How to photograph a special species of bird known as a Photographer

by Guest Contributor

posted Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 6:34 AM EDT


By IR reader René Theuillon

I have always admired the wonderful images published in IR's Photo of the Day contest, especially the awesome bird photographs shot by very talented artists like Linn Smith, Debra S. Dorothy, Karen Celella and many others.

It gave me the foolish idea to try and copy them!

Unfortunately I could not find any woodstorks in my neighborhood, and being far from having the craft of the above mentioned masters, I instead concentrated on that rather queer bird commonly known around the world as a Photographer.


Now, you need to understand that there are different species of Photographers which you may encounter, depending upon the season and the environment. Summertime is a good period to capture the ubiquitous Tourist Photographer bumbling around while they take pictures with smartphones of everything, everywhere. This kind of topic has already been widely explored, and of course gives very funny results. (They are indeed a silly breed.)

Last winter I had the opportunity to spot a much more intense breed known as a Nature Photographer. That kind of bird is not so rare in the place where I live (Crozon peninsula - Western France) because we have a lot of wonderful seascapes which attract them seasonally, often in droves. So if you want to take a picture of such a bird, you have to first select a good point of view on the coastline and then, in the evening, when the sun goes down and the light becomes warm, you may have a chance to see one walking carefully in search of a prime shooting angle.

A Nature Photographer is known to routinely brave the "danger"

Don’t make any noise. When he (or she) has found what they are looking for, the Nature Photographer leaves his bag, sets up his tripod, screws on his camera and concentrates solely on the viewfinder. From that moment further he is into his framing and will not pay attention at all to what is happening around him, so you may approach him and take as many pictures as you want.

Nevertheless, it is recommended to walk facing the wind so as not to disturb him with the noise made by the shutter of your camera (an electronic one could give an advantage here). Applying this stealthy method I could capture one, who, braving the dangers of the coastline, was shooting at the burst of the waves breaking on the foot of the cliffs.

A Nature Photographer at home in his environment

Another species of photographer can be captured very easily, and here I am talking about an intriguing, adventurous breed called a Sports Photographer. Attracted by any competition event, he may be encountered at any season at the edge of the sporting areas. I met one on the beach during a fun boarding championship, and he was so concentrated on what he was doing that he did not even consider the tide which was flowing up all around him.

A Sports Photographer getting flooded by the tide
(And we wonder why they are in danger of extinction?)

I will conclude this article by describing an amazing experience. The Photographer is attracted just like the Lark is, by mirrors and other shining materials. Passing by the side of a magnificent motorcycle, I could not prevent myself from taking a picture.

Some call it a Narcissism crisis, while others are merely speaking of the self-portrait.

Much like the Lark, the Photographer is attracted by shiny materials 

After all, I am just a Photographer too. And, well....... nobody's perfect!

• See more Reader Stories by René Theuillon

(Thanks for yet another wonderful submission, René)

Additional technical notes:

Pictures #1 to # 4 were shot using a SAMSUNG GX10 fitted with a PENTAX-DA  1 : 4 - 5.6  50-200 mm  ED WR.

For the last image I used a FUJI X-E1 camera, fitted with a FUJINON  XC  50 – 230mm  1:4.5 -  6.7 OIS lens.