Many times in wildlife photography you find out that all elements are coming together to help you capture a magical image, with the right light and your subject at the right place.
It was July 2020 and I have visited the wetlands at Agios Mamas, Chalkidiki, Greece. My purpose to capture flamingos that had stayed for the summer in the area.
I used my loyal Nikon D500 and my 200-500mm lens, a compo I quite like. I chose to go there in the afternoon, two hours before the sunset, just for a few shots and a couple of videos.
Of course, I was on the ground with a camouflage poncho over me, trying to blend in with the environment. Flamingos will not be disturbed if you are able to get down on your chest and won’t move for a long period of time (meaning at least 15 to 20 minutes).
As the sun was coming down, and the gold light was covering everything, I found myself in a position with a group of flamingo bathe in the unique golden hour colours.
I shot nine photos and in one of those I captured two flamingos playing, while the rest of the group continued to search for food. The pose was excellent and the rest of the group was scattered equally, creating a unique symmetry.
I chose a shutter speed of 1/1600 of a second to freeze the movement as best as possible and the maximum aperture of the lens f/5.6, at 500mm (750mm in Full Frame format), elements that forced me to raise the ISO to 1000. Fortunately, Topaz Noise AI did an excellent job of reducing digital noise.
I had to work on the image in Photoshop, removing a far away flamingo to balance better the final image, but I believe that the result is one of my best backlit images of wildlife I have captured, until that day.
If you want to support my art you could buy a print of this image for your home and office, printed in high quality fine art paper, in various sizes (I recommend 50x75cm)! Take a look here!
See you out there!