I often get asked what my favourite image is and it shouldn't be a surprise that it's a really tough question to answer. There are so many factors in play with these including the subject itself, the effort involved in getting the end result, the lighting, composition and most importantly for me, the memories evoked when looking at the picture. I've therefore put together this page to try and answer this question with an explanation as to why each of these images are here.
PuffinThis is one of hundreds of photos I took during a day trip to Skomer in June 2014. This image was one I was really hoping for and I was delighted when this Puffin emerged from a burrow and made it's way through the vegetation. The shooting distance and wide aperture allowed isolation of the Puffin with the foreground and background nicely blurred with the oft pastel colours nicely contrasting with those of the Puffin's head and bill. This particular image hangs on my living room wall at home and I love it.
White-tailed EagleA visit to the Isle of Mull wouldn't be complete without a trip on the Lady Jayne with Mull Charters. In September 2014 I had an awesome week on Mull and the White-tailed Eagles were by far the stars of the show. This back-lit shot was my favourite of these immensely impressive birds. Water RailTowards the end of 2014 I decided to spend my free time focussing on a particular subject. My chosen project was triggered by a chance encounter with a Water Rail whilst out exploring not too far from home. I spent a lot of hours in the cold and wet gaining the trust of these birds and through adapting my technique I was able to get some frame-filling images of these shy and elusive birds. This shot is currently one of my proudest and isn't much of a crop! I love the detail combined with the bokeh and it was reward for a lot of patience. Short-eared OwlEarly 2015 saw me spending a lot of time in the heart of the Cotswolds with a number of Short-eared Owls. These birds were extremely popular with other photographers but it was during a quiet and bitterly cold afternoon that I got some of my best images of the SEOs. The afternoon was interspersed with regular fly-bys during heavy snow showers, with this image a crop of a particularly showy bird. The eyes really do have it! Marsh FritillaryDuring the summer months I turn my attention from birds to butterflies and 2015 has been no exception. This Marsh Fritillary was incredibly photogenic and this is easily one of my favourite butterfly images to date. It has detail, a nice clean background and the butterfly showing more of its upperwing than normal. Pearl-bordered FritillaryWithout a shadow of a doubt, this is my favourite butterfly image I've taken to date. This species was numero uno on my list for 2015 and during a visit to Cirencester Park early in the season I managed to find this fresh individual on the perfect perch. I could've burst with excitement when I found it and thankfully the butterfly remained perfectly still allowing me to get plenty of shots. Grass SnakeI've always loved snakes, so to find a tiny young Grass Snake after work was an exciting moment. Even better was having my macro lens to hand. A slow and uncomfortable approach allowed me to get very close to this beautiful reptile with this image being a real gem for me thanks to the tongue flick. Common FrogA dull and wet afternoon turned a little brighter thanks to this little chap. I'd taken a lot of photos of this frog from various angles but this one makes me smile. The use of negative space and the head on viewpoint gives a cheeky feel.
Black-tailed SkimmerFor those that don't know me, I like my sleep. However, nothing gets me out of bed quicker than the prospect of being outdoors with my camera in good light. This image was taken just as the sun popped over the horizon during a cool summers morning, creating an incredible background colour when it hit the dried grass behind. The light soon became very harsh so this image is one I really cherish knowing it was taken during such a small window of opportunity.
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