Thursday 12 January 2012

Well at least the moon was nice

Well you dont need me to tell you that as wildlife photographers you need to have a lot of patience and resilience to the elements.

So what do you do to pass the time while you are waiting for the species you have driven out to see, to turn up.

Well on the last day of the holidays, I headed only about 50 minutes away from my house to see if I could get my first Short Eared Owls of the year.

As you will see from the following, they didn't show....again.

So the mind and your eyes turns to other things as you wait, and wait, and wait,.....and wait. And as your body core temperature drops as it is only about 2 deg C, but the wind is biting into to you to make it feel many degrees colder. Minutes seemed to last for ever.

Hunger sets in, so you raid the food stores, and quickly you get more bored, so out comes the flask.

And then another ten minutes go by, and you think I'll have another cuppa, but then you realise at this rate you will run out of drink very soon. So you decide that you will reward yourself, by waiting another twenty minutes before the next one.

You make sure the camera is still set up OK, even though you did it five times in last twenty minutes anyway. The flask calls you tantalisingly, but your will holds

Oh look, there's an aircraft - lets check the AF is working OK.

Light aircraft on ILS practice approach to Gloucester airport, some good few miles away from me at this stage.

More time goes by - that looks like a nice gate, how is that framed? OK that would look great with an Owl flying through the middle wouldn't it?

Now we get all arty and start to take 'enviro' shots of a distant kestrel - doh!! Now you know things are getting bad now

Ooh! Thats a lovely partial moon, so crisp and clear

Arrgh, now thats better - ten minutes later as it's a bit darker. Makes a change from the black ones and full shape.

Meanwhile, you have been on site for over four hours, not seen a single Owl, or anything much else of interest. You are frozen through to the core, run out of food, run out of hot tea. You take the last test shots, and at ISO3200, 1/80s on a 700 lens, and down to f7.1, you finally accept you have run out of options.

Its a great life isn't it. But we will be back for more won't we?



  1. Great summary Martin. I like really does sum up the life of a photographer.

  2. Hi Martin, a lovely read. I know that feeling only too well. Was that the place you and I went to some years ago ? If so, they are certainly still around as my brother in law was there as well and had good views. Apparently there are also some back north of there (I'm text you if you want the location).


  3. Lovely pictures and awesome photography.