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August 2021 1 posts

Bempton Cliffs visit.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Bempton Cliffs visit.
Gannet Flight Paths. Spent a couple of days at Bempton Cliffs, near Scarborough, over the weekend, my first visit there. Once we got there (Helen came along for the ride this time) after a tiresome 5 hour drive up the A17, we went straight to the RSPB centre on the cliffs at about 1PM, and had something to eat in the nice cafe there.   Weather was bright but windy (well it is a cliff!) as we set off for a walk along the cliff edge to the various watchpoints along the way, to see what was about. It was a bit late in the year for Puffins and Razorbills, but there were still thousands of Gannets flying around and perched on the cliff face with chicks of various ages as well.   After walking the whole length of the cliff, it seemed the most ‘action’ was around the rock archway at Staple Newk, so I took some shots around there of Gannets in various poses. Difficult to lock on focus for flying shots against the sea as it picks up on the contrast of the waves if not careful, so good practice on spot focus to tune my eye in. We also saw Fulmars, Herring Gulls and Kittiwakes around, but there was word that a very rare Black Browed Albatross was making sporadic visits, and we had just missed one sighting.   After checking in to the Stables B & B which was only a couple of miles away from the cliffs in Bempton, I got ready for a solo visit after some pub grub in the evening. It was lovely light, and I practised some settings for a long exposure shot I wanted to get of the Gannets flight paths, which I would get early the next morning inn the darker light. It was a nice ‘mini break’, tied in with a trip to Scarbourough, and on Saturday evening at about 6.30 I got some nice shots of the Albatross with its massive wingspan, which finished the break off nicely.    Black Browed Albatross flies over packed Gannetry.  ...

July 2021 1 posts

Covid Wedding!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Covid Wedding!
Some shots from a lovely wedding in Norfolk last week, in a church built in 1600, and then to a reception in an old farmhouse built at a similar time. A shame it had a covid limit to 50 people, but a good time was had by all as they entered into married life.       ...

May 2021 1 posts

Long Eared Owl family.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Long Eared Owl family.
Spent a night in Lincolnshire a couple of weeks ago photographing a Long Eared Owl family. These are one of the 5 native species of Owl in the UK, and very difficult to see as they like dense forests and hunt at night.  This was are chance through Tom at Wildlife Hides, to see a completely wild Owl family, no supplementary feeding, and get some photographs using a flash which didn't upset the Owls at all. Tom had set a temporary 'Scaffold hide' up, 6metres off the ground, to catch the parents coming in to feed the 5 young, before the young leave the nest to 'branch', giving about a 2 week window for photos.         We got to the hide around 4.30, clambered up the steps to the snug 3 man hide, and carefully got in, a bit the the Apollo command module, me, Dave and Duncan shoulder to shoulder! The nest was in front of us about 15 metres away, and the 5 youngsters were awake and moving about, although the nest was very full and they always looked on the point of falling out!   We took a couple of shots and chatted for a while, ate some snacks, until at about 7.50 suddenly there was a quick movement on the nest as an adult came in and dropped a vole and went in a flash. I had set my EOS R up with a 100-400 lens and pre focussed, then put a remote trigger on it which was a good move as I got a couple of shots on instinct as I saw the wings flash in.   Over the course of the next 5 hours both adults visited the nest about 6 times, a couple of times for about 5 mins, so we all got some decent shots to take away, and felt privileged to have witnessed these beautiful birds in the wild. I changed to my 1DX body as battery life was better, but got great pictures with both. ...

February 2021 1 posts

New Book, 'Surrounded by Barn Owls'!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
New Book, 'Surrounded by Barn Owls'!
The book can be ordered by clicking this link: https://www.gbjphotography.co.uk/index.php?page=order-form I am delighted to announce the publication of my first book, ‘Surrounded by Barn Owls’,  Click the link for more info and order details.  This is a 56 page photographic study of wild Barn Owls, showing different aspects of their behaviour using a selection of my best images. These stunning birds are shown in their natural habitat in and around the Norfolk marshes and farmland.  But the main stars of the book are the various Owls themselves, shown off to their best in over 100 stunning photos throughout the book.   Book price: £18.00 plus £2.55 UK P&P.     Book Size: 26cm x 22cm, (approx 10.5” x 9”) Hardback....

January 2021 1 posts

Fave shots of 2020.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Fave shots of 2020.
Well 2020 was a strange year for everyone, and unfortunately quite a few of us lost friends or family to Covid. Hopefully we can pull out of it this year with the vaccine and all start living life again as we want to. I didn't get out with my camera as much last year for obvious reason, but here are some of my fave shots from when I did get out. I spent a lot of time with this Barn Owl just after Lockdown 1, when I would visit every evening and watch her collect voles for her young. I got a spot where I knew which branch she went to so hid in a bush opposite, and put a flash in another bush pointing at the branch. Luckily she went on this branch nearly every night over a month and I got some nice shots, here are 3 from the set.         I only got to 1 gig before Lockdown, Six Little Fingers, and 1 model shoot, 60's retro on my scooter!        Norwich juvenile Peregrine 'TC', which was unfortunately killed in a plane strike. Short Eared Owl on the marsh.   2 shots of a different Barn Owl that hunted in the afternoon for a while.   ...

June 2020 1 posts

RPS Recognition!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
RPS Recognition!
I entered this picture of a Barn Owl into a Royal Photographic Society competition not really expecting much, but was surprised to be informed that it was one of the winners and would be the RPS website header for the day! So all day today my photo has been the front page on their website, still cant quite believe it!...

