John Crabb: Adventures with wildlife photography

If club members needed to be reminded what fun can be had from their hobby then our recent speaker provided that in abundance. John Crabb presented his talk ‘The Art and Adventure of Wildlife Photography’ recently and showed how after starting photography only seven years ago, he has become an expert at capturing some truly magnificent images.

A self-professed geek, John captivated his audience with the delightful discoveries he had made when photographing birds in flight. He introduced us to the bits of technical apparatus he had constructed to obtain his pictures and how he had progressed from recording birds through his digiscope with a fairly basic snapshot camera to a sophisticated use of sensors and improvised platforms whilst using a DSLR.

John’s pictures of common garden birds such as robins became extraordinary as he showed how the birds feathers worked so that they could achieve perfection in flight. He may call himself a geek but his regular expressions of delight – ‘Can you feel the fun?’ – showed his emotional involvement with both wildlife and what photography was doing for him. He was also very honest about the problems wildlife photographers have. Patience is required in abundance or as he put it you get thinly spread luck and have to put in the hours to get the shots.

But he had plenty of those. There were staggering images of robins feeding from his hand, hares, foxes and kingfishers – all very difficult to capture. Finally the club audience was put under John’s spotlight as he demonstrated some of his gadgetry by shooting images of us using specially constructed sensors connected both to his laptop and a radio-controlled pan and tilt mechanism on his camera.

This was a great evening in which we were able to share what John described as his ‘delightful discoveries’ in his adventure with wildlife and photography.