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Simon (Leeds)

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Wildlife Photography Field Skills and Techniques
Wildlife Photography Field Skills and Techniques
by Paul Hobson
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cut above, 2 Oct. 2015
There are many books on the market offering advice or inspiration to people interested in wildlife photography, but this one really is something special. It is written by a leading wildlife photographer who couples great photographic talent with a deep understanding of Britain’s flora and fauna and an ability to write about his subjects in clear, unpretentious terms.

Paul Hobson’s labour of love covers a full range of the natural history photographic subjects you will find in the UK – from orchids to otters - and contains a wealth of immensely practical advice and information. Distilling three decades of priceless field experience into a tightly-packed 231 pages, his book is a veritable treasure-trove of real-world wisdom about finding and photographing British wildlife. If you want to know what food attracts coastal wading birds, how to find and photograph our native snakes or how to maximise your chances of a great shot of a hare you’ll find the answers – along with those to a multitude of questions you never even thought to ask – in here.

Other photographic technique guides may be bigger and flashier, but as a genuinely usable field manual for the aspiring British wildlife photographer this one has nothing to touch it. To cap it all it is a very nicely produced volume in a sturdy hardback binding that should stand many years of use. Bravo!


Black Blackberry Curve 9720 Leather Flip Case -
Black Blackberry Curve 9720 Leather Flip Case -
Offered by phonetechexpress
Price: £2.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good value case at first - but some flaws emerge with use, 26 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really can't fault this at the price: it fits well, looks good and offers decent protection. My phone fell awkwardly when I dropped it and the plastic side of the case fractured, but the phone was unscathed (which is the point after all) and I had no hesitation in buying an identical replacement case.

Updated - in prolonged use the plastic part of the case that holds the phone has proved quite fragile, cracking on two copies of the case with no rough handling. In addition, the camera cutout on my latest example was not big enough, causing vignetting on the images. I have now changed to a different case.


10X ECO GOLD 40WATT=50WATT GU10 ENERGY SAVING HALOGEN SPOT LIGHT BULBS. NEW GU10 ENERGY SAVING LIGHT BULB WILL SAVE YOU AROUND 20% OF ENERGY WITH NO LOSS OF LIGHT OUTPUT. 40WATT IS EQUIVALENT TO 50WATT. FULLY DIMMABLE, HALOGENS PROVIDE AN UNBEATABLE CLEAR CRISP WHITE LIGHT, SUITABLE FOR ALL AREAS INCLUDING OUTDOORS WITH COVERED FITTINGS. FAST DELIVERY
10X ECO GOLD 40WATT=50WATT GU10 ENERGY SAVING HALOGEN SPOT LIGHT BULBS. NEW GU10 ENERGY SAVING LIGHT BULB WILL SAVE YOU AROUND 20% OF ENERGY WITH NO LOSS OF LIGHT OUTPUT. 40WATT IS EQUIVALENT TO 50WATT. FULLY DIMMABLE, HALOGENS PROVIDE AN UNBEATABLE CLEAR CRISP WHITE LIGHT, SUITABLE FOR ALL AREAS INCLUDING OUTDOORS WITH COVERED FITTINGS. FAST DELIVERY

1.0 out of 5 stars Poor durability, 14 Sept. 2013
I bought a 10 pack of these lamps a couple of years ago and have found their durability to be far worse than the supermarket own-brand bulbs I had been using. I installed them as the existing lamps in my 4-lamp fitting expired, and found I was having to replace the newer Ecogold lamps while (older) existing lamps in the same fitting were still going strong. The build quality is also uninspiring: when one of these lamps blew it came apart on removal, leaving the bayonet section in the light fitting. So, they may use a bit less energy but in terms of overall cost they appear something of a false economy.