February 2020 2 posts

LRPS Award

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
LRPS Award
Pleased to be awarded a Licentiate distinction from the Royal Photographic Society today. To get an LRPS you have to have a panel of 10 images assessed for technical ability and quality at the RPS in Bristol. My panel is above. They go into a lot of detail, and my first application in October was turned down as 2 images had distracting backgrounds and 2 others needed small adjustments, so i re-applied with 2 new images and changes to the other 2 and was succesfull ! ...

LRPS Award

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
LRPS Award
Pleased to be awarded a Licentiate distinction from the Royal Photographic Society today. To get an LRPS you have to have a panel of 10 images assessed for technical ability and quality at the RPS in Bristol. My panel is above. They go into a lot of detail, and my first application in October was turned down as 2 images had distracting backgrounds and 2 others needed small adjustments, so i re-applied with 2 new images and changes to the other 2 and was succesfull ! ...

January 2020 1 posts

Fave Shots of 2019

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Fave Shots of 2019
Happy New Year! Here is a variety of shots from last year, lots of different subjects and some new techniques learnt, roll on 2020!                                        ...

August 2019 1 posts

More Film Set work.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
More Film Set work.
Spent 2 days of location with 'The Pebble and the Boy' film crew up in Bury, doing scene stills and behind scene shots. There were a number of locations in and around Bury for this Mod road movie, and director Chris Green kept everything moving along quickly as we moved around from location to location. Great crew to work with, and lead actors Sacha Parkinson and Paddy Mcnamee were nice and accomodating to work with as well. The Canon EOS R came into its own here with the light weight and silent shutter, meant I could get shots of the actual scenes as they were filmed, not just rehearsal shots. Hopefully the film will be released next Spring, keep a look out for it!               ...

April 2019 1 posts

Essex Foxes!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Essex Foxes!
Nice evening spent by some woodland in Essex where there are Foxes around. Myself and fellow photographer Andy Brown crouched down in some makeshift hides made from pallets, and waited to see if any Foxes came out in the evening. We were really lucky with the weather as the late evening sun lit everything nicely, and then at about 4 pm we got our first sight of a Fox, a vixen with a nasty wound in her face. we stayed till the light went at around 7.30, and in that time we must have seen 6 different Foxes and both got some great photos of the UKs biggest predator. Look in Fox gallery for more images, all available to purchase as prints or canvas.     ...

February 2019 1 posts

Photography at night in Lincolnshire.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Photography at night in Lincolnshire.
Excellent stay overnight in a hide in Lincolnshire to use flash on local wildlife. I stayed in it from 4PM to 9 AM overnight and played a waiting game with some flashes set up. Not long after dark the Tawny Owls started hooting all around, and one flashed past the post at about 10 PM.   Then y ou could here a noise like a baby crying coming from the pond, a young Otter calling to its mum that it wanted fish, and then there it was, adult Otter fishing in the pond for 10mins.   The Heron landed in the pond around midnight which was a surprise, but gave a nice reflection before it went. At about 1.30AM the hooting started again, and a Tawny owl landed on the post for a few seconds, amazing sight.    The otter briefly appeared again not long after, then nothing until at 5.15AM the owl was back with a mouse and devoured it before flying off. In the morning the Kingfisher came in and did some fishing to finish a long session off, very tired but worth it to see some amazing wildlife in action.      ...

January 2019 1 posts

Fave pics of 2018

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Fave pics of 2018
  Happy New Year everyone! Here are some of my favourite shots from last year. Quite a varied subject range, a bit top heavy on Barn Owl pics  but I did spend a lot of time with them  seeing them go from the nest box to the wild. Looking forward to 2019 and what it might bring.  ...

September 2018 1 posts

Barn Owlets 'Kissing'!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Barn Owlets 'Kissing'!
Went over to Old Buckenham last week to see how the 2 Owlets were doing, and as I drove in I was amazed to see them both on a post each in the field, with an adult on a 3rd post! It looked like they were getting hunting lessons, so I stopped the car, grabbed my camera from the passenger seat and crept out to use the car as a hide, hoping they wouldn't fly off! I lent the camera on the roof and got some shots as one owlet flew over to the other one and looked like it gave it a kiss and cuddle before flying off, a cute moment. Once they flew off, I got set up by a tree and waited, and they came back just as the golden evening sun was showing its last rays, and got some shots of them on the post and flying around. Nice to see 2 new Barn Owls have been produced in what has proved to be a difficult year for them.   ...

August 2018 1 posts

More Ospreys in Scotland!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
More Ospreys in Scotland!
Just back from another 2 day trip at Rothiemurchus fisheries near Aviemore on a tour run by  ‘Osprey Whisperer’ Jo Mcintyre, to witness and capture Ospreys fishing in a trout lake again. Arriving on the Sunday afternoon at 3 PM, I had Helen with me this time as we were making a holiday of it, visiting the European Championship cycling in Glasgow, and then going over to Fort William post Ospreys. We were once again at the excellent Boat hotel at the nearby Boat of Garten village, and after going for a walk around, met with Jo and some of the other photographers for dinner at 6.30. We had a nice evening, with Joe and Tom from the USA, Neville and Iain, all who I had met before apart from Tom. Monday: Up early and off to the fishery, I met the others in the car park, as well as Gary and Mike who were there for that morning only, and we were off to the hides to be in position by 5 AM, and once again the banter was good! Most of us went in Hide 1, Iain and Nev tried Hide 2 and 4 for different shots, and we got settled in waiting for the light to get better and heres our spotter Ally hopefully come on the radio with good news. Once again we adjusted settings and photographed the ducks on the pond to keep up with the ever changing light as we waitied, chatting with each other to pass the time. I had my 300mm f4 lens on my Canon 1DX again which was perfect to make sure you get the composition in, and brought my 500mm again just in case we had a lot of dives and I could experiment with close ups etc. Ally was informing us of Ospreys in the air, and the dominant bird seemed to be absent so we were hoping for action, and at around 6.15 on he came with ‘getting lower….DIVING!’ the bird came in left to right and took a trout and was gone, I got some nice shots in focus, and was hopeful of more action in better light. As it turned out we had 11 dives all together, with 5 taking fish, at one point 2 nearly came in together as the growing juveniles were practicing a...

