Archive for October, 2011

A Malachite Kingfisher

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Here is the Malachite Kingfisher that I photographed recently in Kenya.

Of the four types of Kingfisher I was able to photograph in Africa, this one most resembles the species we have here in the UK. The colours of the Malachite are however far more saturated and vivid. That effect is enhanced in this picture as I photographed the bird against a darker background.

This species was my favourite of the Kingfishers so I spent plenty of time searching for them whenever I came across any small rivers, streams or pools of water.

A Pied Kingfisher, with its catch…

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Here is a Pied Kingfisher that I photographed recently in Kenya.

I have not had any success photographing Kingfishers in the UK. I see them from time to time but on the rare occasions that I have observed one through my camera lens it has always been a long way back in the frame. With Kenya offering an incredibly large variety of birds, I decided to dedicate a much greater proportion of my time this year to photographing the bird life in Kenya. It was a nice alternative in-between the usual sessions with the Big Cats.

Over a two week period I managed to photograph four different species of Kingfisher. In the UK I haven’t got four decent frames of just the one species…

Wildebeest running. Blurred with a slow shutter speed and a panning technique…

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Here is an image of two Wildebeest running.

There are many occasions when the Wildebeest will run during their migration. So, having collected the standard “freeze the action” images, I decided to try and record some more creative pictures. Here I slowed the shutter speed right down and then tracked the movement of the Wildebeest whilst releasing the shutter. The theory is that if I can pan at the same speed as the subject then the subject will be acceptably sharp and the background will be rendered blurred. There is a lot of trial and error involved to not only master the panning technique but also to decide on a shutter speed that suits the movement in your subject.

I selected this image, from the many that I took, because their heads were relatively still. Post production was a simple case of sharpening just the eyes.

Front cover image – Country Life magazine.

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Today one of my Little Owl images made the front cover of Country Life magazine.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that I spent almost three months earlier this year working with a family of Little Owls. I say “working”, it was actually most enjoyable and a pleasure to spend time with these wild birds. The family increased in size over that time with three Owlets successfully reared.

This is one of the adult Little Owls running towards its chick.

British Wildlife Photography Award – Highly commended image.

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Just a short note to communicate some success in this years British Wildlife Photography Awards.

Back in May 2011 I sent a selection of images to the BWPA for consideration in this years competition. At the end of June I was asked to submit high resolution files for three of my entries, together with the original camera RAW data. These RAW files are used to verify that the images sent for consideration are genuine and to ensure that any post processing has been kept within some tightly controlled limits. In September I was invited to the awards ceremony in London which takes place this Friday 14th October at Alexandra Palace.

The BWPA book showing the winning images is now available so this weekend I discovered that this image of a Starling, taken in my back garden, features on page 38 as a Highly Commended image. It just goes to show that you don’t need to travel or have a rare species to be considered for an award in this competition .