wildlife,  NATURE,  Environment,  PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS

Noghtjar over forest

Nightjar and Moon 02




Nightjar   Caprimulgus europaeus

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 home.


Nightjar 07


Nightjar 07




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!




Nightjar and moth

Nightjar 07



A European Nightjar about to catch a moth.




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.



Nightjar on ground

Nightjar 03





Nightjar on ground

Nightjar 04













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