Alan McFadyen is 46-years-old, but has always had a love for birds. His grandfather used to take him to one special area to watch the kingfishers as they dove into the lake and ate little shrimp and small fish. He had a love for the birds, and even as he grew up and started a family of his own, he never forgot about those special days spent with his grandfather watching the birds.
When he took up photography, he had it set in his mind that he would capture the kingfisher’s perfect dive. He would go out and spend hours waiting for the birds to dive, and snapping multiple photos of the event. “They were like a bullet they were so quick,” and in all but one of these photos, that fact was painfully obvious.
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. I’m sure my grandfather would have loved it. I just wish he could have seen it. All of my family contacted me when they saw it and said he would have been so proud.”
There were times when he thought he was so close to having the perfect image, only to look back through his photographs and realize that they just weren’t quite there yet. This was especially hard since the birds are so incredibly fast. He may be out there for hours at a time, but it was hours spent being ready for anything. As soon as one of the birds was about to make a dive, he needed to be ready and focused. Guessing and estimating where the bird would dive was a large part of this project.
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 very lucky shot but also for the bird itself to get it perfect.”
And finally, after 6 years, thousands of hours, and hundreds of thousands of photographs, McFayden’s dedication paid off in a BIG way. The perfect dive of kingfishers simply isn’t something that you come across everyday. There is a perfect reflection in the water, there are no splashes or ripples, the bird is perfectly aligned, the beak is closed, and it is taken with the tip of it’s beak barely even touching the water. There is so much about this picture that screams “perfection,” and McFayden should be so incredibly proud! This is fantastic!
Birds are amazing creatures, and it is no wonder that so many people spend their lives dedicated to studying, watching, filming, and photographing them in their daily lives. The rarest birds are some that we might only see in pictures and video, and this shot is an amazing representation of something most of us will never be able to see first-hand! This picture is gorgeous!
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