July 2018 1 posts

Little Owl in North Norfolk.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Little Owl in North Norfolk.
Spent last evening in a hde sweltering in the heatwave, waiting to see if I could get any shots of a Little Owl that was known to visit on occasion. After waiting 5 1/2 hours and watching the light fade, I had almost given up when at 8.20PM it appeared briefly on a fence not far from me. Luckily the sun was at a point just before it disappeared for good and lit the post with the background in the shade, which allowed me to get a decent shot with a blurry background but well lit subject. It only stayed for about a minute before some wasps were bothering it and it flew off into a tree. These are beautiful little birds, always have an 'angry' expression, but will tolerate a bit of human interaction.                                                     ...

April 2018 1 posts

Swan Open Gala

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Swan Open Gala
Nice to get back poolside again at the Norwich Swan organised open gala at the UEA as the event photographer. Some good young swimmers on display from local clubs and a very well run friendly event, although I'd almost forgotten how hot it gets in there at times, I was thankful for the odd splash of water as the older swimmers did their tumble turns cooling me down! All photos in the gallery, password was in the event program....

January 2018 1 posts

Fave shots of 2017

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Fave shots of 2017
Happy New Year ! Here are some of my favourite shots from last year. A difficult task to pick out of the hundreds of images, but I got it down to 22 and I think these show a variety of things I've photographed over last year, enjoy!      ...

October 2017 1 posts

Picture in 2018 Calendar.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Picture in 2018 Calendar.
Nice to see one of my Kingfisher images was chosen for the 2018 Norfolk Wildlife Trust Calendar. You can order one from here: https://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/support-us/christmas-cards-2017 Great Christmas present idea and helping nature as well!...

September 2017 1 posts

Water Vole at Strumpshaw.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Water Vole at Strumpshaw.
Nice to see that a family of water Voles have taken residence in a small pond at Strumpshaw Fen. They are a bit timid, but if you sit quietly enough they are happy to gradually come out more and munch away on the reeds in the pond. They are bigger than I expected, a bit bigger than a hamster, with webbed front paws and big rear feet to propel them through the water.  ...

August 2017 1 posts

Ospreys in Scotland part 2!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Ospreys in Scotland part 2!
Just back from another 3 day trip at Rothiemurchus fisheries near Aviemore on a tour run by excellent wildlife photographer and guide ‘Osprey Whisperer’ Jo Mcintyre, to witness and capture Ospreys fishing in a trout lake. I stopped on the way up at a hide in Dumfries that the famous Sparrowhawk ‘Mad Max’ visits regularly for an afternoon, but apart from one fleeting visit when he rushed the small birds around the hide I didn't get chance to get a photo. I got some nice Red Squirrel and various other bird pics though, so not a complete waste of time.     Arriving on the Friday evening at 9.30, once again at the excellent Boat hotel at the nearby Boat of Garten village, after the 9 hour 550 mile drive and 5 hours in the Sparrowhawk hide, I was ready for bed to get some sleep before the 4.30 AM leave to the fishery in the morning.   Saturday: Up early and waiting in the car park I met my fellow photographers on this shoot, Joe from the USA, Jeremy, Ian, Martin and Neville, as well as Jo. Its amazing how quick you can strike up a fun relationship with the other guys when spending hours together in hides, and this group turned out to be good fun with a high level of good natured ‘banter’ flying about! We got to Rothie and met John the ‘spotter’ again, and got settled down at 5AM into hides 1 and 2 and waited in anticipation again for Johns voice to crackle over the radio, ‘Dive’ Dive’. As we adjusted settings and photographed the ducks on the pond to keep up with the ever changing light we were breaking the ice and chatting with each other to pass the time. I had a 300mm f4 lens on my Canon 1DX this time which was perfect to make sure you get the composition in, and brought my 500mm just in case we had a lot of dives and I could experiment with close ups etc. As ever there were a few Ospreys around, but the dominant male kept chasing them off, we could here the harsh ‘chirping’ noise it was making to warn off others, but then just af...

