Why this blog?

Those of you who know me might be having deja vu right now. Didn’t Natalie have a Happy Salmon blog back in the day, when blogs were a thing? And the answer is yes, yes I did and I kept it going for about 6 or 7 years posting fairly regularly. It was full of stuff about my day to day life and it was fun. I’m glad I did it and it’s great to look back on.

Image of a sunset over the sea. The sea is in the foreground and is very dark. There is a thin strip of dark land and then the sun is a white disk in a golden sky. Clouds are lit golden against grey.
One of the first photos I took and shared on social media (and my old blog) I took it in 2008, on a tiny Casio point and shoot camera that Jase, my husband gave me. Is it a sun set or sun rise though?
It’s a sun set over the tip of Cornwall.

This site is something a bit different from my 2008 Happy Salmon blog. This site will have more of a focus (pun intended) on my photography and in particular my experience as someone with a visual impairment, who takes photographs. Here’s what this blog is about:

This blog is a place for me.

This blog is a place for me to explore, and share with you, how photography helps me see the world and has helped me be myself.

Another planet

I am visually impaired and I also have complex PTSD. These conditions have shaped my life not least because the world we live in isn’t designed with people like me, or disabled people in general, in mind. Here’s an example of what I mean. When I started designing this blog I was offered a series of choices about it’s design. One of the choices was did I want it to be accessible to disabled people. And you know what? I was really pleased to be given this choice because many websites and online services still aren’t accessible to disabled people. “But hang on” I thought “that means I could select no. I could choose to ignore accessibility?” Surely every design template offered should be accessible? Why is this even a choice? Why would you want to exclude anyone?

If you’d like a different example of exclusion: when I was 6 years old my teacher told my parents that she didn’t know what to do with me. Imagine that, being 6 and knowing that a teacher doesn’t know what to do with you. You’re different, a problem, something that has to be dealt with. (Imagine being a parent who is told this about their child.) I came across the exact same attitude when I was training to be a teacher. Before my first three week, teaching placement the class teacher I was being placed with told the university that she didn’t think I should be teaching. She’d never met me. She based this assumption on the fact that I was partially sighted.

When I worked on a ground breaking research report into the experiences of disabled Londoners in 2003 we called the report “Another Planet” which was a quote from one of the participants:

“When people dismiss you and exclude you and treat you like you are from another planet, that is when the veneer cracks and tears flood inside.”

One way I have sought to cope with this exclusion is by fighting for disability rights, and challenging inequality in all its forms, through my day job. After three years of being a secondary school teacher, I switched to working for disability rights, that was 23 years ago. It’s been a long 23 years with some real highs and some horrible lows. Now, though I want to turn my attention to something more creative, so through my blog I will explore:

  • How do I take photographs when my sight is impaired? This will include tricks I use that can help anyone take better photos.
  • How photography unlocks the world for me.
  • How I’ve improved my mental health and wellbeing using photography and how you can too.
  • The importance of creativity in helping me feel less excluded by society.
  • How nature helps me heal and connect with the world.
  • I’ll be introducing you to places, people, and things that bring me joy and challenge assumptions about disability.

You can see more of my photos on my flickr page.

A mixed bag

A close up of a white flower with 5 petals, the top petals are slightly curling towards us with sunlight catching on them. At the centre of the flower is a hover fly, its wings folded over its yellow and black striped body. It has reddish eyes either side of its head. The backgrounds is green.
Hover fly on white campion: Taken with Nikon V1 80mm f/5.6

I haven’t taken many photographs this week. Partly because either the weather was too hot and I was working, or the weather wasn’t great and I wasn’t working. Mainly though I haven’t felt like taking photographs with out a DSLR camera. My Nikon 1 camera is ok but I only really have one usable lens. The other two broke (in one case a known fault) and I’m reminded why I was so keen to upgrade to a DSLR when I look at some of the detail, or lack of it in the photographs I’ve taken. But I can’t sulk forever. I have a couple of days in London this week so I’m taking my Nikon 1 with me and I’ll try and capture some images of the city. I’ll also visit at least a couple of camera shops to look at my options for replacing my D7200. I’ll keep you posted.

