Photo of the Week: 26 April – 2 May


Goosander by Ian Dickey


I loved Ian Dickey's photo of a female Goosander as soon as I saw it, as it breaks virtually all the usual rules of bird photography.

It is beautifully framed, with the flowing water that surrounds the bird emphasised by using a slow shutter speed of 1/50th second, f20 aperture and ISO 100. Shooting at a 'normal' exposure of around 1/1000th second would have frozen the rushing water, meaning a lack of any sort of motion in the image. The low angle has helped with the shot; you're almost looking through the torrent in the foreground to see the bird.

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The problem at this shutter speed would be keeping the Goosander just sharp enough among the waves. It's been achieved here, but I imagine there were a lot of blurred images on Ian's camera straight after the session!

The bird, habitat, photographer and his technique have all combined to provide a memorable image. Congratulations to Ian, who used a 600 mm lens to take this week's winning photo.

You can read more on bird photography from Steve Young, including product reviews and a regular Photo Challenge for readers, every month in Birdwatch magazine.

Other notable images

Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe, Gailey Reservoirs, Staffordshire (Photo: Derek Lees)

Black-browed Albatross
Black-browed Albatross, Germany (Photo: Klaus Drissner)

European Stonechat, Portugal (Photo: Chris Barlow)

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret, Iken, Suffolk (Photo: John Richardson)

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher, undisclosed site, Shropshire (Photo: Tony Webb)

Swallow, Abberton Reservoir, Essex (Photo: Mark Bicknell)

Collared Bush Robin
Collared Bush Robin, Taiwan (Photo: Josh Jones)

Song Thrush
Song Thrush, Wharfe Valley, North Yorkshire (Photo: Billy Harbottle)

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper, Penzance, Cornwall (Photo: Alex McKechnie)

Dipper, undisclosed site, Staffordshire (Photo: Jamie MacArthur)

Lesser Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat, Whisby Nature Park, Lincolnshire (Photo: Russell Hayes)

Red Grouse
Red Grouse, undisclosed site, Perth & Kinross (Photo: Joe Graham)

Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier, Dunsop Bridge, Lancashire (Photo: A.Dancy)

Common Cuckoo, undisclosed site, West Sussex (Photo: Howard Kearley)

Kestrel, undisclosed site, Worcestershire (Photo: Jamie MacArthur)

Written by: Steve Young