Gordon Wilcock's Wildlife Photography Blog
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
I am starting a blog to accompany my wildlife photography website - wilcockwildlifephotography.co.uk The website is in its early days and will grow and evolve over time. Its content reflects the fact that my main interest centres on bird photography, but I also like to photograph other wildlife from time to time and some of these photographs are also posted on the website.
I started taking a serious interest in bird photography about 5 years ago having had a lifelong interest in both ornithology and photography, previously as separate activities. Bringing them together involved acquiring expensive kit but this has been worth it. I have also had to learn to be patient, sometimes to the extent of spending a whole day in a hide without seeing any sign of the hoped for species.
Even when a subject appears, taking an interesting shot often proves challenging. It depends on a number of factors including what the bird or animal decides to do, e.g. how it interacts with other birds or animals, how close it comes, the angle it presents itself at, and especially the direction, quality and strength of the light. Balancing these with the technological capabilities of the camera and lens is part of the art of wildlife photography – I learnt early on that one can’t just point and shoot!
In addition to a capable camera and lenses I found it essential to have other accessories, not just the obvious ones like flashguns, but also those that help take photographs when I am unable to get close enough to the action to press the shutter button myself, e.g. a wireless trigger system that will fire the camera and/or flash whilst I am hidden a distance away. It has also been helpful to have triggers that detect an animal’s presence and fire the camera and flash when I can’t be present. This has resulted in some interesting shots at night in a local wood which the landowner has kindly given me access to, although often the pictures are a bit of a hotchpotch – and it’s amazing how many rabbits a small wood can sustain - and they are really into selfies!
Recently the “lockdown” situation has been a major constraint as one could not travel any distance or share a hide with another ornithologist or photographer. However the amount of wildlife in one’s garden is amazing and I have concentrated on this recently. It has included a number of nesting birds, e.g. Wren, Starling and Goldcrest, and two different families of Woodmice, also known as Fieldmice. They really are charming and presented some interesting photographic opportunities, see below, but sadly the local cats have a different point of view!