Why I no longer keep fish

BigTom

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Well, my tank has gone to a friend for the foreseeable future, which is sad, but made up for by the fact that the reason I can't commit to it is that I'll be spending about 3 months a year doing fieldwork for my PhD on St Kilda. And here's where I'll be staying when I do:

Village Bay, Hirta, St Kilda
Hirta_by_HairyToes.jpg


Slightly larger version (worth clicking!) - http://fc09.deviantart.com/fs23/f/2009/ ... ryToes.jpg

10 shot panorama, Nikon D200 with Sigma 10-20 @ 20mm, handheld.

The whole island is completely unreal; was just there for 2 weeks volunteering for the long term sheep ecology project and doing some preliminary work for my imminent PhD studying the St Kilda fieldmouse and can honestly say its one of the weirdest but best places I've ever been.
 

Mark Evans

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Tom, your photography is just breathtaking, seriously.

mega, mega skill and a wonderfully creative eye. the best i've seen on here. in fact nothing comes close.
 

Themuleous

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Nice PhD!!! I'm an ecologist by profession, would have loved that for a PhD. What particular aspect of the fieldmouse are you looking at?

Sam
 

BigTom

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Thanks muchly aaron and saintly :)

I'm very pleased this shot came off, as I said I didn't make much time for photography during the trip, but knew this was the one view I really needed to get in. On the last day there were very few sheep caught, and so we got the afternoon off and I snuck away up to the top of the island's highest peak for this. The weather was ridiculous, literally 1 minute before taking this I was being drenched by huge sheets of rain coming in sideways on gale-force gusts of wind.... you can see the showers all across the bay. I had very little time before the next squall hit so just composed very quickly and fired off shots handheld. Took me and entire evening to process the bugger :lol:

Themuleous said:
Nice PhD!!! I'm an ecologist by profession, would have loved that for a PhD. What particular aspect of the fieldmouse are you looking at?

Sam
Well there have been very few previous studies, so I'm going to be doing a good old-fashioned CMR study to get an idea of population size and dynamics, including whether or not mice are present on the other islands other than Hirta. Will also be taking bloods for DNA analysis of relatedness between the different populations on the island and between the Kilda mice and Scottish/Scandinavian populations to determine their origin. Oh, and stable isotope analysis of the blood samples to see what food sources they're utilising. And hopefully will be able to get some idea of any ongoing change in body size increase, as the Kilda mice are approximately twice the size of mainland fieldmice.
 

glenn

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very nice picture, you can see a cloud being formed and a rainbow going through it :!:
well done.:clap: :clap: :clap:
 

flygja

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With 10 shots to fire off, how do you get the clouds looking so nice? They would drift from one shot to another, throwing off the stitching software. Please share your secret :)
 

Stu Worrall

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flygja said:
With 10 shots to fire off, how do you get the clouds looking so nice? They would drift from one shot to another, throwing off the stitching software. Please share your secret :)
You can get away with it handheld as you can recompose before the clouds move. Its when its on a tripod that you get the main problems with clouds and wind.

Amazing picture Tom, such detail to it with the light and drk areas :) Sorry to hear youre stopping your tanks but in a worthwhile cause! Im sure youll be back
 

BigTom

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flygja said:
With 10 shots to fire off, how do you get the clouds looking so nice? They would drift from one shot to another, throwing off the stitching software. Please share your secret :)
As Stu rightly pointed out, because it was handheld each of the shots were only 2 seconds apart, so very little cloud drift in that time. Also, as I was shooting at 20mm I made sure there was considerable overlap (around 50%) between the shots as I knew I'd have to compensate for a lot of distortion between shots.
 
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my desktop picture now!
its usually just plain black, but i decided to spice it up after staring into your photo for agesssss. :wideyed:

its gorgeous.
shame about the bottom right tho! :silent:
 

Stu Worrall

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before you disapear Tom is there any advice youve got on any PS processing (if you used any) to get the clouds to stand out so well? Ive tried in the past to use a grad in lightroom on the scky and reduce the exposure and bump contrast but it never comes out like that!
 

BigTom

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baron von bubba said:
its gorgeous.
shame about the bottom right tho! :silent:
Good spot! That's now on the list of things to fix!

Stitching was done using PS CS3, I just auto aligned/blended two shots at a time to make sure the horizons weren't getting thrown out then finished them off by hand.

As for the clouds stu, it all comes down to using the different layer blending modes in Photoshop and judicious layer masks. Just make a duplicate layer and toggle through the different blending modes til you find something that looks good (overlay is often a good place to start). They'll all look very overdone at 100% opacity so just paint them in bit by bit from an all-black layer mask. Not sure how much 'shopping you do so sorry if I'm teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here! You might find you need to go back a step and tweak levels/curves beforehand.

As great a program as lightroom is there are just some things you can't do with it.
 
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