Photography News | Issue 35 | absolutephoto.com
lowest f/number) to blur the background as many amateur wildlife photographers exclusively flock to, try closing the aperture a little (using higher f/numbers), which will show off more of the environment. If the shutter speed is a little low, and shots are blurring due to camera movement, or a moving subject, you can either manually increase the ISO to compensate, or use an auto setting, where it will rise or fall to accommodate. In auto ISO, just remember to cap the level, so it doesn’t go too high where you’ll sacrifice image quality to digital noise. Barrie also uses manual focus, but only for stationary subjects; “If I’m taking photographs of seabirds I’ll shoot on manual focus as they’re relatively slow or static. But if I’m photographing more wary animals like deer or pheasants then I’ll definitely switch to autofocus.” He also sings the praises of shooting in continuous drive mode for wildlife, which can allow you to capture a greater number of poses in a short period, then select the best. Sure, continuous shooting will eat up space on your card, and add time to the editing process, but it’s worth it when you capture that perfect, split-second moment. Survival of the fittest Competition in nature drives species to adapt and evolve, and it’s just the same for photographers, although a little less bloody. Barrie was, as you’d expect thrilled to win last year’s BWPA contest, and says the process is a vital way of challenging yourself to learn new skills as well as being a constant source of inspiration: “With somanydifferent platforms out there for sharing images today, it can be really challenging for a photographer to stand out, so I think competitions like the BWPA are important for helping individuals make their mark. They also help to draw attention to the different types of wildlife photography; some of the categories have produced such inspiring results with subjects that, I personally, have overlooked before.” It also allows, collaboration and celebration, he says, with one of the biggest benefits being actually meeting his fellow photographers at the BWPA awards ceremony and exhibition; “there were so many big smiles and great stories behind the photos. As a wildlife photographer, you’re often playing the lone wolf, so it was nice to get the pack together.”
BWPA 2016 results and Collection 7 book
Competitions like the BWPA are important for helping individuals make their mark
On 5 September make sure you head over to the BWPA website for the results of this year’s competition; you’re guaranteed of some amazing pictures of the UK’s most beautiful wildlife from the country’s finest amateur and professional photographers. The winning images will also be collected in a stunning coffee table book, British Wildlife Photography Awards: Collection 7 from AA Publishing (£25), which promises to reveal the splendour and diversity of Britain’s creatures. The competition’s best photos will also be on tour in a UK-wide exhibition, launching in London’s Mall Galleries from 5-10 September, then moving to Gloucestershire, Dorset, Luton and Dumfries.
Top Animal Behaviour category winner 2015, Pheasant display, shot in Nottinghamshire by Kris Worsley. Above left Taken by Barrie Williams at Bass Rock on a Canon EOS 600D and Tamron 70-300mm lens: “I wanted to draw attention to the number of gannets coming and going and used the lighthouse as my fixed focal point. Even at this small point on the island, the sky is filled with gannets.” Above right British Seasons category winner 2015, Roe deer in four seasons (autumn), shot in Suffolk, by Kevin Sawford. Left 12–18 years category 2015, Bokeh frog, shot in Lowestoft, Suffolk by Kyle Moore.
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