After compiling and reviewing my images from recent locations shoots, I was able to edit a selection of some of the strongest examples of landscape and wildlife images to form part of my current portfolio.
Within this post, I will be discussing some of my wildlife edits.
Salford Quays – South Bay:
During my visit to South Bay, there was a clear focus upon the large presence of Cormorants within the area. The most aesthetically and contextually successful examples were those that demonstrated their relation or interaction within the bay, highlighting individuals, pairs or scaled groupings to establish different degrees of this.
The main emphasis of this visit was the large number of gull carcasses spread across the reservoir, likely a tragic consequence of botulism (gulls scavenged toxic materials from landfill, died in reservoir). I focused upon the images that communicated this honest and visceral response, often utilising close ups to reinforce this. I also featured an interactive image of nearby diving Cormorants to distinguish this contrast.
Whilst visiting Morecambe, I noted some very distinct birds that I was unsure. From further research, I discovered that these were Oystercatchers, a rare sight but more often found near Morecambe bay. These were also rather unfortunately the same species I found carcasses of near Cleveleys. I highlighted a few examples that represented the group with scale and emphasised their more distinct features (large orange beak).
Lytham St Annes:
During this visit, I noted that this was my first sighting of a jellyfish and this was surprising rare and large example. For this, I have highlighted the best examples of close up images that emphasised more detailed views and others that showed the jellyfish in relation to its environment, reinforcing its scale and place.
During this visit to St Annes, I came across of flock of birds that were moving with an elegant and significant velocity, unfortunately, although acknowledge at least two different species, I have been so far unable to identify them, I think the majority is likely to be a species of tern. For this, I have highlight examples that felt were the strongest representations of formation, motion and activity and relating to their surrounding environment. In this, selecting images that reflected the flocks ability to move a group whilst feeding.
In this visit to Cleveleys, there was a great deal of potential wildlife subjects to experiment with. For this, I have selected the images that felt were the most successful representations these which included several gulls fighting for food, the scale and groupings of sandpipers and the one identifiable carcass of the rare Oystercatcher.
During my visit to Knotts End, one of the more distinct wildlife sights was more jellyfish, however, there were more apparent signs of negative human influences as they were covered in oil. As a result, I highlighted examples that reinforced this tragic implication further, selecting close up images that represented this in a brutally honest way. I also selected a few of the best images of crabs I found within pools by the shore.
During this visit, I spotted a variety of what I believed to be Redshanks. This was reaffirmed through further research, another fairly rare sighting. From this, I complied the images that I believed to be the best representation of these Redshanks, especially favouring those that highlighted its distinctive orange legs and beak. I also highlighted some other examples of crab images that I felt were successful.
During this shoot, there wasn’t any particular area of nature/wildlife sightings that stood out amongst others, therefore I have created edits of a few different subject that felt were some of the most interesting examples of each in an aesthetic sense. In includes distinctive corals/plant life, a ladybird resting upon an oily jacket, footprints from inhabiting animals and a large example of a resident crab.
Upon reflection of this series, I feel as though I have been able to produce a variety of both distinctive and standard examples of wildlife imagery.
I feel as though my previous and ongoing consideration for relevant research have assisted me in identification, appropriate equipment (telephoto – fast, responsive motor) and establishing a sense of ecological significance.
I have found this to be a strong learning experience when working with animal subjects or organisms, especially as I have never covered so many out of the way coastal and freshwater sites before and often practised my previous wildlife photographs in controlled or regulated wildlife spots.
There was a more apparent sense of life cycles and/or human interference when faced with both living and dead examples within similar or the same environments.
I feel as though this will form the basis of my starting wildlife portfolio, one which I intend to continue to develop from this point onwards. This will be hopefully be refined further through the development of relevant skills sets and hands on experience in conservation and environmental fields.