Featured photo

A page where I choose a photograph and say a bit more about it. Click on the image to enlarge it. I change the photo regularly; if you’re looking for a previous image please click on Index.

Have we met?

This month, I’ve chosen a photo of a white-winged starling that I took in Namibia. It’s a picture that taught me a lesson in my early days of photographing wildlife. I spent some time stalking one of these cheeky little birds trying to get a good photo. Like many starling species, they are noisy but curious. The mistake I made was trying to follow him around with a camera: of course, he kept flying off.

What I needed to do was sit still and wait for him to come to me. I was at a petrol station in the desert at the time, so I sat down on a rock in the heat and this little bird eventually came and sat almost next to me. He watched me. What are you doing here?, he seemed to be asking. Do you have food?

We sat there quite companionably for several minutes and I took all the photos I needed. I’m not naturally a patient person, but this was a lesson I had to learn.

I’ve since accepted that chasing birds around rarely produces the best results. You have to observe them carefully, learn about their behaviour and where they go, and then chose a vantage point to sit still and be quiet. It doesn’t always work, but then that’s the fascination of wildlife photography. If it was predictable and easy it wouldn’t be nearly so rewarding when you do get the results you want.