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To undertake a self managed project can very often extremely time consuming and yet very rewarding.
To give you example, I continue to work with Mute Swans, Garden & Woodland Birds, Foxes and Badgers, all of which intrigue me, irrespective whether I actually get an image.
Two of the most rewarding shots I took where as it happens both of Mute Swans. The first being in the early evening when a Mute Swan returned home and suddenly swam in to the canal in front of where I was moored and starting washing. His wings went up and so did the water, the sun was going down and the swan was position in such a way he was fully back lit. At the time I was shooting slide film and blew 36 shots within a matter of seconds. When I got my images back I looked and thought “WOW – Black & White”, they where perfect.
Later I entered one image into an international wildlife competition and guess what, you’ve got it, I won first prize. The prize took me for an all expenses paid trip to the Falkland Islands via Santiago in Chile. It was awesome, simply awesome.
Secondly and only two years ago, two of my favourite Mute Swans had matted, laid six eggs and the Pen was sitting so proudly. I had been counting the incubation days to the last two and was spending hours watching and waiting. Bothe the Pen and the Cob was extremely cool with me being present and I felt so honoured and privileged.
This one morning I went to the location at around 6.15am, said good morning, sat down and fed them. The Pen appeared a little restless and kept standing to re-arrange the eggs. My gear was all set up and ready.
On the third occasion of the Pen lifting, I looked, and low and behold an egg was cracking and falling away. I started to blast away and got my very first cygnet coming into the big world for the very first time. This was unbelievable experience to be privileged to witness.
Please note these two highlights of my life are only two of many, and are not prioritised in any way.
I have my projects every year, some of which are repetitive and some of which are not, but whatever I do, I do them because I want to and will enjoy them.
Projects may not be for you, that’s fine, as long as you enjoy the natural world, the wildlife and your photography.
Keep on clickin. John