Tamrac 5630 Pro-Digit Zoom 10 - Black
Tamrac 5630 Pro-Digit Zoom 10 - Black

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great with a 70-200 lens, 5 Aug. 2012
I've used the slightly smaller Pro Digital 7 for a while now and found it to be an excellent product: very well designed, and well put together using high quality materials. The Pro Digital 10 shares these qualities, and has an upgraded front buckle to take heavier kit. It is a perfect fit for my Canon DSLR body (with grip) and Canon 70-200 f4 lens with the hood mounted in shooting position, so you can keep your camera safe and dry but ready for rapid use. This is by far the best holster case I have found for that combination (and I looked long and hard!). The icing on the cake is the price - cheaper than the other major brands, and it's at least as well-made.

It's worth knowing that the accessory tabs on the side will take Lowepro SlipLock accessories as well as Tamrac's own MAS attachments (whereas Tamrac accessories won't fit on a Lowepro bag).


SanDisk SDCFH-008G-U46 8GB Ultra 30MB/s CompactFlash Memory Card
SanDisk SDCFH-008G-U46 8GB Ultra 30MB/s CompactFlash Memory Card
Offered by Buybenchmark UK Ltd
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and dependable, 1 Sept. 2011
I ordered this card with a little trepidation, having read mixed reviews on the web about its speed relative to the older Extreme III cards I have used to date. I needn't have worried: the write performance of this card is at least 25% faster than my Extreme III (also rated at 30Mb/sec) when measured with my card reader. Given that it costs less for 8Gb than I paid for the 4Gb Extreme III card not all that long ago I think this constitutes a pretty good price / performance ratio. I'm sure some current DSLRs would benefit from one of the faster UDMA cards, but if like me you have a DSLR that is more than a couple of years old this card is likely to give you all the speed you'll need. I own a handful of Sandisk cards and none of them has ever given me the slightest problem, so I am confident this one will also prove reliable.


Lexar Professional UDMA Dual Slot USB 2.0 Reader ( UDMA CF/ CF/SD/SDHC Cards )
Lexar Professional UDMA Dual Slot USB 2.0 Reader ( UDMA CF/ CF/SD/SDHC Cards )

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for UDMA cards, 8 Oct. 2009
I bought this product to replace an fairly old Lexar USB 2.0 CF reader which has served me well but which I felt was not exploiting my faster (133x to 200x) CF cards. I have not been disappointed, and if you only need support for CF and SD cards this is probably about the best USB reader you can buy.

Although the reader achieves its maximum speeds with newer UDMA cards, it also performs very well with non-UDMA cards and extracts excellent read speeds close to (and in some cases greater than!) the theoretical maximum of those cards. My current download speeds are about three times faster than my older reader was achieving, comfortably exceeding 20MB a second. Given the large file sizes some of today's DSLR cameras create (especially when shooting in RAW mode) this is a real boon.

To cap it all, the reader is well-made, well-designed and nicely compact.


Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere (Helm Photographic Guides)
Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere (Helm Photographic Guides)
by Richard Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.00

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best photographic guide to waders - but could have been even better, 3 Oct. 2009
This book is a real labour of love by author Richard Chandler - not only has he written detailed text on over 130 species of northern hemisphere waders covered by this book, but he has also taken most of the accompanying photographs. Either achievement on its own would be notable, but to combine both is something pretty special - it's hard to imagine how much time spent in the field this work must represent.

As far as the text goes, the species accounts are authoritative yet concise, the photographs very informatively annotated and the introductory sections on plumage and behaviour a cut above. There is no doubt that Mr Chandler knows his stuff. The photographs, all 850 of them, are generally of a very high standard - whether taken by the author or by other contributors - and show the birds of in a range of different ages and in various plumages. Highlights include 20 shots covering all six races of Dunlin, and a superb gallery of a dozen different breeding plumage male Ruff.

So why "only" four stars?

Well, while the photographs are generally excellent, a few are not quite up to the same standard (there are a couple of very grainy Phalaropes, for example). A further potential issue with any photographic guide is the difficulty of getting good shots of birds in flight, and as a result that's a slight weak spot, though there are useful flight shots of the great majority of species covered.

