Even though it’s seen by many as the perfect job, to be a wildlife photographer takes more than passion and skills. It requires a bag of patience beyond imagination, and beyond every ‘perfect snap’ is definitely a huge amount of work and time spent!
Alan McFadyen – a wildlife photographer since 2009, has recently explained just how much time took him to capture on camera the perfect shot of a kingfisher. Alan spent over 6 years; that’s more than 4,200 hours and took 720,000 frames until he managed to reach his goal – a perfect timing snap of a Kingfisher diving into the water without a single splash.
“The photo I was going for, of the perfect dive, flawlessly straight, with no splash required not only me to be in the right place and get a fortunate shot but also for the bird itself to get it perfect,” McFadyen told The Herald Scotland. “I would often go and take 600 pictures in a session, and not a single one of them be any good. However, looking back on the thousands and thousands of photos I have taken to get this one image, it makes me realize just how much work I have done to get it.”
The 46-year-old Scotland-based photographer said it was his grandfather who took him to observe the kingfishers near Kirkcudbrigh. It happened 40 years ago, when Allan was a little kid. But since then, he just fell in love with the bright plumage birds.
“I remember my grandfather taking me to see the kingfisher nest and I just remember being completely blown away by how magnificent the birds are,” Allan said. “I’m sure my grandfather would have loved it, I just wish he could have seen it.”
The photographer used to visit the kingfishers nesting spot about twice a day, around 100 days a year. Every session he usually took over 600 snaps with many of them being useless.