Archive for pheasant

British Wildlife Photography Awards 2011

Posted in Conservation, Conservation Photography, European Wildlife, Exhibition, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Building on the buzz created around the badger vaccination story published in BBC Wildlife Magazine earlier this month, I’m really pleased to announce that another of my conservation portfolios has won the documentary category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards. Six shots entitled It’s Only a Game from my country shoot portfolio will be exhibited at the WildlifeXpo event at Alexandra Palace in London from the 14th of October. They will then tour the country as part of the BWPA exhibition over the coming year – find out where you can catch the exhibition by going to the exhibitions page of the BWPA website.

Winning this category is made all the more rewarding when thinking how I photographed the story. I challenged myself to photograph for the day’s shoot in reportage/documentary style with only one camera body and a fixed 50mm lens set on fully manual settings. This was a challenge I set myself as a break from typical long-lens wildlife photography and to fine-tune my skills as a photojournalist. The skills used to get these shots have helped me shoot subsequent stories, such as my African wild dog book Underdogs.

The category win builds on my commended white-tailed eagle image in the 2010 competition. You can view a more comprehensive edit of the country shoot portfolio in the ‘stories‘ section of my main website. Or you could support the competition by finding the portfolio in the latest BWPA book ‘Collection 2‘.

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Spring is in the air!

Posted in UK Wildlife with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2009 by Neil Aldridge

Pheasant among bluebellsI’ve been lucky enough over the last few days to spend some time in the company of two of the UK’s most iconic and colourful woodland species, the bluebell and the pheasant. The local woods here in Hertfordshire are carpeted in blue flowers and the air is ringing with the harsh two-note call of the male game bird, both announcing in their own way that spring is well and truly here.

But photographing the two in harmony was my ultimate aim. I wanted to capture the pheasant in a sunbeam, standing tall and calling skywards then finishing his display with a flutter of iridescent wings while surrounded by bluebells.

I missed the boat last year having been overseas throughout spring and I’m determined to make hay while the sun shines or, more to the point, make photographs while the bluebells are in flower.

pheasants displaying

It’s not just these two species that make spring in a British woodland so vibrant though. As I moved slowly and quietly throughout the woods, a red kite skimmed the tree tops searching for food, buzzards called and displayed to each other above me, tawny owls called throughout the day and a deer almost didn’t see me as it came bounding through the undergrowth.

neil in woodland

It sounds cliched I know but I couldn’t recommend it higher – before it’s too late, find your nearest bluebell wood, take a short walk and find somewhere to sit quietly to open your eyes and ears.