Farewell Nikon D7200

An image of a street on a hill, the path is sloping away from the photographer to the left. In the centre of the photograph is a mural painted on to the end of a house. The mural shows a white owl in flight against a black background. It faces us with its wings open. It's eyes are yellow. To the right of the owl written in large white letters are the words ACT NOW underneath is more writing showing the decrease in snowy owl numbers. Above the owls head is the Extinction Rebellion logo of a circle with two triangles in it. In the bottom left corner of the mural is the face of another owl with yellow eyes.
The last photo: Extinction Rebellion mural Brighton. Taken with my Nikon D7200 30 -200 lens

My Nikon D7200 is no more. It can’t be repaired, it is completely broken. How it happened is a bit of a mystery but it is probably related to when after only having the camera for a short while I dropped it. So the fact that it has lasted over 4 and a half years is longer than I might have deserved after being so careless with it. The photo above of an extinction rebellion mural in Brighton is the last photograph I took with it. A couple of hours later it just stopped working.

I am very sad, as I really loved that camera. It had been to Australia and Japan with me, as well as all over the UK. With it I’d taken photos of sea birds at dawn on Holy Island, and plum blossom in Osaka, sunset from Calton Hill in Edinburgh, The baked desert park at Alice Springs, a frosty white horse on the hill at Uffington as well as images of Cardiff, Yorkshire, Scotland, London and of course Biggleswade. It was a well travelled camera, usually at my side whenever I was out and about.

Replacing it will be expensive and also Nikon doesn’t really have a like for like camera any more for the old D7200. I have a number of Nikon lenses so I want to stick with Nikon. It looks like I may have to opt for a mirrorless camera now. It seems to be the way cameras are going and there are pros and cons. I’ll post some more over the coming days on how switching to a mirrorless camera affects me as a visually impaired photographer. But for now the good news is my old Nikon V1 mirrorless camera still works and I have at least one lens that works with it and if I find my adapter I should be able to use some of my other lenses too. Below is a picture I took with it this evening of the agapanthus in the garden.

It feels ever so light carrying the V1 about but I was happy with a few of the photos I took this evening. I just wish I still had my DSLR 😦

An image of an agapanthus flower. Green stems curve outwards forming a bowl shape. On the end of each curved stem is either a blue bud or an open flower six long blue petals. In the centre of each flower are tiny stems tipped with brown rectangular shapes like seeds. Th background of the image is black with some splashes of green.
Blue agapanthus: Taken with my Nikon V1 with 30 – 110 lens f/5.6

Evening wander through the last light and heat of the day.

An image of a pond. In the foreground are spikes of purple loose strife flowers and green stems. Beyond is the pond water reflected in which sea dark green trees and glimpses of golden sunset light.
The duck pond: taken on my iPhone

Just a quick good morning post before I travel home from my parents’. Last night Mum and I went for a walk around the Lincolnshire village they live in. It was golden hour with the last of the light burning out against the heat. Making the yellow roses pictured below particularly buttery and the duck pond atmospheric.

An image of two yellow roses against a blue sky. The image of the roses is taken from below and they are bathed in a soft warm light. Their petals are finger with pink. There are green leaves below the flower heads.
Buttery roses.

A broken camera

A close up of the top of a gin cocktail. Green mint leaves with veins visible float in sparking liquid with ice cubes and shiny black berries.
Roku gin cocktail – iPhone photo.

I’ve been away this weekend first of all in Brighton with my niece and then staying with my parents in Lincolnshire. Sadly at some point on Friday my camera stopped working. I took a photograph with it of an Extinction Rebellion mural and then put it back in my camera bag. A few hours later I took it out to take a photograph on the beach and the camera was completely dead. I popped my spare battery in, which was fully charged but still the camera was dead as a door nail.

I’m hoping when I get home tomorrow Jase can have a look at it and find a simple explanation, and fix it. Otherwise I will be utterly bereft with out it.

This weekend I’ve had to rely on my iPhone instead. The iPhone has a great camera but it’s just not the same as my trusty DSLR. Above is a photo I took of a gin cocktail I had on Friday night with my niece at The Gin Tub in Hove. The iPhone is great for low light pictures like this. The gin was Japanese and very tasty and the bar it’s self was lovely. A real treat to go there with my niece who turned 18 earlier this year.

An image of a slim, older white woman with blonde bobbed hair wearing a blue flowery dress, sunglasses and sandals. To the left are stone steps and to the right are cottage garden style flowers in purple spikes, whites and reds. The sky is blue above.
Mum at Easton Walled Gardens.

