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Kingfishers of 2019 (The End Of This Years Project) – Framed Prints Now Available!

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It started off quite a difficult task this year with the Kingfishers. The river level was a little lower than usual in late spring which didn’t provide the correct angles I was looking for with my perched portraits. It wasn’t until the juveniles left the nests that I was able to shoot at the correct angles. It really was a waiting game, which paid off.

The local Kingfishers bred very successfully this year and I had some amazing sessions with them. All my favourite photos follow below. Most of these photos and others are available to purchase in print in the Webshop.

Clicking each photo will open up the product in the shop. I am slowly updating the shop to include these prints framed. All Kingfisher photos are now available framed! To celebrate my the Kingfisher success, all Kingfisher prints (including framed) have been discounted until the end of September!

Please note, currently all framed prints are available for local pickup only and can be viewed (by appointment only) in my viewing gallery here at the Quinta. I can also meet and greet in the central Algarve area!

Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
The Perfect Pose : 📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/1000sec, f/10, ISO800
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An Old Owl Friend Or a New One?

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The local Little Owl I photographed earlier this year has been missing from it’s favourite perch on a dead tree stump for months. I have heard Little Owls in that area and simply put it down to the breeding season.

Last night we passed the tree stump on our way into the village and there was a Little Owl back on top.

This evening I decided to go and have a session with it, I arrived at the stump and the Owl was already sitting there, so turned to plan b. I drove away and prepared the car as a hide and then parked up close to the tree. I find that Little Owls can be approached in this way as long as they don’t see you. I had a camouflage net over the passenger window, a Photography Bean Bag over the top of the open window aperture with the camera resting on top. I managed to get some shots before it flew to various other trees as it was clearly hunting for it’s dinner. (the story continues below the photos)

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Little Owl - Mocho-galego - Athene noctua
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/160sec, f/8, ISO100
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New Location At The River

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Yesterday I installed yet another perch for the Kingfishers to use. The river pools are getting smaller by what seems like every minute and although it results in the Kingfishers being more concentrated on certain areas, it means I have less good angles to shoot with.

This mornings task was to photograph a Kingfisher just coming into land on the perch with outstretched wings. Everything was going to plan until I broke my number one rule of “Focus on what you are trying to get and don’t be distracted!”.

The camera was setup, pointed at the perch, I had pre-focused, AF settings and fast shutter speed all dialled in. All I had to do was wait for a Kingfisher to fly to the perch. Although there were many visits to the perch all of them approached from in front rather than behind, then one of the young females landed high in a branch of a tree behind the perch. She dived into the water and retreated to another branch directly behind the perch. I wanted to look to see if she had caught a fish and moved the camera and focused on her, she flew right at the perch and I didn’t get the camera moved back in time. Yes, I am kicking myself! This was the last time I saw her this morning as she had already caught two large Louisiana Crayfish.

I did get some portrait shots of her on the perch earlier.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Female) - Guarda-rios (juvenil femea) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/800sec, f/11, ISO640
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Young Kingfishers Are Now Out Of The Nests

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It’s taken a long-time this year to get these particular shots of the Kingfishers which started many months ago, originally with the adults.

I have been trying to get very dark backgrounds to create an almost studio-like image. I appreciate that these style of photographs are not to everyone’s taste, but the idea was to create a contrast to bring out the detail in the feathers.

The problem I have had this year is that every time I set the scene, the river has dried out before I manage to capture any shots. However, I found an area where the river has pooled and it seems to be a popular dive spot. This scene has been set for 3 days, however, every morning since has been cloudy. I was awake at 6am this morning and again, the skies were unseasonably cloudy. Slightly later, there seemed be a large gap in the cloud cover so I headed down to the river and got lucky before the cloud re-appeared.

There was a pair of juveniles at the spot, unfortunately, the female didn’t come out into the light, but the male was very happy on the perch. The light still wasn’t great, but good enough even though I was shooting with a slightly slower shutter speed to what I was hoping for. Luckily, he stayed still enough for long enough!

The big giveaway that this is a young male is the legs, you’ll notice that they are not bright coloured, adult Kingfishers have very bright coloured legs.

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Common Kingfisher (Juvenile Male) - Guarda-rios (juvenil macho) - Alcedo atthis
📷 Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/640sec, f/8, ISO500Continue reading >>

Lovers At Sunset

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I’ve been thinking about this shot for a while, but if I’m honest, it was more to get a White Stork family with juveniles in the shot. However, when I arrived and pair were standing facing each other it worked even better.

The sun is directly behind the nest creating this amazing back-lit silhouette of the White Storks sitting on the nest. Standing a fair distance away and using a long lens (500mm) created the sun to be almost the same size as the nest. I love the way it looks like the streetlight is lit too, it wasn’t.

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Lovers At Sunset



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