A few years ago I was driving home from work and noticed an oystercatcher nesting. It was amazing because it was on the central reservation of a motorway at the junction of a busy roundabout, in full view of anyone driving past. I soon discovered that it returned every year to the same spot.
The Perfect Photo
It became a dream of mine to get a picture of this, the incongruity appealed to my sense of wonder. I needed a telephoto lens, so I asked for advice on that, before making the investment. Then I got up one morning to give it a go.
How hard can it be?
I parked the van close to the motorway. A view from the roundabout would be best. I knew the perfect photo would be a close-up of the bird nesting, with big lorries rumbling past in the background. A poignant reminder of nature’s adaptability.
I walked onto the roundabout, stopping 20 yards from the kerb. My approach startled the bird. I waited until she settled down. I was an intruder in her space and she could tell the difference between me and the traffic. I thought articulated lorries would be scarier. I hadn’t really used the lens much. I didn’t have a feel for the distance that it would give me. The image was not so great. I decided to crawl on my belly to get closer. When the bird had resettled I tried to focus the camera. All fingers and thumbs, I made a hash of it and a noise. The bird was startled again, so I waited.
I wondered about going back to give it another go, but decided to celebrate the learnings instead:
I had finally taken the initiative to realise a dream I had had for years, instead of pontificating. In the process I had practiced observation, patience and feedback and learnt how difficult it was. And there was always next year.
Well done! Sounds like a perfect recipe to apply to life! Thankyou oyster catcher :).
An, useful for the next time, here’s a great website I’ve found with advice on photographing birds