Amazing Kingfisher Photo Is The Result Of 6 Months Of Hard Work, No Photoshop Is Required

Mario Cea is a well-known Spanish wildlife photographer who specializes in bird photography. He's able to capture feathered creatures in unexpected, beautiful situations by using slow camera speeds and artificial light. Cea's breathtaking photo of a kingfisher plunging into a pond which won the People's Choice Award at the 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and was recently shortlisted for the Bird Photographer of the Year Awards, is a regular winner in international photography contests.

Cea is a master in tactics that allow him to make this magic happen in the field, with over 25 years of experience as a wildlife photographer. The professional wildlife photographer was able to realize his artistic vision via hard work and patience. The blue trail, in reality, is the culmination of 6 months of work and 2,000 pictures to get this flawless outcome.

So, how did Cea achieve the streaking effect as the kingfisher descended into the water? “NO PHOTOSHOP WAS USED IN THE MAKING OF THIS IMAGE. It was created entirely with photographic techniques,” Cea explains. "A slow shutter speed of 1/15s was used in conjunction with continuous light to capture the wake left by the bird in its passage, and a flash was used to freeze the flight. The continuous light of a lantern is turned on when the exposure begins, and the flashes are fired at the second curtain soon as the exposure concludes. 'Why doesn't the wake appear in the reflection?' some people wonder. The solution is straightforward...the wake is only visible when the background is sufficiently dark.”

There you have it, no special post-production methods required, just a thorough understanding of the equipment and a lot of hard effort to achieve the perfect shot. It's all worth it for Cea to convey his innovative point of view and entice the viewer. He believes that people will get greater regard and respect for wildlife as a result of his photography, as well as a better understanding of the labor and effort that photographers put in to obtain amazing photographs of birds in nature.

If you want to master Cea's creative techniques, he teaches workshops all across Spain and maintains a blog where he shares his equipment and approach.

Here are some more instances of how wildlife photographer Mario Cea captures the magnificence of birds using a high-speed photography technique.

Mario Cea: Website | Facebook | Blog

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