NATURE WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
I have decided to write something that could be called
a monthly summary of my photographic efforts.
Plans, execution, and just admitting what I have done over the past month and how I have been doing. I already know that not every month will be filled with information. Nevertheless, I am going for it and taking it as a challenge as well as motivation against my laziness :D. March was quite eventful for me. Although I was sick for a week, it gave me some time to organize my photography a bit. Well, not everything can be planned in nature, but there is a possibility to go somewhat prepared. This year, I have prepared a schedule. I wrote down a timeline in Excel where I recorded my activities and the best periods to shoot certain things. This gave me an overview and the opportunity to think about what I will prioritize and focus on this year.
► SONY A1 / SONY 200-600 MM ║ 600MM ║ f7.1 ║ 1/250 ║ ISO 1000
For the past few years, I have been a bit scattered. I changed locations and tried to shoot something without much planning. In my head, I then tried to figure out what to shoot first, who to follow, and it seemed more confusing, and in the end, I didn't take many photos. Certainly not something that I would be extra proud of and that would justify the time I devoted to it. This year, I want to avoid that and have planned locations and periods when I want to focus on certain things. I know I can't do everything, so I have eliminated certain types of photography that I often do and will focus only on a narrower selection.
Water birds - herons, cormorants, and little grebes
For this year, I have found a new location for photographing water birds. I will focus on herons, cormorants, and to my pleasant surprise, two pairs of little grebes visit the location. I can rely on them quite a bit and they always swim towards me. They are quite small, so I can take nice details shots which I couldn't do before. It was important for me to find a photogenic location where the birds return regularly. I succeeded in that. It's quite deserted, so it also offers enough peace. Nobody and no birds disturb me, and I can try my luck from dawn until early morning. I also found fox dens in the area, but according to the records from the photo trap we installed there, unfortunately, they are uninhabited. Too bad, it could have been a great opportunity to get closer to these predators.
► SONY A1 / SONY 200-600 MM ║ 600MM ║ f9 ║ 1/125 ║ ISO 1000
► SONY A1 / SONY 200-600 MM ║ 600MM ║ f6,3 ║ 1/800 ║ ISO 1250
This year I tried using a heron decoy for the first time
I don't even remember where I read or saw it, but using a decoy can help you deceive birds and make them believe that the place you are in is safe. This is especially true for herons, which are quite distrustful and have excellent eyesight. Even though I am in a hide, they can sense that something is slightly different and are reluctant to perch too close to me. They fly over me with suspicion and if they do perch, it is at a safe distance away from me. Fortunately, the decoy has somewhat reduced their distrust. Don't expect miracles from it, though. You still need to be well-camouflaged and limit your movements to a minimum. Even a slight movement of the camera lens will startle the heron. But the decoy gives you a chance to make the heron feel safer and get closer to it.
The decoy should be placed at a short distance from the hide, not too close so that the crow doesn't perch too close to me, but also not too far away. And not in places where crows typically perch, as I plan to photograph them there. Maybe it could work, but I certainly don't want this decoy to appear in the shot. However, the heron's decoy doesn't only work on herons. Other birds are familiar with herons and their presence acts as a certain guarantee of safety. Even cormorants and grebes have dared to approach very close because of it. I plan to use a decoy to photograph mudflats, and I believe it will have a similar effect on them.