The Kingfisher is a most striking bird and one of the nicest subjects to photograph. It had been high on my wishlist for some time, but a lack of opportunity resulted in only a handful of images and a distinct gap in my portfolio.
I knew of a local hide with a good reputation and several of my clients had also recommended it. I usually like to work my own subjects but temptation got the better of me so I booked a day in mid-spring.
My next move was to plan some shots in advance. To do this I research existing images, looking for what works and seeing if there are any spaces in the market. For me, this is an important and enjoyable step that can be the difference between good and great pictures.
I really like making images that connect us to the creatures we live beside. A classic example of this is a Kingfisher perched on a fishing rod or no fishing sign. Although these shots have been done before, I like the challenge of trying to do them better.
The image below is the result of several hours preparation and almost a full day in the hide. I built the sign myself using scrap wood and then made a stencil to create the text; I even brushed some tea over the white paint to give it a weathered look. I had many visits before it all came together, the Kingfisher facing into the scene and everything on the same focal plane.