To those who don’t know me, my name is Sam and I’m the assistant warden at RSPB Baron’s Haugh. I’ve been enjoying photographing some of Scotland’s amazing wildlife for the past few years, and now felt like the perfect time to share why I enjoy it so much!
I’ve always loved wildlife… and when I got my first camera as a teenager, combining the two interests was the logical next step. All the time I’ve spent photographing wildlife since then has given me a greater appreciation for the amazing variety of UK species, as well as enjoying a never ending source of photography subjects!
While there is always a desire to see new and rare species, one thing I love about wildlife photography is that you will often have a lot more success spending time close to home, watching and photographing common species. Birds we see often in our gardens and parks might seem unworthy of much attention at first, but it’s amazing how beautiful some common species are when looked at closely, and photographing them gives you a perfect opportunity to see them up close.
Not only this, but you’re much more likely to be able to pick and choose your background and subject pose, if you’re photographing a robin, compared to photographing an eagle! This feels more relevant than ever this year, given the restrictions on travel. For those who have a garden, setting up bird feeders near suitable tree cover can provide a host of opportunities for taking photos, particularly if you’re able to get a good view from inside your house, and can enjoy taking photos without disturbance. Spending time just watching, seeing where species like to perch, and then focusing on areas with nice neutral backgrounds can produce lovely catchy images. Using the weather and light to your advantage can create totally different images too, snow produces lovely images, but photographing species in the rain can also create unique shots, and really add character to your subjects.
The more time you spend watching and photographing local wildlife, the more you get to appreciate the amazing complex lives they lead, as well as hopefully gaining a newfound appreciation for some of our more common species. Spring is a fantastic time of year to visit Baron’s Haugh, as the birds sing loudly and defend their territories, providing great opportunities for photography, and I hope some of you are able to get out and visit your local green spaces and appreciate the beauty of nature this spring.
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