Thursday, 22 November 2012

Kingfishers Updated

So Kingfishers........

They really are an addiction for me now. There is something about sitting there waiting, and waiting, then that magical moment when you here their call and they come zooming round the corner and land in front of the hide. It really is the best feeling in my wildlife photography, when an animal I have been waiting for turns up! Getting images is just a bonus as far as I am concerned.

Charlie Hamilton-James said in his book - 'Kingfisher' :

'the whole world can go to hell' while he stands and watches Kingfishers from his hide/kitchen window. I can completely relate to this. Something about them is so captivating. I think it is the years and years I have tried (and failed) to photograph them that has made them ever more special to me personally. Every-time I see one now I appreciate them so much more.

Below are a few of some old images that didn't make it to the last blog post.

I have also been experimenting with black and white. I did not think it would work due to the colours of the KF. Its normally a main part of the images but for some reason. Extract the colour and the images still work for me. I think it shows the kingfisher differently, what do you think?

I had been struggling to come up with new ideas for shots after my last blog post. But in early November I received an email commissioning a shot of a Kingfishers eye for 'Richard Hammonds, Miracles of Nature' I had two days to get the shot and my god it was a challenge!

Firstly I got online and hired a lens from 'Lenses for Hire' it arrived super quick and by 9am the next day I was armed with my weapon of choice. A sigma 150mm macro lens. Then then got to the site and set up a custom perch in an area of the river with no natural over hanging branches. I then set up my hide in the river and camera/tripod 6 inches from the perch. I got in the hide and for the following  7 hours on day one, it rained like I have never seen/felt/heard/tasted rain before. I was never going to get the shot because she (Mable - the kingfisher) was so flighty in the wind and rain and for a macro shot she had to be perfectly still.

I went home empty handed and started to get nervous as I had only a few hours to get the shot the next day. Again I got in the hide in the morning and immediately noticed that the conditions were better. A very long story, very short. I got the shot midway through the second day.

While I had the chance I also took a number of other images of the bird up close. They are more abstract.....

Seeing my work on TV was nuts to say the least. It was only 4 seconds but it was so so cool. 

And a cheeky credit!!

I am currently working on a few other images, so stay tuned. Im very much looking ford to the frosts. My wide angle lens is going to get used a lot to capture her in the winter morning (if she chooses to get out of bed)!!!!!!!!!

Thanks very much for reading. I hope you enjoyed the images. If you have any suggestions / Feedback / ideas for new unique shots let me know. 


  1. All good shots Sam, really like the feather detail in the macro shots. You could make some cash hiring your hide out and then get some funds towards lenses, lol. Have you used/thought about high speed flash on these images.

  2. I can't believe that you can get within that range of a KF, Sam. Amazing close ups as a result. These images are beautiful, but my favourite is the penultimate one of the series - such beautiful movement in the bird. Well done on your achievement.