The iPhone also works well for pictures like this one above of my Mum at Easton Walled Gardens, taken this morning. I certainly didn’t miss carrying the weight of my camera and lenses around in the heat (it was over 30c today) but I really missed the camera itself.

An image of bright blue cornflowers amongst green stems and smaller pink flowers.
Cornflowers: taken on my iPhone

I missed it especially for taking close ups of flowers. The iPhone is alright for things like this insta filtered shot but I miss my flower close ups with bokeh. I keep telling myself that it’s not the equipment that’s important but the photographer and the photography but I’ve really missed my DSLR.

Once I’m home and tried a few things with the camera I’ll post again hopefully with better news that my camera is working again. Keep your fingers crossed for me and my poorly camera.

Hope

A square image of a flower. It's centre is round and yellow filled with tiny dots of pollen. Around this yellow centre is a burnt orange coloured frill of petals. Beyond this thin frill there are many pointed petals which are yellow with a central orange/ red stripe. Some of the petals have slits or holes in them showing a blurred green background. there is also a splash of pink in the background at the top and bottom of the image.
Carnival flower – Taken with my Nikon D7200 105mm macro lens f/7.1

This morning I just wanted to share with you an image that makes me smile and feel good. And this picture of a striped flower does the trick. It reminds me of circus big tops or deck chair stripes or the stripes on a fair ground awning. Either way it’s bright, colourful, and just screams summer.

I love the frill around the centre like a rosette. And I wonder what this flower looks like to a UV light perceiving insect. I don’t have any lenses in my eyes, as I’ve explained before, it means that I can see more UV light than your average human. I don’t have insect standard UV perception but as someone with “sight loss” it is nice to have gained something others haven’t. We’re a small band of people who either don’t have lenses in our eyes or have super sensitive retina and I haven’t yet worked out what this super power actually gives us, other than the smug knowledge that we can see something most other people can’t. An extra sensory perception which might mean that in the real world this flower looked slightly more dramatic to me than the camera captured. You can find out more about UV light perception here.

And what does this have to do with hope? Well sometimes when things feel bleak or we can’t find a way out of or through a difficult situation, if we just hang on for a little bit longer, the invisible will become visible. We’ll see a way through or find someone who can support us, or just discover the strength we thought we didn’t have. And hope fuels those discoveries. Hope can reveal what we thought was hidden.

Tunnel vision

A landscape image of blurred shades of green, darkest at the edges. In the centre of the image an ear of wheat can be seen and other grasses, glimpsed through the darker green blur.
Willow vision: Taken with my Nikon D7200 300mm f/6.3

I’ve had a really busy week at work recruiting and I’m beginning to feel a little frazzled. It’s also why I haven’t had as much time to post pictures. Because we’re recruiting online using video calls I’ve been spending all day staring at a screen in a way that I wouldn’t usually. I can’t suddenly switch my camera off for a break half way through an interview! This means the last thing I want to do in the evening is stare at the screen some more to choose photos.

But this morning I was feeling tired and a little hemmed in by my long to do list, so procrastination won out and here I am posting photos! I took the photo above at the weekend on my walk along the river. It’s taken through the leaf fronds of a willow tree that create a lovely tunnel to walk through. I like taking photos in that tunnel of leaves because it reminds me of how I see the world. Not a lot of sharp detail and lots of distraction and distortion. Obviously that isn’t exactly how I see the world but it feels like that sometimes. I also like the mood it creates like swimming through a tunnel of green ocean, its a calming colour but it’s also disconcerting because you are so limited in what you can see. So in many ways it also pictures my mental state when I’m feeling stressed.

So in juxtaposition to that, below is a photo I took on my mobile phone when I visited Lindisfarne in 2017. It was just before dawn and I think it captures that stillness you get just before the sun comes up, just before the whole island bursts into life with bird song and seal calls.

