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  • Writer's pictureMike Curtis

Osprey fishing

Updated: May 3

I joined a couple of friends for an afternoon session at the Horn Mill Osprey Hide, near Rutland Water, to photograph ospreys fishing for trout. It's an excellent setup for six photographers, with camera ports set close to the level of the pond, which is full of trout that are leaping clean out of the water every few seconds.

The Horn Mill Osprey Hide website provides some sound advice regarding equipment and photography tips. As the osprey often perches in a tree for long periods before deciding to dive, you have to hold your camera for extended periods, and when they do dive, the action is fast and you'll need to pan quickly. Consequently, a smaller, lighter lens (less than or equal to 300mm) is advantageous for prolonged holding, manoeuvrability and ultimately keeping the bird in frame. You'd need to be well-practised to keep the osprey in frame with a longer lens. For what's worth, I used a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000 combined with auto ISO and accepted the inevitable grainy images later in the evening knowing that AI noise reduction would clean up the image.

It's fair to say that the whole experience can require some patience, as in our case the osprey only fished twice in four hours, so we didn't have too many chances to get things right if we missed. Having said that, it's an amazing opportunity to capture an iconic wildlife spectacle.

I'm happy with several of the images I captured, however, I know I could do better or attempt to capture more challenging parts of the dive, particularly the moment before the osprey enters the water... some other time hopefully.

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1 Comment

May 03

So refreshing to see these images.

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