Jonathan Smithies
Wildlife Photography

Love is in the air

In June, I had the privilege of photographing my friends wedding in the Brecon Beacons. A couple of months before, I did their engagement shoot!

In addition to my Canon EF 25-105mm lens I brought for the wedding, I also packed my EF 500mm f/4 prime – just in case I had time for my favourite activity, bird photography.

The morning of Jethro’s wedding, I woke early to explore the beautiful grounds of Craig Y Nos Castle. If you ever have the chance to stay or visit, I would highly recommend it. Rivers, lakes, woodlands. During the hour or so I had to explore, I spotted a goldfinch, grey wagtails and just outside the hotel, lots of house sparrows.

It’s tempting as a photographer to ignore more common species, but I think the skill of any good photographer is to be able to capture the ordinary in an extraordinary way.

I wouldn’t quite call the following image extraordinary, but it’s better than I imagined it would be when I nearly ignored the shot!

Another example of an ordinary, very common bird looking rather beautiful is this female Mallard, taken recently at my local park lake. For this shot, I had my camera on a ground level tripod and used the AF live tracking to capture it in motion with a clear sense of movement. I also waited until the duck was swimming in the foreground of some beautiful flowers which reflect on the water and add to the overall quality of the image.

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About the Author

About me

Jonathan Smithies is a British wildlife photographer currently living in Bristol. He has a passion for photographing birds and enjoys travelling throughout the UK and abroad.