A New Year, with two new photographic toys Santa had very kind left at Christmas. A New Nikon D300s with a Sigma 150-500 Zoom. It had become apparent that I needed a larger zoom than the 28/300 for some of my animal shots at zoos. Unfortunately (if I recall correctly) there were not many third party lens for Pentax fittings. I was contemplating buying a Sigma 150-500 for Canon but a hint was dropped to forget that. Christmas revealed why.
January 2010 (at least in West Lothian) started off with a lot, and I mean a lot of snow, along with a big freeze. Yet the sun did shine – it shone but not a lot of warmth. To test my new outfit I took my normal walk to my place of work getting to know the camera and lens. This took me from Craigshill to Almondvale and the (then) new Civic Centre where |I was employed in Legal Services, West Lothian Council. Susan, Sid and I headed off to Linlithgow – which shuts down over the festive season, and had a walk around Linlithgow Loch to feed the birds. It is a nice walk round the loch (see WalkHighlands) and popular, even on the 1st of January. Being a loch there are lots of waders as well as gulls. Most popular are the Mute Swans and Ducks (Mallard, Tufted Ducks etc.) Regretfully we had to wait until we got home to have a warm soup – as I said Linlithgow closes down at Festive Season.
Where else would one test out the combination of large Zoom lens and new camera – Edinburgh Zoo sprung to mind. In a previous blog I mentioned that we were once members of the Society but no longer. However the Zoo was the ideal place to test the outfit and I captured (to my mind) some great shots of Tigers, Lions etc. I forgot to mention that Sid had purchased a Nikon D300s and Sigma 150-500 from Jessops in Edinburgh. I thought he would have twigged and brought it with him to the zoo. Silly man forgot them, mind you that was the last time he did so. Nowadays he carries the D90 and D300s with a small zoom and the 150-500.
I did not realise it at the time, but the year that started off so well would soon become the year from hell as far as my personal life went. My mother lost her battle with cancer and soon after my partner was fighting for her life against pneumonia. In all 2010 was a year of change and led to a bigger change in 2011.