Behind the Lens

'Battle' by Ian Reid

Amassing a total of 28 Photocrowd awards and counting, including seven 1st places, Ian Reid's 'Battle', which captures two gannets fighting over a mackerel, is one of the most popular Wildlife shots on the platform.

Here is Ian's story behind the lens...

One of the perks working in the fishing industry is the opportunities for bird shots. In the North Atlantic there are literally hundreds if not thousands of gulls, gannets and fulmars around the boat when we are hauling our nets.

The problem is I am always working when the best action is happening, so there is not much time, but I usually can sneak a snap or two. Out of all the birds though, my favourite has to be the gannets. They dive from great heights like torpedos into the sea. It's a sight I see every day, and it never gets old.

I always try to have a shutter speed of at least 1/800 or higher to freeze motion, as these birds move at such high speeds. I usually select the centre focus point as I find with most lenses it is the quickest and most accurate method using AF tracking. If you want the subject off-centre, you can always crop later.

"Nothing says ‘Water Life’ more than our well deserved winning first place image! Technically the photographer has done extremely well to execute the final result and the image impacts on many levels. The focus is spot on and the composition of the frame is strong. The action has been superbly frozen and the droplets of the water spray surrounding the birds draws the eye into the pair fighting over a fish. Water wildlife photography doesn't get better than this! Well done."

– review by Ben Brain, taken from the 'Water life' contest in association with Digital Camera magazine, 2016.

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