A landscape image of the sea. In the bottom left hand corner are the silhouettes of 6 lobster pots leading to an old fashioned shaped lamppost which is also in silhouette against a yellowy white sea and sky. The image darkens as it goes towards the right and the white becomes silver and then a depp purple blue. The sea is calm but ripples can be seen. In the middle of the image there are three boats in silhouette the one in the middle is a small rowing boat the other two small fishing boats. There is a step of dark land towards the centre of the image with a ribbon of silver sea behind it which leads to distant hills and then the dark sky.
Holy Island morning: Taken on my iPhone

Random cats

I landscape aspect image of a cat on a gravel path. The cat looks straight at us and has large blue eyes and ginger tabby markings on its forehead. It’s ears are large and it’s head slim and angled. The rest of its body is cream. The image is cropped just below its body. To the lefts green vegetation borders the path.
Old blue eyes – Nikon D7200 300mm f/6

I love cats. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love cats. We got our first cat when I was 18 months. I’ve never not had a cat. We currently have a tubby, grey tabby called Kasumi. But today I’m sharing some photos of random cats I’ve met. I’ll share some photos of Kasumi another time.

I met the magical looking, blue eyed cat above, yesterday whilst on a walk by the river. He just appeared on the path in front of me. Was happy to pose for photos but on hearing some children heading for the park and even though they were some way off, decided to slip under the fence back to the travelling fairground site.

An image of a black cat against a blue sky. The cats head, shoulders and neck are in shot. It’s eyes are pale green and looking up. It’s due is shiny. Either side of the cat are slim green branches with leaves.
Holy Island cat – Nikon D2700 75mm f/6.3

This beautiful black cat lives on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) I’d like to say she was scouting the horizon for approaching Vikings but she was just murderously fascinated by the birds. I met her hanging out at a lovely coffee shop on the island.

A close up of a black and white cats face and shoulders. The cat as a white bib and mouth and nose. It’s nose is pink. It’s due is thick and plush.
Neighbourhood cat – D7200 300mm f/5.6

And finally we have a photo of a neighbourhood cat my friend Tess has nick named Elon Musk. My cat Kasumi hates Elon. She’s adamant he isn’t going to trespass on her territory and he now seems to have the message about our garden. However our non cat owning neighbour’s garden seems to be fair game for the pair of them to squabble over.

Tricky architecture, brimming with beauty.

A landscape image of a woman walking through ruins. In the far left back of the photo is a square showing trees and a hill in the distance. In front of this is a stone wall and grass. On the right of the photo is a set of tall stone pillars. They are so tall the image does not show their top. The woman is approaching the nearest pillar and is about to walk behind it. She wears a long blue patterned dress in a floaty material. She wears a white cardigan over it and clutches a black bag under her arm. In her raised hand she carries a camera. Her hair is long and blonde. She wears summer sandals and an ankle bracelet. Sunlight shines in shafts across the grass below the ruins.
Tess amongst the ruins – Nikon D7200 18-200 at 55mm f/4.8

It’s three years since that long hot summer of 2018 and exactly three years since I visited my friend Tess and her family in South Wales. I can’t think of anywhere more stunningly beautiful, in the sunshine, than the Wye Valley. It took my breath away.

Tess took me to Tintern Abbey, which I’d wanted to visit for ages. We had a lovely time walking amongst the shady ruins. I took the photograph above of Tess walking with her camera. At the time I was cross with myself for not taking the picture earlier. I felt that Tess was too close to the nearest pillar. But now I think the fact that she’s about to disappear out of view adds something to the photo.

An image in portrait of ruins. The front of the photo shows steps leading upwards. Bright sunlight casts shadows across the steps. Beyond the steps the ground is grassy. Arching over this grass there are a series of 4 arches of different heights and shapes. Right at the end of these arches is a much smaller arch forming a gateway. Two people stand next to this entrance. Beyond this entrance arch there is bright sunlit trees and blue sky above.
Levels – Nikon D7200 18 -200 lens at 18mm f/3.5

The picture above was a tricky one to take. There were so many arches within arches and it was really difficult to get them to line up. In the end I just tried to make the smallest, furthest arch straight. I feel that the diagonal stripe of light across the steps somehow compensated for the arches not being symmetrical.

I love the different levels and perspectives within the picture and the different levels of light.

