Delighted to see the results of the 2010 Bird Photograph of the Year competition published in the August edition of British Birds. I'm pleased to say that once again I managed to get two images in the final shortlist of entries: 8th place with a Gannet and 12th place with a Long-tailed Duck. This is the 6th consecutive year that I have been short listed in the final standings - I came third in 2006 and fifth in 2007. With so many top photographers now entering this competition, it's getting harder and harder to impress the judges every year!
The BPY judges published the following appraisal in BB:
"Hugh Harrop is now one of the regular entrants to this competition and he can be relied upon to submit at least one outstanding photograph. This year was no exception, with his superb action portrait of a Northern Gannet placed eighth".
Gannet: Canon EOS-1D Mark III with EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x converter. Hand Held.1/1000 sec at f7.1. Evaluative metering reading under exposed by 2 stops.I was sailing around Noss Nature Reserve on a pretty grey day and noticed that many of the Gannets were congregating at the base of the cliff collecting nest material from the rank vegetation that had fallen in to the water from the towering cliffs above. Keen to capture the birds as they took off with material, the water in the shadow of the cliff was effectively black which offered good reflection opportunities. By under exposing it meant I could highlight the whites and yellows of the birds and create some interesting patterns as a reflection.
Long-tailed Duck / Oldsquaw: Canon EOS-1D Mark III with EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x converter. Hand Held. 1/2000 second at f8. Evaluative metering reading under exposed by 1/3 stop.17 March 2009 offered some superb opportunities for seaduck photography in Batsfjord, Norway with beautiful sunny skies. As we edged our R.I.B. around the pier in to one of the bays, a flock of Long-tailed Ducks were close and immediately took flight. With the wind behind us, it meant some dramatic opportunities to capture them as they took off flying directly towards us. I locked on to this drake as it effectively ‘ran’ across the water at to get airborne and fortunately managed to get it running through some reflections from the yellow buildings above us and also capture the elongated tail feathers to its rear.
Hearty congratulations to Shetland-based Lee Mott for his podium 3rd place as well as an 11th place - it's great to see that us local photographers accounted for 20% of the final listings!
The next competition I'm involved in will be slightly easier for me as it's one that I'm judging - click here for further information.