14. Aug, 2014

Being a photographer takes patients!

Lying perfectly still in a field of freshly turned hay, I waited for that perfect picture of a red kite, a buzzard, a butterfly, anything photogenic.

     ‘So this is what it takes to be a photographer,’ I whispered into my dictaphone, ‘patients!’

     In the distance I heard a tractor and hoped the farmer wouldn’t see me lying in the hay as if I had nothing better to do. I didn’t, at that very moment, despite the fact I had left my kind and unassuming husband in the car on the other side of the hedge.

    I peeped over the small mound of dead grass, the smell reminding me of summers long gone, and saw in the clear blue sky, up to twenty magnificent kites. Hardly daring to breathe, I reached for my camera, hoping to catch my favourite bird of prey!

    Their chestnut red body, against the white under their wings was almost breathtaking. I watched through the lens, as they glided gracefully through the air, their voice, an insistent and thin piping sound, calling to each other.  

    But try as I might, I could not get that picture. They were too quick for me. Tired, I lay back on the hay and rested. Then zooming into the trees that lined the hedge, I hunted for any movement. Then I saw her. She was perched on top of a tree, her pale grey head and her wickedly hooked beak, a sure sign that she was indeed a kite though I did wonder if she was a buzzard. There was a buzzard close by, but still too far away for an amateur like me to tell the difference. Holding the camera perfectly still (despite my trembling hands) I took a closer look at her hooded amber eyes, ringed with a prominent yellow and knew that with her excellent sight, she had spotted me. I held her in my memory.

     With little effort and a couple of heavy beats of her two metre wing span, this incredible creature took off in an instant, leaving me weak and humble. And although I didn’t get the picture I wanted, I now know where to find them. ‘Until we meet again!’

     I did, however, catch the buzzard.