I love taking photographs of animals, but it can be extremely frustrating. The image above was captured in St. James’s Park in London. There were a number of Geese and a large crowd of people watching a “larger than life” American man feeding the birds. With so many other geese, pigeons and other birds around fighting for bread it was very difficult to get the one bird on its own without any distractions in the background. On this occasion I took six photographs, I am fortunate enough to have a camera with continuous drive so I can take 3 photos a second. This really helps as the goose is fast moving and when it is gone its gone. You can’t ask animals to come back and do it again. This is why a lot of animal photography is simply about being there at the right time and having patience to wait for the bird to do what you want. I am very pleased with the above image but find the background a little distracting.
Sometimes it’s just luck. Taking pictures of birds with a compact camera is difficult. I have found that seagulls and pigeons are probably the easiest of bird to photograph as they are very comfortable around man. We were sat on the front at Blackpool having an ice cream and the world’s most friendly Seagull came to talk to me (kind of). He came so close it was almost threatening. I love the look on the birds face and possibly wouldn’t have published this image if it wasn’t for the second seagull in the background. I decided to make the photograph black and white because there wasn’t much colour in the original. I never new seagulls had red eyes until I looked closely at this image. Hope you like this bird as much as I do.
The image above was taken back in July 2006 whilst exploring Edinburgh Zoo. I’m not sure what type of Penguins these are but they have two large areas for them. There are a few dozen of them swimming and waddling around their enclosure. Animals are notoriously very difficult to take pictures of, as they are usually moving and quite unpredictable. I’m pleased I caught this penguin in mid air as he was diving into the pool, but I feel I was stood in the wrong place. Standing 10 feet to the left would have meant he wouldn’t appear as if he was diving out of the photograph. It isn’t very often I go to zoos though and seeing the penguins lining up in single file to jump of the board into the water was a great thing to watch. Although, it wasn’t very cute when the one behind on the board turned around, excreted into the water and then dived in.
Whilst browsing through my now extensive collection of photographs of Scotland. I found this interesting picture of a Seagull watching over the beautiful harbour at Dunbar (about 40 miles east of Edinburgh along the coast). The image above is definitely not as good photographically as the one I published on the same day I took this (Tuesday 18th July 2006). But I did want to show the boat on its side, which didn’t feature in the previous photo. Taken into this sun the original file straight out of the camera looks very different, using Photoshop I was able to mask out the foreground rocks and colour correct the background separately to the foreground. This took maybe 15 minutes to do something that would have taken a good 3 – 5 hours in a traditional darkroom. It seems the more technology advances we can do more with our time but that only puts more demands on our time.