Nightjar and Moon 02
In July 2013, I was asked by Icon films to photograph
nightjar in flight with the hugely optimitic, if not
downright impossible task, of photographing a nightjar
taking an insect in flight! It is hopefully
going to be shown as a small magazine piece for BBC TV
(The One Show). Below are some
of the results of 2 days (evenings) of attempts.
The above photograph was taken on the 23rd July, a
stunning evening with a full moon and a male nightjar
quartering over a clearfelled area of forest close to my
Photograph the impossible to order ! Although not in the act of catching an insect, this bird
does have one in its beak - I think a crane fly.
Enlarged crop showing something in mouth - a crane fly?
The problem with this type of photography is huge.
First find a bird! Not easy. Then try to
manually focus on a small erratically moving object in
the dark pressing the shutter only when it comes in the
range of the flash gun - ten metres at the most for a
Canon 550EX like mine,
but hopefully a lot closer.
I briefly attempted using infra-red lamps to make seeing
the bird easier. I had an adapted EOS 600D in
conjuction with a small IR lamp attached via a bracket,
but it proved too cumbersome to hold the weight of the
equipment whilst manual focusing via the small LCD
screen in live view.
I had two days, but having read other professional
photography accounts of similar exploits, it is usual to
take up to 6 months of effort.
I will hopefully keep the motivation to carry on trying!
A European Nightjar about to catch a
Nightjar and Moon 05
This image is an old blended shot of the original
nightjar image plus the moon (same night) using the cheating
wizardry of Photoshop!
Forest of Dean 2006.
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