Tag Archives: BWPA

Meeting things head-on!

No, this isn’t a post about an upbeat approach to life or a new form of positivity training, but I was feeling both upbeat and positive when I found that for the second consecutive month I’d had an image chosen from one of my image libraries to be used on the front cover of Birdwatching magazine (thanks again for letting me know Gary).

The interesting thing is that in neither instance were they rare or particularly “difficult” subjects to be looking to photograph – last month it was Long-Tailed Tits and this month (perhaps unsurprisingly) it was a Robin: both photographed at my local feeding setup but could equally have been done so in my garden as they both frequent it quite regularly.

It did get me thinking though as to just why they might have been chosen.  I’d like to say that it was because they were simply so stunning in terms of their execution that they were images destined for great things, but aside from some decent thought on composition and space for the designing process, made even easier by the selection of a nice clean background aided by a long lens, I can hardly claim any unique maserpieces here.

One thing did strike about this Robin shot though and that’s that it’s head-on: not always the preferred approach from a classical photographic or even a natural history perspective but it does give just that bit more sense of personality and character and in this instance the inquisitive and almost cheeky charateristics that Robins undoubtedly possess certainly comes leaping out at you.

It prompted me to have a look back through some old images for a number of other examples of this head-on style appeared that I have liked in the past and in some instances done well for me commercially as well as in competitions too: this haughty looking Hare was selected for the British Wildlife Photography Awards book last year and the Puffin was a cover shot on RSPB’s Birds a couple of years back too.

It’s food for thought in these hyper-competitive times when it comes to making any money at all out of your images, but maybe tackling your subjects head-on might just open up some new opportunities. What price this Black Guillemot somewhere soon?

British Wildlife Photography Awards

I’m pleased to say that this morning it has been announced that I have won the BWPA 2011 Video category with a short film I made earlier this year when sepending most of the Spring with a local family of Great Crested Grebes.  You may reacall from a prior blog post just what it cost in terms of lenses too!

I owe a great deal of thanks to friend and fellow photographer Paul Bunyard who really got my head round the capablilities of SLRs when it comes to video and also got me started with the otherwise daunting process of editing all the various clips that the several weeks I spent with these birds generated, the hardest part of which was getting it all down to the one minute running time requirement of the competition!

Paul and I co-run weekends teaching how to get the most out of your SLR from a video perspective (there’s much more to it than simply turning to the video setting) as well as the editing side of things too and you can find details of our next one here:


I was also really pleased to achieve a Highly Commended for the Watching the Roost image in the Living Landscape category and for my local town canals Swimming Cygnet shot to be chosen for inclusion in the book of this years competition as well.

I’ve never been one that enjoys blowing thier own trumpet generally but on days like this it’s always nice to know that your work is both recognised as well as appreciated.