June 2017 3 posts

2017 Norwich Peregrine family.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
2017 Norwich Peregrine family.
After catching the end of the Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Falcon season last year and seeing the last 2 fledglings of 4 fledge, (before unfortunately all dying), I have been visiting the site since March this year to see the full story unfold. On my first visit this year it was all action, the new female Falcon, GA, (so called because of her leg ring number) had just laid one egg and was fussing about on the Platform. The male (Norm!), or Tiercel, from the latin so called as they are a third smaller than the female, was   busy keeping a juvenile intruder at bay and stooping on it repeatably until eventually went. After all the excitement I witnessed the pair mating, and over the next few days 4 eggs were laid.  Since then I have been on many other occasions as they have brooded the eggs until 3 hatched as one egg cracked and failed, then one died almost immediately, before GA accidentally hooked one as she flew off and it fell to its death, leaving one remaining. This last chick was christened ‘Solo’ by the Facebook group on the Norwich Peregrines started by local Peregrine enthusiast Chris Skipper, and luckily this has survived to fledging in the middle of June. There have been many trials and tribulations along the   way, but now Solo has fledged it is staying around the Cathedral as it learns to feed itself and pluck food, do food passes with the adults and eventually it will learn to hunt its own food.   In the early days of fledging the adult birds would fly past Solo with food to temp her to fly, amongst a lot of screeching from the youngster!   The juveniles have a brown and beige plumage with vertical breast stripes as opposed the the black and white adults, and will keep this plumage for about a year. There have been many local photographers meeting sporadically at the Cathedral from the early hours of the morning onwards over the last few months which has made each visit enjoyable with the chat between Peregrine action, and the Hawk and ...

Baby Feet!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Baby Feet!
Nice session with a pair of 4 month old twins and their 4 year old brother. Difficult to get the poses you want from wriggly babies, but I quite like this feet shots. ...

A few days spent at Old Buckenham Park.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
A few days spent at Old Buckenham Park.
Spent a few early mornings and evenings over at the Old Buckenham Country Park site to check out how the wildlife is progressing. Great to see the male kingfisher using the perch we put out, he visited between 6 and 7AM, first catching and eating a fish himself, then catching 4 more fish which he turned around so it was head facing out (if they eat one they take it head first so the spines and scales go down easier) and flew to the nest each time to give to his young, hopefully see some young soon! The pond is in a lovely spot which catches the sun nicely. While waiting for the Kingfisher, the Barn Owl was hunting successfully, taking plenty of short tailed field voles back to the nest box, so hopefully we will see some Owlets soon! There are now loads of Swallows and House martins about, diving in the ponds and taking the many flys and gnats around. Difficult to photograph as they move so fast! And there is always the ever present Swans as well! It really is turning into a mecca for wildlife and a joy to watch the daily developments....

May 2017 1 posts

The Eagle has landed!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
The Eagle has landed!
Word was out that a White Tailed Eagle had dropped down on Buckenham Marshes, so I thought I would go and see if I could catch it in residence. When I got to the small car park a couple there told me roughly where to head for where it was seen last, so off I headed in the howling Norfolk wind. After a 2 mile hike I came across a guy with a scope, and he told me where to look, and sure enough there was the Eagle sitting on a post a fair distance away. It looked massive as it sat there, and was even 'mobbed' by a Marsh Harrier as well as most other Gulls and Crows, then it took off chased by a posse of birds. It was an impressive sight with its big rectangular wings, and well worth the visit. I got talking to local ecologist Perry who was there to see the Eagle as well, and he was good company on the long walk back telling me about his interests in wildlife and studying insects etc.   ...

April 2017 2 posts

Falcon on the roof!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Falcon on the roof!
Wymondham Abbey, a beautiful old twin towered building in a tranquil setting looking out onto the green pastures of a meadow, vegetation hiding foundations of monastery buildings that time has forgot. All day and evening when the weather is nice, Wymondhams’ locals walk through the churchyard, some with dogs, some with loved ones, some alone, some with ministry work to do hurrying by, all of them passing the lone photographer standing and staring into space. Some stop to chat, and soon realise I am there for one thing, to try and get some shots of the predator above, the Peregrine Falcon. It is hard to imagine a nicer way to while away some time than in the confines of the Abbey whilst waiting for a glimpse of the prize, and unusually for wildlife photography you don’t have to be hidden away and camouflaged either, just patience required. As time passes, 4 buzzards drift over on a thermal with a lone Sparrowhawk for company, and later another Sparrowhawk with a damaged leg flys by. There is plenty to keep you occupied as you wait, but still I am impatient to see the main act. As you stare into the heavens at the top of the ruined East tower, suddenly there she is, Queen of all she surveys as she lands on the gargoyle and looks out over the meadow, as you realise that all the birds filling the trees around, crows, magpies, pigeons, jackdaws etc. are just one thing to the Peregrine, PREY! A close look round near the bottom of the towers in the grass will reveal the gory truth that you are in the presence of one of nature’s top predators, as you find magpie wings, crows legs and pigeons heads, as well as many feathers around.                                   It’s a privilege to stand and watch her through my 500mm lens, watching for her to start head bobbing which usually means she is about to take off, and then getting some photos of her soaring through the sky and flying through the ruined tower. Sometimes she sits on top of the tow...

Last 2 in first set of 'British Wildlife' collection.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Last 2 in first set of 'British Wildlife' collection.
Here are the final 2 images in the first set of the 'British Wildlife' collection. Contact me if you would like a canvas or gallery board copy of any of these images. ...

March 2017 3 posts

No 5 & 6 of the 'British Wildlife' collection.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
No 5 & 6 of the 'British Wildlife' collection.
Here are the next 2 images of the first batch. All available in 12 x 12 and 12 x 16 canvas prints for £30.00.  ...

2 more for the collection.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
2 more for the collection.
Here are the next 2 images in the collection, more to follow! ...

New Wildlife Art Collection, No 1 & 2.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
New Wildlife Art Collection, No 1 & 2.
I am pleased to introduce the first 2 pictures in my new 'British Wildlife' collection of initially 8 images. These are taken from my original photo's, and then given a new dimension with some computer wizardry to produce stunning images of our wonderful wildlife. They are either 12" x 12" or 12" x 16", in canvas wrap and cost £30.00 each. (P & P extra if applicable) Other sizes and media are available, POA. I hope you like them ! ...

