Club Outing – Dodder River Nature Photography

9 December 2021 | Club Outings

On Saturday 4th December a group of 9 photographers met on a bright but cold day at the Dodder. This section of the Dodder stretches from Bushey Park to the footbridge at the end of Dodder Road. The main action occurs about the weir with an abundance of wildlife. Most days there is a community of photographers here usually waiting for the star event, the Kingfisher’s arrival.

Today we say a Dipper, a Little Grebe (unusual visitor which is more common in Bushey Park pond), a Moorhen, a Heron, a Grey Wagtail, and two foxes. The female Kingfisher made an appearance as a flash of blue. She was unwilling to model today. A buzzard was spotted above the affray. The reflected colours on the Dodder are a beautiful backdrop.

The friendly community of photographers often discuss equipment and settings. They share photos on Dodder Photography on Facebook – good to watch to see what wildlife is showing. Most use zoom or prime lenses in the 300mm-600mm range with full or crop cameras. The settings recommended for shooting static wildlife are: single point focus and initially 1/500 shutter, open aperture (f4, f5.6 or light allowing f8), and auto iso. Be careful as iso can vary depending on light with considerable / unacceptable noise in low light. It’s preferable to keep iso below 800 if possible.

Last and not least, be careful of wildlife like the Dipper, Grebe, and Kingfisher with white feathers – you need to underexpose depending on strength of sunlight – greater sunlight greater underexposure. Slower shutter speed can be used if the Lense has an anti-shake feature or you can support the camera. In flight, photography requires a 1/2000 to 1/4000 shutter with a movement focus feature on the camera (group for Nikon).

Some images (click on an image to open in full-screen mode) from the outing can be seen below:


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