SEO = Short-eared Owl season…

March 31st, 2015

The first quarter of each calendar year sees me turn my attentions to photographing Short-eared Owls.

The combination of this over wintering Owl and the low setting winter sun makes for an ideal image in my mind. Well that is the theory… In practise I spend countless hours hiding in fields, waiting for the Owl, hoping for some sunshine and praying that the wind direction is favourable to capture “that” image. With so many variables it is little wonder that on many occasions I come back home “empty handed”.

When the elements do all fall in to place however, it is very rewarding and the hours spent freezing my feet and hands are soon forgotten. This 2015 SEO season, despite a poor and frustrating start, has ultimately produced some of my best images of this beautiful Owl.

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BIRDGUIDES — PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2014

February 26th, 2015

I am delighted to announce that my image of a Kestrel has been awarded

PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2014 by BIRDGUIDES.

There were around 325,000 bird images uploaded to www.birdguides.com over the last year, so for mine to be chosen from such a large pool is personally very rewarding.
Well done to all of the runners up and Highly Commended photographers and thanks to Birdguides and their judges for organising this competition. Full details can be found here:- http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=4847

This image was in fact one of the very first images I took whilst testing and fine tuning my Canon 7D MK2 camera . It was coupled to a Canon 800mm lens when this picture was taken.


Kestrel PHOTO OF THE YEAR

Barn Owl season begins…

January 31st, 2015

There is one bird of prey that is an instant favourite. The Barn Owl.

It is a privilege and pleasure to see these birds at any time of the year. Over the last twelve months I have found a number of birds locally. Some are very much night hunters and I never see them during the day. Others are a little more confident and will occasionally put in an appearance when the sun is still shining. I have found them to be very difficult to predict. Their patterns of behaviour change almost daily which results in many “wasted” hours hoping for a glimpse of this elegant bird.

When one does come out during the day and hunts within “photographic” range, then all of that “wasted” time becomes irrelevant.


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Testing a Canon 7D MK2 on Kestrels…

November 30th, 2014

Canon recently released the Canon 7D MK2 camera, aimed squarely at wildlife and sports photographers. A few days after it started to arrive in the UK stores, this new DSLR was firmly in my hands.

I use a full frame Canon 1DX for nearly all of my photographs these days. That camera consistently gives me high quality images time after time. However, being full frame, there are times when I wish that my camera and lens combination had a little more “reach”. Therefore, the 1.6 crop factor offered by the Canon 7D MK2 was the prime reason why I added this camera body to my kit bag. Sometimes, when I am photographing small birds for example, the birds can still be a little too small in the frame on my 1DX camera. Having some extra “reach” is also advantageous when photographing larger but more “nervous” species. Birds like this Kestrel have a natural comfort zone, and it doesn’t like coming too close to my hide. By connecting the 1.6 crop camera to my lens it allows me to place the hide much further away from the bird, allowing the Kestrel to be more relaxed.


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RSPB Love Nature magazine, “Photo of the Issue”

October 31st, 2014

I am delighted to see my image of a Great Crested Grebe in the latest issue of RSPBs Love Nature magazine.

The RSPB often print readers images in their magazine but this particular image was selected as their “Photo of the Issue”. Apart from the obvious personal recognition, the prize that they awarded was very suitable indeed. More than 500 pounds of outdoor weather clothing including boots from Blacks in the UK.

I would like to say a great big thank you to the RSPB for selecting my image and to Blacks for sponsoring the “Photo of the Issue” prize.


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