In a non-leap year, there are exactly 182 days before the 2nd of July and 182 days after it. That means July 2nd is truly the “middle day” of this year. With the 2nd of July coming up this Saturday, I thought it would be good to list my favourite photos taken this year. It has been a cracking year so far – ranging from spending time in a hide in the Cairngorms, photographing the charming Red Squirrel, to visiting India for the third time, this time to capture the Bengal tiger in the wild. I also recently found out that one of my images made it through to the final round of the British Wildlife Photography (BWPA) awards – great news! All in all, a great start to the year.
Here are my five favourites for 2011 so far:
No 5. Savannah Nightjar.
Just getting the chance to spot and photograph them in the wild, makes this photo a big favourite of mine. Photos are, after all, just capturing a moment in time and so will always have associated memories to the Photographer. You can read more about this little gem in my Savannah Nightjar post or the Tadoba Trip report.
No 4. Crested Serpent Eagle.
In my previous two trips to India, I have had the chance to photograph this raptor on a few occasions, and they always seem to be one that would not fly away and allow you to get up close. The bright yellow eyes highlight the focused intensity as it looks out over the forest floor for its next meal.
No 3. Red Squirrel.
So many ‘Red’ photos to choose from and it made me realise that I do make use of the wonderful luxury of digital, by shooting far too much. I settled on this little beauty for the pure fact that the colours really punch and I like the Reds tail hanging down as opposed to curled up over its back, which is its more recognised pose. With thanks to Northshots for the use of their hide.
No 2. Bengal Tiger.
I went to Bandhavgarh National Park in India with the specific purpose of spotting and photographing the tiger in their natural environment. I have long wanted to see a tiger in the wild and ended up with a great number of photos of these magical beasts. This one was my favourite as it was a novel experience watching a big cat intentionally go into a large pool of water.
No 1. Grey Heron
The minute I saw this photo in the viewfinder and squeezed the shutter, I smiled and knew that it would make a great photo. The simplicity of it, along with the slight humour of “a heron lost in tall grass”, continues to make me smile. The early morning side lighting as the Heron went about looking for nesting material makes this a different perspective of a much-photographed UK species. My favourite for 2011 so far.
As I post this blog, I wonder how many of these photos will still be in my top 5 come Jan 2012. I still have three big trips this year and fully expect to get some great photos as I travel to Finland, Kenya and South Africa
If you loved one of these images, why not CLICK HERE to see more on my wildlife gallery
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