The Joy of Bird Photography

I love a challenge.  It’s not enough to capture a sharp image of a woodland kingfisher, I want to capture the kingfisher in really nice light.  And once I have that image, I want the same sharpness, the same light, but now I want the bird in flight, chasing a dragonfly…that is also sharp and well lit.  And of course, I’d prefer a nice clean background and good bokeh.

That’s a photograph I do not have.  I may never have it.  But I certainly won’t stop looking for it.

Please wish me luck!

I have seen a zillion little brown birds (LBBs) and have photographed very few of them.  I can identify even fewer (as I’ve said many times, I’m not a birder, just a bird photographer).  But something strange happens when I point a big lens at an LBB.  Often the LBB is spectacularly beautiful with metallic highlights and distinct coloration that I can’t see without my lens.

Then the challenge is on!  Because in the world of nature photography, it’s a real challenge to capture a sharp, well lit, dramatic image of an LBB in flight.  LBBs tend to be quick.  And unpredictable.

So I need my biggest lens, quick reflexes, and luck.

And sometimes luck plays right into my hands.  I have seen exactly one rosy-breasted longclaw in my life.  It’s a gorgeous bird, and for about five minutes my sole sighting perched less than 20 feet from my truck in the Ngorongoro Crater.


This is my favourite image, as the bird seems to be eyeing me intently.

I never saw the longclaw catch a bug.  I didn’t capture a single image of it in flight.  I’ve been back to that exact same spot on three subsequent trips, and haven’t seen it since.  But on next year’s trip, I guarantee I’ll be looking…

In photography, there is never a limit to how you can challenge yourself.  It’s just a question of dedication and creativity.

While I’m out seeking my next image, please peruse the images I’ve currently posted.  They are all available for purchase in multiple sizes and styles.