20 December 2010

BBC feature on Paul Miguel!

I was recently interviewed by BBC Leeds for a website feature on winter wildlife photography. Click: Snow is Good News for Wildlife Photographer to see the article on the BBC Leeds website.
The conditions continue to be amazing here in Yorkshire... today with the most stunning and widespread hoar-frost I have ever seen. Hopefully there will be a good few more days of opportunities for sub-zero photography with plenty more snow and ice.!
Best wishes to everyone for Christmas and the New Year.

17 December 2010

Wildlife Photography Competition Finalist!

Another successful competition entry! This time in the Wildlife Extra wildlife photography competition. Click Here to view my image and other finalists. Unfortunately I didn't manage to win the birds category but still pleased to have got so far.

The photo was shot at Adel Dam nature reserve near Leeds, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve. It was taken from the lake-side hide early one summer morning. Herons are often present, as are kingfishers. Foxes and roe deer are regularly seen at the woodland edge and this was the second time I had seen at least one fox snoozing close to the lake. I followed this particular heron as it waded through the water in changing light. As it neared the foxes I expected a stand-off; instead both foxes and bird carried on regardless, providing this unusual wildlife image. I think both knew where they stood: the heron was safe enough in the water and the foxes knew the heron was aware of their presence... or perhaps the heron was a bit too big to tackle. !

Image shot with Canon 20D; 300mm lens plus 1.4x converter; f5.6 at 1/320; ISO 200; beanbag

03 December 2010

Winter Photography Techniques

The current conditions give some incredible opportunities for photography. That said - it requires a lot of effort and planning to take perfect winter shots, so I thought I would post a few tips... not just the ordinary, but those little things that help me during the depths of winter.

1. BE PREPARED! Don't get caught out: think about clothing, keeping your gear dry, your phone charged...and are you prepared if you get stuck..?

2. Whilst driving, keep those extra socks warm by putting them in your pockets or stuffing them under your jumper..

3. Have some food with you: small but light; pieces of cake, flapjacks and chocolate are good ways of keeping your calories up...

4. Keep batteries warm - keep spare batteries in on your person (preferably inside pockets) - the warmth will help. Have at least 2 or 3 batteries as the cold can zap their strength quickly...

5. Make a waterproof covering for your camera if photographing in the snow. I have a sleeve made out of old waterproof trousers to cover my camera and lens when shooting wildlife in falling snow or blizzard...

6. Safety first. If the road looks too dodgy to drive on - don't try it. You are better off finding another alternative than getting stuck in the snow and ending up with nothing.


Winter Wildlife Photography

A couple of days ago I spent an incredible morning photographing the deer at Studley Deer Park near Ripon, as part of a 1:1 photography day with a client. The conditions were magical and we both got some stunning shots of the deer amidst the falling snow. Some of my shots were taken at ISO 800 where I had to hand-hold. Otherwise, I was able to make use of a tree to brace the camera and then reduce the ISO. The falling snow really adds to these wintry portaits. Every so often we would see two young males without antlers - kicking up the snow as they balanced on hind legs to box one another. What a privilege to capture this on camera.!!

Certainly a memorable day of deer photography and some of the best winter wildlife photographs I've ever taken.!