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cambridge wildlife photography

A Marsh Harrier Kinda Morning

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A Marsh Harrier Kinda Morning

A few mornings ago I was up bright and breezy (well I was after a large caffeine injection) and out into the morning mist. I had decided to stay reasonably local and check out one of the local Fens no more than 3 miles from where I live. It's actually also a favourite spot of mine when I need to get a few miles on softer ground into my week's running schedule. Marsh Harrier [Male] with Nest Material I was actually on the trail of the illusive Watervole (partly to do with photography and partly to do with a survey that I am taking part in)

Marsh Harrier [Female]Sadly no voles to speak of, but my morning was certainly not a waste as I was able to watch a pair of Marsh Harriers flying for around an hour. Watched the male pass the female a few items of prey as well, which is part of their courtship routine. Such beautiful birds and I'm always happy to see them right on my local patch.

Marsh Harrier in Flight I really hope they are successful in breeding this season. Always an absolute joy to watch.

The image below is actually one from last year this time down at Burwell Fen. I love watching birds of prey hunt over the misty fens. Very evocative, don't you think?

Female Marsh Harrier Over Burwell Fen

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The Grumpy Hare

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The Grumpy Hare

I'm not too sure this Hare was best pleased with the Photoshoot I had organised .. perhaps it was the HARE and makeup .... oh sorry that's terrible :) The Grumpy Hare

Technial details

  • Camera: Canon 1DX
  • Lens: 400mm f/2.8 (with 2x Extender attached)
  • Settings: f/5.6, 640ISO, 1/2000 second

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Standing in Front of More Interesting Stuff

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Standing in Front of More Interesting Stuff

There are two phrases which I'm struggling to get out of my head recently. #NeverStopExploring

"To be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff"

The second of of these statements comes from National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson.

It is at the end of each year that we naturally look back at the previous 12 months, as well as looking forward to what the following year may bring. As I look back at my body of work from 2014 I ask myself have I improved as a photographer? I try and pick out, what I feel, is my best work. Have I managed to get 12 images in the past 12 months which I would be happy to add to my portfolio - that body of work which represents, what I feel, are my highest quality images?

Good Drying Weather

Sadly, this year, I have to say no. I don't think I've added anywhere near the 12 images which I can, hand on heart, say would make it into that collection. Sure there have been a few moments which have been very pleasing over the past year including Water Voles, Barn Owls and of course a wonderful trip to South Africa. I still however feel that my most recent images, when I come to review them, leave me feeling flat, especially when compared to others out there who inspire me.

Another worrying fact that perhaps backs up my feeling is that from out of my five most popular images on 500px (normally a reasonably good marker to how they may stand the test of time) only one has been taken in the past 12 months, with 3 of them coming from before 2010.

A Day at the Beach

And what about that first statement, #NeverStopExploring. Well as much as I love to shoot both landscape and wildlife on my doorstep (#MyLocalPatch) I know that I need to get outside of my comfort zone a little more - to explore more, much much more.

I already know that the year ahead will bring quite a few new challenges (more on that in time), but I'm determined to use these two statements to drive me forward. They are going to become my mantra as I head into 2015. To ensure that I don't stop exploring and in doing so making sure that I put myself in front of many more interesting things to shoot.

Walkies

Of course it would be nice, come the end of 2015 when I'm doing a similar look back / look forward, that I can add a few additional images to my portfolio, but this won't be what will have pleased me most. No. It will instead be when I repeat those above two statements to myself can I, hand on heart, say that YES, I didn't stop exploring and in doing so put myself in front of much more interesting things.

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