Street photography 2 – Sci-fi Stratford, paw to paw and business as usual.

an image in landscape aspect taken at the top of steps looking down towards a road and a pedestrian crossing. Above the pedestrian crossing are silver tree like structures with large diamond shaped metal objects arched to them. The diamonds are in different shades of green, yellow and grey. they are reflecting the sunlight casing a shimmery yellow / green light over everything in the photograph. The crossing leads to ah grey building entrance above which is written FORD CENTRE. Behind this there are tower blocks with many windows. There are many people in the photo on the stairs, approaching and on the crossing and walking along the side of the road.
Sci-Fi Stratford – taken with my iPhone

This is one of my favourite photos. I took it in January 2020 at Stratford in London. It’s the before times, so quite busy. I think I took it in the morning, the sun was out after rain and the space age sculptures are reflecting the light in an eerie and unnatural way. If I look at it too long I see all kinds of things wrong with it. I hate taking photos of architecture I can never be satisfied I have it straight. I think the knack is to take everything at a jaunty angle and say its art! But if I don’t spend too long looking at the detail and instead just look at it as an overall image then I love it. The impression it gives, the strange light and people moving is what I wanted to capture. On another note though the light reflecting off those sculptures actually makes the area very hard for me to navigate around. Especially on a day like this when its wet with lots of reflection and glare.

Navigating a reality

Using the word navigate there, really made me think. People who don’t have any significant mobility issues probably don’t think about walking through a familia urban area as navigation. I’m guessing for most non disabled people, navigation might be something you do in a vehicle like a car or a boat, or you might navigate your way through a maze or an obstacle course or metaphorically through bureaucracy. But in normal, every day life, do non-disabled people think of just walking down their local high street or the street they live on as “navigating?” I don’t think they do. Unless they live their life in some sort of sea faring explorer dream world, and if that’s the case, good for them.

For me and for most visually impaired people I know, and many other disabled people, “navigating” is exactly what we have to do all the time, even in familiar surroundings. We’re constantly, consciously plotting a safe course through hostile environment. Whether it’s sculptures that reflect light in a disorientating way, making just putting one foot in front of another difficult. Or it’s wheely bins, A-boards, discarded bikes and e-scooters being left on pavements like icebergs for us to crash into or at best “navigate” around. It is like journeying into new unexplored, dangerous territory every time you leave your house, but with none of the rewards of fame or financial recognition for braving these wilds! Plus most people around you are breezing about oblivious to the difficulties the world around them is posing for other people.

This is one of the reasons that contributes to so many disabled people experiencing stress, exclusion and difficulty in their lives. That constant battle to get from A to B safely and independently, and heaven forbid spontaneously. Sadly many are forced to stay at home or sacrifice their independence and spontaneity because there is no other option. So the photo of Stratford which is often described by those who see it as being like a sci-fi set of a strange future earth or alien planet is kind of right. To me it represents something that looks futuristic and stunning but also dystopian because it’s not an environment I feel welcomed or safe in. It’s one of the ironies of being disabled, recognising something is beautiful whilst that thing makes your life needlessly harder.

The image is in landscape aspect and is of a grey squirrel leaning forward to take a nut from a hand. The image has the hand and squirrels face in focus. The squirrel's back legs on the far left of the image are gripping on to black iron railings. At the far right of the image the person's grey sleeve can be seen, underneath on the inside of their wrist along with fine blue veins there is a tattoo of two animal paws. The squirrel's fur is grey with brown patches on its face and ears. It's eye is bright, black and shiny. It's paw is gripping a nut and the person's finger that is offering it.The nut is already in the squirrels mouth.
Paw to Paw – Nikon D7200 70 -300 lens at 240mm f/5.6

A place where I do feel welcome and safe though in London, is St James’s Park. Once I’ve got there that is. But I’m not going to go into the difficulties of crossing the roads in central London right now. Instead this is a photograph I took exactly a month after the one in Stratford last year. It was towards the end of February 2020 and already thoughts of what was then largely being called “Corona virus” rather than covid, were in my head. I remember trying to keep a sensible distance from the tourists who were enjoying the park. I took this close up of a tourist feeding a squirrel with my zoom lens and it was only when I got home, and uploaded it on to the computer, that I noticed the tattoo of little paw prints on the woman’s wrist. It was perfect!

I love to visit the parks in London. There may be lots of people around but there is less noise, no traffic to worry about and the royal parks in general ban bikes, which helps Though the cyclist in me would love to ride around them if they were empty of people and it was allowed. There are plenty of places to sit and rest in the parks too (the arthritis in my knees and back is very grateful for this!) I also love the real mix of people you see in St James’s Park from the civil servants and possible spies, (well its famous for that isn’t it?) to tourists, workers having their lunch, students, families, everyone in London seems to visit St James’s Park at some point.

