The photographs in this gallery are not of birds on Skye. I have not yet had time to research bird photography here. However, I hope you will enjoy some of my past photos. Of course, we can process our photos anywhere at a later date and the following two were inspired by a treatment I saw on-line recently, so they have at least been created on Skye!
First is a red kite, originally photographed at Gigrin Farm in Wales:
Second is a gannet, photographed in Southern Ireland:
This puffin landing was also taken in Southern Ireland. As with all wildlife photography, it came about through learning the proper techniques, studying the behaviour of the subject, and of course, lots and lots of practice! One of the most valuable benefits of digital photography is to be able to learn more quickly. We get instant feedback on how we're doing and we don't feel restricted by the cost of film and processing.
This shot of a meadow pipit collecting grubs was an opportunistic grab shot at the 17th tee of Turnberry's Ailsa course during a practice day for the 138th Open Championship. No golfers were harmed in the making of this photo. Fortunately for me, sports and wildlife require similar equipment.
Probably the best place to photograph red kites is Gigrin Farm in Wales, and that's where I got this shot. Although I didn't realise it, at the same time as I was taking this, the BBC's Springwatch team were there taking shots for their television programme. I was so wrapped up in what I was doing, and so entranced by the 100 or so red kites in the air, I missed all the clues to the BBC's presence! By the time I left the hide, the BBC had packed up and gone so I never got a chance to meet Simon King.
The following shots are of one of my favourite birds to photograph, the gannet. First of all, it's large so that helps! They also form some fantastic shapes and interesting poses. The only downside is something they have in common with many other seabirds - they're largely black and white, so handling exposure is tricky.
I particularly enjoy this first photo because it sets the scene, showing one gannet coming in to land among the other birds in the colony.
I caught a sequence of a gannet spreading its wings and taking off. This one appealed to me because it caught the bird's wings fully stretched, and just at the split second it was leaving the ground. Three of its claws are still just touching the rock. One tenth of a second later it looked very different.
This shot of a gannet landing didn't just catch the technique of slowing to drop out of the air, and droplets of water still being shed, but was also backlit against an unlit cliff face. I had photographed backlit gannets and gannets landing but was keen to combine that all in one shot.
This gannet photo is an attempt at something a little bit diffferent. I wanted to capture a feel of the bond between them and to present it in a sort of dreamy way, so not just as a straight photo.
In flight shots or photos that capture a bird's behaviour are the most sought after, so this glossy starling gathering nesting material presented an opportunity to get something more interesting than just the "bird on a stick" photo that was once admired but, since digital, has become commonplace.
During a lunch stop at Addo Elephant Park, South Africa (hence the rather harsh lighting), I spotted this colourful double-collared sunbird feeding on nearby bushes.
While on a morning safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa, we spotted this young bataleur eagle which obligingly landed on a branch at just the right height to be perfectly silhouetted by the disc of the rising sun. A little bit of reverse gear got us in the perfect spot. It's not often that wildlife does what we'd like it to. For example, I'm convinced that great spotted woodpeckers know the sound of a camera bag being zipped closed as they have a habit of appearing at the very moment I pack away my equipment. However, this young chap could not have been more cooperative. Yes, I know, it's just a "bird on a stick"", but I hope it's a good example of the genre!