One wildlife photographer from Scotland spent six years trying to get the perfect shot of a kingfisher, the bird he first spotted with his grandfather when he was a child. After 720,000 less-than-perfect photos, he finally got the one he was after – and it’s spectacular! #fotomagic
In 2009, Alan McFadyen was a fisherman that would often go bird watching. A back injury forced him to let go of this hobby and turn his attention to photography. In no time, McFadyen had learned the tricks of the trade and realized that he could capture the unbelievable plunge of the kingfisher. The idea was a challenge in itself, since these colorful birds dive at speeds up to 25 mph to catch fish. But the photographer was determined; he would capture a kingfisher at the moment its beak enters the water, without causing so much as a splash.
Needless to say, McFadyen needed to be at the right time, in the right place. Since the kingfisher dives only 5 times a day, the likelihood of getting a picture in a couple of sessions was very thin. In the end, the photographer took around 720,000 shots and spent more than 4,200 hours to accomplish his goal.
The winning picture was taken six years after he began this journey with a Nikon D4 and a Nikon 70-200 lens. He used a small aperture, high ISO (1250), and fast shutter speed (1/5000). He placed the camera at a low angle near the water and waited. Finally, a female kingfisher appeared and McFadyen pressed the remote shutter release to get this pic:
Now, Alan McFadyen organizes photography expeditions through his website, Scottish Photography Hides.