The major issue I have with this book is, however, nothing to do with its content - it's the way the book is bound. It is published in a (water-resistant) soft cover, and at nearly 450 pages it is too thick to open anything like flat unless you want to break the spine (which would be a pity). The result is that it can be difficult to read the text and fully appreciate the photos towards the inside edge of the pages, and the book is not particularly easy to handle. Helm's reasoning is that the book is intended to be used in the field, so a hard cover would be inappropriate. Personally I think a book like this is far more likely to be used for reference and "swotting up" on identification at home - or at a pinch in the car - than stuck in your jacket pocket on a day's birding. A hard cover presentation would have done the author's labours more justice, and made the book easier to use.

So, this is without doubt the best photographic guide to waders available today, but it could have been even better. The Hayman / Marchant / Prater classic "Shorebirds" is still the one to beat as a first choice wader identification guide, but Richard Chandler's impressive work would make a good companion volume in any keen birder's library.


JVC UX-NB7DAB  MP3-Compatible Micro Component System
JVC UX-NB7DAB MP3-Compatible Micro Component System

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cute but some significant flaws, 19 April 2008
This is a neat enough system, with looks that aren't too obstrusive for a bedroom and perfectly passable sound quality. However there are a couple of problems which may be significant depending how and where you plan to use it. First, the unit has a small and quite noisy cooling fan fitted (quite why is anyone's guess, as the whole thing consumes less than 30w of power) which runs constantly. It is not audible when playing music at a reasonable volume, but it is if you are listening to a radio station at low volume at night. You wouldn't want to put this system next to your bed. Second, the DAB tuner may not receive a number of UK stations out of the box: mine had to go straight back to have a new circuit board fitted so it could receive the full range of available stations, including some key BBC ones. JVC list this fix on their website, but at the time I bought mine (2007) they had clearly not applied it to existing stock. All in all, not a very well thought-though product, and rather disappointing from a big brand like JVC.


Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America (Helm Identification Guides)
Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America (Helm Identification Guides)
by Klaus Malling Olsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £45.00

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 16 Jan. 2007
This book won the "Birdwatch" book of the year award in 2004, and it certainly deserved it. Gulls can - if you get into them - pose a fascinating identification challenge, because of the wide range of plumages exhibited by each individual species. This book covers in detail - and I do mean detail - the identification of all 43 "Holarctic" gulls. The species accounts are presented as a series of monographs, and while this means that to compare different species you have to flick between pages I can't think of a better was of presenting this depth of information. For each species there is an excellent text, a distribution map and numerous high quality colour illustrations and photographs covering all they key plumages, including hybrids. There are over 800 photographs in all (an incredible 46 of the humble Herring Gull alone), all with individual notes highlighting the specific features they show. Illustrations and photographs both have their pros and cons as identification aids - with this book you get the best of both worlds.

The standard of presentation is excellent, as usual with a Helm guide, and for the keen birder this book is a joy. A word of caution though - it's really not for beginners, who will be overwhelmed by the amount of detail and will miss the "side by side" comparisons of similar species that are a feature of good general field guides.


ByteStor 1GB Hi-Speed CompactFlash(40x)
ByteStor 1GB Hi-Speed CompactFlash(40x)

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speed limited only by your camera!, 13 Mar. 2005
I bought this to replace a standard-speed (8-12x?) Viking 512Mb card for use with my Canon EOS300D. The write times on the Bytestor seem perhaps 20% faster than the Viking in this camera - not as fast as you might expect just from the card speed ratings, but as I understand it the limitation is the camera's transfer rate, so one would see a lot more benefit in a newer DSLR. I think it's worth having a card that is a bit "futureproof", and this is a very good price indeed, but just worth being aware the write speed you achieve may in practice be limited by your camera.
Incidentally, first card was DOA but Amazon exchange was quick and painless.


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