February 2017 3 posts

Bands at the Blueberry.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Bands at the Blueberry.
Good night last night at the Blueberry pub in Norwich to photograph Clashville UK and Dessert Sleds. A small, dark venue that was a challenge to get any decent photos, glad I took my flash! Worked on some different angles to try to convey the dynamic atmosphere, pleased with the results, and the music was good as well! Shot all photos with a 50mm lens, which was a bit tight at times, something a bit wider would be better at this venue, although it made you work for your shots!       ...

Old Buckenham Owl.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Old Buckenham Owl.
After quite a few trips over the last 6 months to try and catch sight of this Owl on Old Buckenham Country Park, I finally got some pictures of it yesterday evening. Friends who live close by told me that they had seen 2 Owls in the field next to them, so off I went again and got in position behind a tree next to the back fence of the field and set up my camera and camo net to make a makeshift hide. The field is a horse paddock that hasn't been used for a while so is a bit overgrown which makes a perfect home for short tailed voles, the staple diet of Barn Owls. As the evening drew on with light fading, suddenly I was aware of the familiar figure of a Barn Owl drifting in on the breeze, and then landing on a fence post on the far side.     Over the course of the next half an hour it went from post to post backwards and forwards across the field, coming quite close to me but unaware of my presence, (I was careful not click away too much to spook the Owl when it stopped near me), when its last rest place was a post only about 10m away, almost too close for my 500 lens! A privilege to watch one of these beautiful birds hunt from such close quarters ....

Osprey gets commended!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Osprey gets commended!
Pleased to see my Osprey picture got 'Highly Commended' in the Trossachs photo competition. It will now appear with the other winners in a 'visit the Trossachs' wildlife album....

January 2017 5 posts

Mother/Daughter in the Studio.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Mother/Daughter in the Studio.
Lovely session in the studio yesterday with a young mum and her 3 year old daughter. Once the shyness had worn off and she got comfortable, the little girl was spinning around and posing like a professional. Had to be on my toes keeping up with her, good job I had pre planned settings and poses as she didn't give me much time to compose before rushing off to the next pose. Pleased with the results and look forward to the next time!   ...

Barn Owl in the evening sun.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Barn Owl in the evening sun.
Lovely afternoon on the marsh yesterday, I got in position where the Owl sometimes comes to hunt and once behind my camp net I had to just wait and see. While waiting I saw a Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Heron with a Stoat, Lapwing and short eared owl from a distance. As I clicked away with these other species I was hoping the Owl would show before the sun went down, and at about 3.30 it appeared! Instead of a quick hunt around and then going to the far side of the marsh, it stayed for around 30 minutes stopping now and then on different posts. This gave me a great chance to get some nice perch shots for new cards and canvases which Im pleased with, and great to see the Owl get a vole for tea!             ...

Bubbles win contest!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Bubbles win contest!
Pleased to see my bursting bubble picture won the EDP Project 52 'Close up' photo challenge this week !...

Bursting Bubbles!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Bursting Bubbles!
Spent some time experimenting with flash in the studio, trying to catch the moment a bubble bursts. I set up my camera on a tripod with a remote flash set at right angles to it, against a dark background. I had a remote shutter release as well to make it easier, but still needed 2 pairs of hands to do the bubbles, then pop and click! I set the manual focus point on the same plane as the flash head, and exposed to be black with no flash, so you use the flash to expose the image which allows you to get these fascinating shots of things too quick to see by eye. After going through 2 bottles of bubble liquid it proved quite a task, but once you get a bubble to drop in the correct focus plane I used a long screwdriver to pop it and pressed the shutter release at the same time. After a lot of trial and error, its amazing to see the screwdriver piece a bubble just before it pops, and the moment of explosion as well as the sphere breaks up, looks like something either from outer space or the deep ocean, but beautiful as well. A great technique for doing water drops/slash, drinks spill etc, and fun to see the results.     ...

Baby Boom!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Baby Boom!
Spent a nice afternoon yesterday photographing little Evie, my first baby shoot. Easy to forget how small and delicate babies are, and quite testing to direct a shot as they keep wriggling about! Pleased with the shots I got, and I have learned a lot for future shoots. I used a home made beauty dish for most of the lighting and a 50mm lens, with a lens template for some shots to shape the bokeh into stars. As it was too cold in the studio for such a small baby I had to shoot in the house and think on my feet a bit to set shots up without messy backgrounds, all add to the learning experience!     ...

December 2016 3 posts

Dynamic Table Tennis!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Dynamic Table Tennis!
Interesting shoot with table tennis coach Stuart Laws last night. Stuart has a new sponsor deal with Donic, and needs some new shots to update his website with him wearing the new gear. As well as some static shots, I wanted to try and inject some movement into the action shots to help get over the speed of table tennis. Quite pleased with the results, using 2nd curtain flash and a slow shutter speed (1/10) gives some nice movement lines whilst freezing the main image.   ...

Seal Pups at Horsey

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Seal Pups at Horsey
Nice trip to Horsey on the east coast in the winter sun. There are over 1300 seal pups now along the coastline, all looking cute in their fresh fur. Plenty of fights amongst the adults, they really are quite vicious with blood flying everywhere. Over the next month the pups will rub their fur off so they can go in the water and learn to fish to survive. At the moment they take on about 2.5Litres of their mothers milk.     ...

