Image Backstories #3

A delve into James’ archive of images from his personal project: Richmond Park – The Characters and Charisma of a Royal Park 

In this series of backstories, James is going to explain just a little about how the images were created both technically and creatively.

#3 – Hot Pursuit

Approximate settings – 1/1000s / f4 / ISO 100 / Lens 35mm

Why this image?

The Mallards of the park are extremely randy in early spring and especially so at dawn. The males pursue the females for ages, circling time and time again above the ponds. Composition for this image is simply about framing and then waiting for the birds to enter the shot. This predictable behaviour coupled with a clear morning is what led to the image.

Image thoughts:

Lots of light, so freeze the action of the birds, choose an aperture that uses the lens at somewhere near its sharpest but also keeps the ball of sun soft and atmospheric, ignore the histogram and expose for style. This was always going to be a silhouette of sorts, so no need to fight the light.

Takeaway tip:

Carrying one lens is often a blessing as it narrows the options available and focuses the mind on what really matters, atmosphere and ambience in this case.

*All images in this series where taken whilst walking the dog and only ever carrying one lens at a time. Always simple.
( Canon 5 series bodies – Fixed lenses 400 / 85 / 35 / 14 mm lenses )