An image in portrait aspect of a wet London street. On either side of the image are tall buildings. The one on the right is glass and the one on the left is dark with stripes and some windows which are lit by electric office lights. There are shop windows on the ground floor which are illuminated in a warm orange colour. One is a Pret. The path between the buildings is wet and shiny. It reflects the Shard, a tall glass building which can be seen at the end of the pathway. The shard is also reflected in the glass of the building on the right.Towards the centre but slightly to the right of the image is the silhouette of a person walking. They are reflected in the wet path, their reflection like a shadow.
Path to the shard – taken January 2018

Finally the photo above is another street photo and on another rainy day. The reflections always make a street photo more interesting. This is of a fairly narrow passage between new glossy office buildings heading towards London Bridge station with the Shard looming ahead. The shard reflected in the wet street gives a great contrast to the pedestrians shadow. I had a few shots of this view with and with out the main figure and it is the figure of the pedestrian that makes this image I think and their shadow. It shows that even on a dull day where light is poor, you can find things to photograph.

Squabbling starlings

A landscape aspect image of two starlings on a lawn. The bird on right has his wings arched above his back in a threatening pose. He is standing tall, elongating his legs. His beak is open and he is gripping a bright red shiny cherry. Pale brown spots can be seen on his tummy, the rest of his feathers are dark brown and glossy. Crouched in the grass on the left is a starling with its beak open facing the larger intimidating bird. This bird is dark brown.
It’s my cherry! – Nikon D7200 70 -300 mm at 300mm f/5.6

Although I didn’t think I’d manage it this year, yesterday afternoon I took some photographs of the thieving and squabbling starlings in our garden.

The noise of their hissing and shrieking alerted me to their presence. I’d left my camera on the landing in case they did show up. So I grabbed the camera and positioned myself in one of our bedroom windows facing our garden.

After taking about 100 photos I ventured down stairs and the brazen birds weren’t in the slightest perturbed when I opened the back door slowly and began to photograph them from the kitchen doorway. They were so intent on the cherries and who would keep ownership of them. I took over 200 photos of them in the end. Though only a handful were what I would consider sharable.

There were two or three birds who were content to pick at the fruit already dropped on the lawn. It was these that were making all the shrieking noise. The photo above shows two of them squawking over a cherry. When they didn’t have a cherry or couldn’t grab a cherry off another bird they satisfied themselves with snapping up insects. There’s a photo on my flickr page of one with a large fly in its beak. I like them eating the insects; many of them cause problems with our cherry tree or the roses, so the starlings can eat as many of those critters as they like.

One starling however was avoiding the squabbling masses below and patiently and painstakingly eating the cherries whilst they were still on the tree. Sadly it was positioned away from me so I wasn’t able to get any good photos of it eating the cherries. But it kept grabbling at one with its beak and shaking the flesh loose. Clever bird wasn’t bothered by the others, and got to eat in peace. They’re pictured below resting between bites.

An image in portrait aspect, of a young starling sitting on a tree branch. The bird has creamy feathers on its throat and chest which are catching the sunlight. The rest of the bird is in shade, including its face and dark eye. The features around its eye are paler. The tip of its beak is yellow and just catches the sun light. At its feet, which grip the branch two bright red cherries are attached to the branch. There are green leaves around its feet and back also. The backdrop to the photo is soft blurred green and one slim branch going vertically from behind the bird to the top of the image. It is as if the bird is resting its back against this vertical branch.
Clever bird – camera deals as above

Finally a photo of a glossy looking starling in their iridescent plumage with a cherry. Their beak is still black so they could be a male or a juvenile in their new coat. Apparently adult males and females have yellow beaks in the summer apart from a short time after breeding when the males have a dark beak like the juveniles. I also learnt that the male starts making a nest to attract the female, who then finishes the nest off, often removing most of the work the male had already put in place. I can hear the female starlings now muttering under their breath “if you want a job done right then do it yourself…”

An image in portrait aspect of a glossy starling with a ripe cherry in its beak. The starling is amongst grass on a lawn. The starling has a dark black beak which is glinting in the sunlight. The beak is gripping on to half a red cherry. The starlings black eye glints in the sun. It's feathers are brown but shine with iridescent greens and pinks, like it is slicked with oil. The heathers on its wings and tale are fringed with a caramel colour that contrasts with the dark rich brown.
Beak on the prize – camera details as above