Fame at last !!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Fame at last !!
Great to see the promo film for 'The Pebble and the boy' out, and looking good, hopefully it will lead to the full version being completed. It was a really good couple of days spent with the cast and crew in Brighton back in August doing the stills photos, and nice to see my name in lights on the credits!! Good to see star actor Nico Mirallegro have a lead role in new BBC drama Rillington Place, he was a cool guy to photograph and spend time with, and a great actor as well. Photos can be seen in the 'Film set images' gallery....

October 2016 1 posts

Red Deer Rut

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Red Deer Rut
A nice day spent at the weekend in Richmond Park with fellow photographer Andy ‘Chester’ Brown amongst the Red Deer that are starting the annual ‘Rut’. The big stags have their fully developed antlers and boom and bark at each other as they establish their territory ready for breeding. Some walk through the foliage and gather as much of the fern on their antlers to make them look bigger and more threatening before charging at any rival stag that wanders across its path.             We got there before dawn and were surprised to see 3 urban foxes as wandering about around the streets near the entrance, no time for a photo! After parking up and walking past the lakes to a spot near some woodland, we soon saw some stags and got some shots backlit against the sun as they barked and bellowed. During the day we got some good shots of the stags parading with the foliage all over them, the only thing I couldn't get a clear shot of was an actual attack as they all happend in the fern so obscured from view, maybe next time!  This is a fantastic site to see and hear, well worth the trip.  ...

September 2016 1 posts

Dive Dive Dive !

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Dive Dive Dive !
Another couple of mornings spent down at the stream in Reymerston with up to 3 Kingfishers, although one female is the constant star. Now every time when I arrive at the spot before dawn she is already there looking for fish, and my presence doesn't seem to bother her too much as I can get quite close before she moves off. The farmer has put a small herd of bullocks in the field which use the Kingfisher feeding spot as a watering hole, so now I have to keep a wary eye out for them as well as they have chased me off once already!      Even though the stream has plenty of fish, I always take some sticklebacks and put them in a colander set just below the water, which allows me to manual focus on a spot with a remote camera so I can fire that when she dives. After many visits trying different angles for the light and focus plane, I feel I am homing in on some good shots, it really is a privilege spending time with these little birds and watching them go about their morning routine, I almost feel like an honorary Kingfisher now!! I have the 1 DX set up with a 70-200 on a special remote spike I can push into the mud, this camera has great ISO properties with low noise for the higher shutter speeds needed. I then sit about 10M away with my 7D Mk2 set up on a tripod with a 500 lens and a 1.4 converter. When the morning sun comes up with no cloud, the light is perfect on this area, allowing me to get the nice fish eating shots on various perches. Im happy with these latest shots, but I think I can zoom in the remote camera a bit more so I dont have to crop too much, so good excuse to go back again…..and again!!!...

August 2016 2 posts

Kingfishers by the stream.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Kingfishers by the stream.
I went to a stream that I've not visited for a while and a couple of Kingfishers flew past, so I found a place to hide down that looked like a fishing spot and waited. After about an hour a juvenile male stopped and spent 10 minutes going from branch to branch in the afternoon sun. I just kept still and he seemed happy for me to snap away, allowing me to get some nice images.    I went back again a couple of times in the early morning and the 2 parents flew by, with the female perching for a short while every time in the morning sun. I could see them flying across the field from the nest site, and at one point she stopped for a rest on the phone wires, which was quite comical!        She took a big fish from the stream which she couldn't quite swallow, I am going to try and make a diving area with some fish to get some nice diving shots if they stay around. The next morning she was there again for just a few minutes, again in nice sunlight and I got some nice shots in the breeze.  ...

On the film set.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
On the film set.
Just back from 2 days in Brighton doing scene stills for upcoming ‘Mod’ film the pebble and the boy.  On Monday we met director Chris Green and the crew near the pier on the seafront at 2.30PM, and they set up a scene where the 2 stars (Nico Mirallegro and Lauren Mcqueen) ride up on a Scooter and stop by some other Mods and Scooters. This took about an hour to film which gave me plenty of time to get some nice shots using the flash to bring out the stars against the unseasonable grey sky. Then there was a scene overlooking the sea where Lauren pushed an ice cream in Nico’s face. After that we moved onto the beach for a shot tipping the male stars dads ashes in the sea, but after a lot of setting up this was canned due to bad light.    The plan for day 2 was to be on the beach for 5.30AM for a sunrise scene, but after getting up at 5.15 to the sound of rain thrashing down, a quick text to Chris confirmed that the morning scene was canned and we were to meet at 8 for interior scenes at fantastic Mod clothes shop ‘Jump the Gun’. The shot was set up with the stars buying a shirt then seeing a photo of “Johns” dad. This was shot from a few angles for different cuts, and then we moved outside with the scooter for the shots of them leaving, thankfully it had stopped raining by now! I got some nice posed shots, and some candid shots of Nico, then we moved on to a house scene in another street, where I got a cracking candid shot of Lauren waiting for the scene to start sitting on the scooter, again the flash set to manual brought everything out beautifully.    After that we made our way home with plenty of photos to process, and a big thanks to the friendly Manchester crew (Chris, JP, Amy Jaquie, John, Ester, Pip to name a few) who couldn't do enough to help and make life as easy as possible.                                ...

