grassy floor with so much more colour and variety.

Towards the end of the walk I came across more sheep and lambs in a field next to the woods. I didn't have my long lens with me on this occasion, but I love the character of the old trees in the foreground alongside the intense colour of the bluebells, with the lambs highlighted by the setting sun in the background.

On my way back home as the light was fading fast, I noticed something unusual out of the corner of my eye - a single patch of white bluebells! I'm no horticulturist, but after a bit of googling, I'm fairly certain they're the rare White British Bluebell (as opposed to the more common Spanish variety). In fact, a further google reveals they're as rare as "one in every ten thousand bulbs", so I feel pretty privileged to have spotted some.

If anyone reading this happens to be a bit more savvy with flower species, I'd love to hear from you. Are these the rare White British Bluebell as I suspect they are? (- See last image.)

Please visit my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link.

Spring Lamb Photography

Before I get started, I'll just get this out of the way: OH MY GOODNESS, THEY'RE SO CUTE!

Ahem.

Over the Easter weekend we were incredibly fortunate to have good weather across pretty much the whole of the UK, so it was a pleasure to get out for some long walks in the Warwickshire countryside and to take some photos.

Lambing season appears to be in full effect so I knew it was a good opportunity to capture some nice shots. With that in mind I brought my longest lens (214mm in 35mm terms) with 1.4 x tele-converter. For those not up on their focal lengths, this isn't particularly long in the scheme of things, at least not compared to dedicated wildlife lenses.

As such, I knew I'd have to get fairly close to my subjects to get the kind of shots I wanted. Now, I like to think of myself as a bit of a Doctor Dolittle type character, at one with the animals, an animal whisperer if you will, but, sheep are cautious at the best of times, even more-so when they have their young, vulnerable offspring with them.

In fact, it was quite interesting to observe the interactions amongst the herd, with the lambs being a lot more curious and bold than the older sheep, sometimes looking like they might approach you to investigate, before the more cautious mother sheep would bleat out a warning call for their lamb to back away.

My approach therefore was really slow and measured. I spent a good amount of time just standing in one place, letting the flock approach me if they wanted, rather than rushing in and scaring them off. I kept my body language non-threatening by keeping my head down, not staring and feigning indifference to their movements. Over the course of the evening, I was able to gradually move closer and closer. I genuinely believe this softly, softly approach allowed the sheep to feel comfortable in my presence and to perceive no threat from me.

It was a real joy to watch the young lambs play in the setting sun, as well as observing their mothers keeping a watchful eye on them at all times, not to mention the vocal communication. Towards the end of my walk I came across a group of lambs all from different families playing together. They seemed fascinated with a particular dip in the ground and so formed all of their games around this hole, jumping in and out of it, chasing each other round it and generally just having a brilliant time!


Please visit my website, lukebennettphotos.com for more content including landscape and nature photography from the UK.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!

The Benefits of Working From Home

"Get a bird feeder!" - The advice I remember reading years ago from someone who frequently worked from home. Below, the view from my living room window earlier this week as I tinkered with some photos. Perhaps not exactly the wildlife I'd expected to see, but very welcome nonetheless!

In fact, I had to applaud the little fella's ingenuity, plotting a path up along the shrubbery to the right of the feeder and presumably taking a Lara Croft style leap across to the tasty treasure.

It's nice to know that in spite of living in a place without a proper garden there's still a good amount of nature coming and going right in front of me - the usual small birds that use the feeder, my new mouse friend, a family of crows and magpies making nests in the communal parking and a pair of pet cats who routinely meet for a fight outside my window at 3 o'clock in the morning, complete with those chilling screams, howls and hisses that only felines can do so well (disturbingly).

For more photographs of wildlife and nature in the UK, be sure to visit my photo gallery! Seamless.
And for more details of my wedding and events photography services, covering Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the West Midlands and beyond, be sure to visit my wedding photography gallery.

The lesser spotted Brown Tit

The lesser spotted Brown Tit

Something New...

Hello and welcome to the first post on the new blog for my new site, Luke Bennett Photography.

I'm delighted to announce that my old website is gone and this new, sleek, clean and fresh looking website has taken its place, albeit with a new address. I'm really pleased with it and I hope everyone visiting will enjoy it too.

This new site showcases my wedding and events photography services where I provide beautiful, candid, colourful wedding photography in the photojournalist style.

As well as updating this website with ongoing content, I plan on maintaining an active presence here in the blogging world too, with regular updates on what I'm doing, where I'm doing it and how I'm doing it, and of course lots of my photography - professional and personal. All the staples of any good photo blog.

So please, visit my Wedding Photography Gallery to see plenty of photographic content.

If you're interested in booking me as your wedding or events photographer, I'm based in Solihull and cover all of the surrounding areas - Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the West Midlands and beyond. I'll be very happy to hear from you and talk to you about your wedding!

Please don't forget to follow me on social media, too, at all of the usual places! -

Instagram: @luke_bennett_photos
Twitter: @LBennettPhotos
Blogger: lukebennettphotos.blogspot.com

Spontaneous portrait in natural light, minutes before the ceremony

Spontaneous portrait in natural light, minutes before the ceremony