Wildlife Photography in a shed

The weather here in Kirkcudbright has not been good today. After several days of gloriously warm sunshine, today was, to say the least, wet and gloomy – although as I write, the sun is blazing down again now.

Wildlife photography in a shed

There's Joe Robin with a beakful of worms and bugs posing for a picture in the hope that we'll leave him in peace to feed his chicks. We moved outside and worked in the rain. Photograph by Paul Bruce

A great shame because I had a student booked on a one-to-one photography course. Paul Bruce travelled up from Yorkshire so he didn’t exactly see the lovely town of Kirkcudbright at its best. But, nothing daunted, after a morning spent understanding  light and composition, we went out after lunch to take some photographs together.

Lots of my students love photographing Colin’s shed – Colin owns one of the B+Bs we recommend in Kirkcudbright. This shed is a very special place, full of atmosphere and interesting objects to photograph. The light, or lack of it, always presents a problem, but never before have we had to cut our visit short in order to share the shed with a family of robins.

Colin had warned me that there was a pair of robins nesting in the shed so we went in carefully and started taking pictures. Within minutes there was an anxious pair of redbreasts with beaks full of worms and insects waiting to get into the shed to feed their youngsters – safely hidden away somewhere amongst all the brickabrac. At one stage one of the robins hopped into the picture that Paul was photographing and posed for a picture. I got the feeling that the bird was saying he would pose for a picture provided we cut our visit short and let him and his missus get on with feeding their chicks.

Paul captured the moment and the picture is posted here.

photography Paul Bruce during his photography courses

Photographer Paul Bruce and I were evicted into the rain from Colin's shed by a pair of feeding robins

We compromised with this pair of robins by alternating between a quick five minute photoshoot in the shed and working outside beneath umbrellas to take pictures outside in the rain. Each time we went outside, the robins moved in to feed the chicks. It seemed a very sensible and fair arrangement.

Pauls was using an Olympus E500 with a 17.5 to 45mm lens

  • ISO 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/3sec
  • Aperture: f/5
  • The camera was on a tripod

I suppose the moral of the story is that all photographers must be prepared to make the most of every opportunity as it presents itself, but most of all, not to interfere with nature. It’s always surprising what we find to photograph on these one-to-one photography courses

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