From our own personal experiences, the skill of photography can be broken down into the following:
1. 10% having the right equipment,
2. 10% knowing what you are doing, and,
3. 80% being in the right place, at the right time.
In the past we have spent hours planning photography trips, only to fall at the last hurdle after mother nature not has decided not to play along. Resulting in us forlornly looking out over a foggy valley, or standing in uninspiring conditions. Alternatively, a misplaced movement behind the camera has meant we are left watching a startled animal skitter off into the distance. Other times however, all the pieces fall into place and you are rewarded with a incredible conditions and a fantastic photo. Sometimes, in the most unexpected of places.
This could easily be a post about racing across some part of the country to try and catch a sunset and how we got there just in time. It is going to be about an unexpected sight the stumbled upon in our local area. We live near to London out in the suburbs, which is not the most inspiring of places when nature photography is taken in to consideration. There are certain areas of ‘big’ Wildlife, such as the Royal Parks, but the majority of London is filled with feral pigeons, grey squirrels and crows. Or at least that was what we thought. Recently, we have started to walk along the River Thames near Kingston and spend a happy few hours watching all sorts of waterfowl going about their business. On one such walk, we decided to throw the telephoto lens into the bag in the vain hope of catching one of the swans with their freshly hatched chicks (we didn’t, it wasn’t anywhere to be seen).
Nevertheless, we did stumble upon something we hadn’t expected to see, a female Grey Wagtail hunting Damselflies over one of the local ponds in Claremont Gardens. For starters, we had no idea that the Wagtails were in our area. Or that they could move so deftly on the wing snatching Damselflies in mid-flight. Fascinating stuff and a pure stroke of luck in out part, just like spotting a Buzzard being mobbed over our house. For more photos of birds in flight, more can be found in the following portfolio: Art of Flight
Sometimes, photography is down to pure luck and nothing more.