July 2016 1 posts

Fishing Ospreys

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Fishing Ospreys
Just back from a 3 day trip at Rothiemurchus fisheries near Aviemore on a tour run by excellent wildlife photographer and guide Jo Mcintyre, trying to capture Ospreys fishing in a trout lake, something I had booked up about 18 months ago and counted down the days for!   Monday:  Up at 5.30 AM to catch flight to Inverness from Luton, after half an hour delay, arrive at midday. After battling my way through the golfers up here for the Scottish open, I got a taxi to the train station, and then a train for the 30 minute journey to Aviemore. Jo kindly offered to pick me up from the station (not part of the tour!), and I loaded my packed bags full of tripod, camera bodies and lenses into her car for the 10 minute trip to the hotel. We stopped on the way at the ‘Rothie’ fishery so that I could have a look at the location and whet my appetite even more as I looked at the 4 hides in different locations around a big pond with around 300 Rainbow and Brown Trout in. After I had checked into the excellent Boat hotel at the nearby Boat of Garten village I had a couple of hours to kill, so went for a walk through a wooded area to see if I could see any wildlife.   It was a very quiet and peaceful wood with not much about, but as I got to the end of the track I was aware of a movement in the trees and saw a Red Squirrel run up a tree. I got a couple of backlit pictures with my 100-400 before it ran off, then returned to the hotel for dinner with the other guys and Jo on the trip. After a nice ‘ice breaker’ meeting with 4 of the other guys, we retired for an early night before our 3.30 AM alarm for the first hide session.   Tuesday: All of us up and ready to leave at 4 AM, with Pro photographer Tom Way joining us after arriving late in the night, all struggling to control our excitement of the first ‘shoot’ at this early hour. We got to the hides at 4.15 and met John our ‘spotter’ who sat in a hide in t...

June 2016 6 posts

Kingfisher at Lackford.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Kingfisher
Kingfisher at Lackford.
After a lot of waiting around from 6 AM, this little juvenile male kingfisher appeared at about 11AM and stayed around for about 5 minutes, fishing and coughing up pellets. Lovely to see him, and with the cloudy sky giving nice diffused light it made for some nice photo's.  ...

Barn Owls on the hunt.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Barn Owl
Barn Owls on the hunt.
Went over to the marsh last week in the evening, and managed to get some shots of 2 Barn Owls hunting for food. I think they are feeding chicks as they are carrying food. Light was difficult, either late evening sun or black clouds in the space of a few seconds! Interesting to see the 2 owls almost hovering over the top of each other at one point, maybe eyeing up the same vole! ...

Norwich Peregrines.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Norwich Peregrines.
Just caught the last 2 chicks to fledge from the Norwich Cathedral platform at the weekend. Lovely to see the young falcons exercise their wings and eventually fly off, a great project manned by the Hawk and Owl trust along with a similar one in Bath. A shame the weather was dull and drizzling, went back this morning, still cloudy, but all chicks fledged now, just saw the adult female at the very top eating a pigeon for breakfast before flying off. Amazing to see these birds in the city, long may it continue, hopefully I will get a picture of one a bit lower down to save my neck from cricking!!    ...

Swallowtails in the sun!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Swallowtails in the sun!
  Rushed over to Strumpshaw Fen when I heard the Swallowtails were there, good opportunity to try my new camera out. After seeing nothing for 2 hours, I went to a different spot and there were 2 or 3 feeding on the flowers there. A Beautiful sight in the sunshine, and managed to get some nice shots in among the paparazzi there! More photos in the gallery on my website, www.gbjphotography.co.uk...

Busy Weekend!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Busy Weekend!
Busy weekend photographing the Norwich Swan Open Water Swim Camp at Fritton Lake on Saturday, finishing the session with some very unconventional diving!! Then to Birmingham on Sunday for the Diamond League Athletics, another great day, see photos in Gallery.   ...

Batman takes an Italian holiday!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Batman takes an Italian holiday!
  Some Photoshop fun after our recent visit to Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. This was a modern sculpture of Batman in the Naples museum of archeology that I thought looked quite moving. The background is a view of Amalfi from the sea, which I thought suited the image to make it look like Batman is on the beach!...

May 2016 2 posts

Kingfisher makes the paper!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Kingfisher
Kingfisher makes the paper!
  Went to check out the Kingfishers at Thetford as Ive been away for a week racing in Barcelona, and the male is carrying fish to the nest now. (The EDP used the picture in todays paper!) When the birds have the fish this way around in their beak it shows that they are going to pass to another bird, as they always eat fish head first so fins don't stick in their throat. This fish is probably for the female sitting on eggs as its quite big, hopefully chicks hatch soon and ready to fledge in a month, which if I'm lucky should get some nice photos of them learning to fish. ...

Blackbird fledgling.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Blackbird fledgling.
Managed to get these shots of the first flight away from the nest of the blackbird fledglings in our garden. They look so vulnerable as they hop about without all their flight feathers, and constantly chirp for food as their busy parents feed them.   ...

April 2016 4 posts

Jacksons Wedding

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, wedding
Jacksons Wedding
Congratulations to Elliot and Lana on their wedding at the weekend, the rain just managed to hold off for the photos! Had a great time recording their day, and any guests that want to see images from the day can go to the gallery page, click on the Jacksons Wedding gallery, type in the password (Get from Lana, Elliot or Tara Jackson) and look through. Contact me if you would like any prints etc through the contact section.   ...

