This year marks my 25th season of making visits to the Weyhill Hawk Conservancy Centre, and it just keeps getting better and better. Except maybe for Gary’s jokes… Some nice variety in the flying displays today, but I was particularly pleased with the finale to the “Valley of the Eagles”. Not only was Danebury making a return from retirement to keep Cheyenne company, but we were rewarded with some stunning flying and suitably impressive landings…
My original plan had been to venture out to this Henry VIII-era Gun Fort on the weekend of the Cowes-Torquay Power Boat Race, with the intention of setting up on one of the higher bastions and trying to capture the high-performance off-shore racers as they came thundering past… In the event the race was re-scheduled to avoid a conflict with the Olympics, and I missed my chance. Next year, maybe. So instead I decided to subject the pace to a slightly more leisurely wander today. Haven’t been here since I was dinghy sailing in my teenage years, and it’s nice to see that in most respects it’s in better condition now.
I took two cameras with me today (Panasonic DMC-GX1 and Canon EOS7D) and a clutch of lenses (all L-Series for the Canon, bit of a mixed bag for the Panasonic) and spent about an hour very quickly sifting through a total of 800 or so image files to get to this initial set (though I must point out that the GX1 gave me *6* files for every picture, since I was experimenting with exposure bracketing as well as capturing both raw and jpeg).
What’s fascinating is that all the shots you see here were taken with the Panasonic, which in every respect out-shone a decent Canon coupled with some very expensive glass. For sure, in these images I’m using the Panasonic-Lumix 7-14mm ultra-wide lens, which at £800 is not far short of Canon L-Series lens pricing… but the simple truth is that the entire Panasonic setup cost less than the Canon body… It’s probably worth acknowledging that other important factor, namely the idiot pressing the shutter release… but the acid test, at the end of the day, is which images you keep and which you throw away. Canon, if you’re getting this, it’s time to raise your game….