Away With The Birds: a new photographic perspective

Osprey, River Gwash Trout Farm, Rutland

OM System OM1, 40-150mm f2.8 lens @ 150mm, 1/1600s @ f2.8, ISO 1600

 

20th April, 2024 

As some of you will know, for the last few years I have been increasingly troubled with back problems that made carrying a heavy rucksack around the mountains difficult and, as a consequence, just over 18 months ago I underwent back surgery. I was fortunate that, as these things go, the surgery was very successful. Nevertheless, for the best part of my 6 months of rehabilitation it was difficult to spend any length of time sitting or standing in front of a computer, let alone getting out and taking photographs. Unsurprisingly, as a result, and perhaps also drained by the intensity of the COVID-19 project that had occupied me for the preceding 2 years, my interest in photography waned.

 

After my surgery, and having taken the decision to retire from full time working in the NHS, I began to find enthusiasm for photography returning. I have always had a love of birds, something that I inherited from my father. While I had often photographed them, it had never been a serious part of my photography but in the year leading up to my operation, as getting around the mountains became more difficult, I started to take more bird photographs. With my renewed enthusiasm for photography returning, I challenged myself to take better bird photographs.

 

Bird photography is undoubtedly the most difficult photography I have ever undertaken, and also the most rewarding  when you get it right. Not only has it rejuvenated my love of photography, but I have also discovered many new and beautiful places, many of which I had previously passed by, oblivious of their existence, in my headlong rush to the mountains. Perhaps even more importantly, I have been privileged to meet and make friends with some remarkable new people, from whom I have also learned a great deal.

 

I have no intention of giving up landscape or documentary photography, and I think that this new direction will improve those aspects of my photography too, but trying to create images of these extraordinary creatures has, for now at least, become the primary focus of my photography. In the months ahead I shall use this blog to chart the ups and downs of this new journey, give more information on some of the photographs that I take, and share the lessons that I learn along the way.

 

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