Rutland Osprey

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Opera
Rutland Osprey
Nice morning spent in Rutland at a trout farm that is visited by the Ospreys from Rutland water. One turned up at 6AM and perched in a tree for a while, before eventually diving in and leaving with a nice juicy trout for breakfast. Unfortunately the light wasn't fantastic which made getting decent photos difficult, and as there are no chicks to feed yet they only need one fish to start the day. The light never improved over the next 3 hours and we had no more visits so couldn't hone our skills, but still great to see the power and accuracy of the bird as it got his meal. Dropped into Thetford on the way back and the male Kingfisher spent 5 minutes fishing on the side of the river in good view. Still cold and dull light, but got some nice photos on different perches. Thanks to Andy 'Chester' Brown for the tip off and driving there.               ...

Ribbons of Light.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Ribbons of Light.
Interesting night with a bike, a camera, tripod, assistant (Holly) and a 2 metre length of battery powered LED's! Trying to catch the motion of pedalling a bike with light using a long exposure, quite pleased with the results leaving these 'Ribbons of light'. Now I am thinking of other movements I can capture that will make interesting patterns, all suggestions welcome!  ...

Studio Time.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Rickenbacker
Studio Time.
After a week away testing with GP2, time to put on some studio shots against the acoustic wall using 'bounce flash' technique, done just before I left. Acoustic foam gives a nice texture I think.  ...

March 2016 9 posts

More Hares!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
More Hares!
Spent another morning at Oaks Farm in the field with the Hares. Weather was nicer than last time, but less action as I think they are pairing up now. Pleased with the photos I got with a bit of morning sunshine to add to some moody lighting.   ...

Lovers Tiff!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Lovers Tiff!
Came across this pair of Kingfishers busy digging their burrow on a lakeside near Thetford. Great to observe them going in and out taking in turns to dig, and chase away unwanted attention from another male in the area. Difficult photography conditions as the site is about 50M from the nearest observation point, so need long lens plus extender. Also, the site is a bit in the shade, but great to see them flying around each other with the odd fight along the way. Only way to tell the sexes apart is the female has a reddish bottom to her beak.                     ...

Mad March Hares getting frisky!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Mad March Hares getting frisky!
Spent a nice morning at Oaks farm with about 10 Hares chasing each other and getting amorous! I managed to melt into the background downwind of them with a long lens, and just enjoy watching them in the cold easterly wind. They were really active with lots of males chasing and fighting with a few females, amazing to see how fast they run and change direction. ...

First Kingfisher Sighting

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Kingfisher
First Kingfisher Sighting
Went to Thetford centre for Ornithology at the weekend, and saw my first Kingfisher of the year. It was a nice walk around small lakes and woodland that Ive not been to before, and as I looked across the lake at a bank I thought would be an ideal nesting place for Kingfishers, I noticed that this one was sitting in the sun nearby! Its a bit long distance and I only had my 'walk around' lens with me, but was a lovely sight until a Mallard swam by and frightened it off. Ill go back again for a morning and see if there is a pair, would be nice to get some 'fish passing' photos. ...

Sunny morning back on the marsh.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Barn Owl
Sunny morning back on the marsh.
Sunny but very cold morning on the marsh yesterday after a week away testing with GP2 in Barcelona. One Owl was around for a while allowing me to get some nice shots. Tried again with setting up a remote wide angle camera, but the Owl never went in range of it!! Surprised to be joined by Virtuosi Truck driver and excellent photographer Andy Brown, who had made good time back from Barcelona and had gone straight out on the marsh the first chance he had as well!! Got a fly past 'stare' as well as the Owl had a good look at who this idiot was clicking away in the freezing cold!...

Black & White Owl.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Black & White Owl.
                                          Trying some black & white conversions on Owl photos, quite happy with this one, it seems to suit B & W better than colour!...

Barcelona Testing.

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Barcelona Testing.
                                                                    View of first corner sequence at Barcelona circuit as we did our track walk in the evening before the GP2 test. A lot of work done in the 3 days, now back to see if the Owls have missed me tomorrow!!...

Sleet Stops Play!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Sleet Stops Play!
    Weather report said that we would get a couple of hours of sun this morning before the rain/snow came, so I was out early as I was trying a remote set-up with my other camera and a wide angle lens to get a 'vole eyed view' of an Owl. All was good when I got there, but after setting everything up I looked across the marsh to see this rainbow and leaden sky and feared the worst. Sure enough, the wind picked up and sleet crashed down as I hurriedly covered up the cameras and shelter them with my body for 10 minutes until it stopped. I set up again as the sun peeped out from behind the clouds and the Owl appeared hunting straight away, then it came down again! The Owl took refuge on a post for a while as they can't hunt in the rain, then flew off back to the farmyard quickly. I gathered everything up again and decided to give it up as a bad job before I got another wet camera, but the potential is there from the test shots I took, hopefully Ill get an Owl filling the frame soon! Owl takes refuge from the sleet on a post.   Wide Angle 'Vole' shot ...

Who You Looking At !

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
Who You Looking At !
Great afternoon on the marsh, thought Id pop down as it was reasonably good weather, and even at 2.30pm the Barn Owls were hunting. After id been there a couple of hours after getting some nice shots in flight and perched, I was thinking about leaving, when a Short Eared Owl turned up!    I got some great shots as he hunted the same area for a while, and then as he went the Barn Owl turned up again and landed for a rest in the field not far in front of me. Glad I made the effort now to trudge through the waterlogged fields to get to the spot.   ...

February 2016 3 posts

New Lambs!

Gavin Bickerton-Jones | | General Articles, Blogging
New Lambs!
Lovely to see the new lambs filling up the fields, real sign that spring is on the way! Nice to see this picture in the EDP as well.  ...