I stumbled across these photographs of the Falconry Display at Peterborough Heritage Festival on a memory card today. As a photographer I take so many photographs that sometimes they never see the light of day because I simply forget about them or don’t find time to edit them. However I decided I liked these ones quite a lot and thought I’d share the love.
The display was put on by Backwoods Falconry ran by Gary and Jen Baxter who provided a thoroughly entertaining and informative demonstration in Peterborough City Centre for the crowds of people who turned out for this free entertainment as part of the Peterborough Heritage Festival.
I’d attended the festival with my Girlfriend and had my camera with me on the off chance that there was something there that would grab my attention. When you spend 6 days a week photographing events, portraits and weddings, it takes a lot to make me get the camera out on my day off however this was an opportunity to good to miss for me.
It turns out that photographing these birds isn’t the easiest of things to do, especially as they are quite small and move so quickly. A super-fast shutter speed was required to freeze the action and I had to combine that with a wide aperture to blur the background as it was so busy with people and buildings everywhere, you’d never had seen the birds had I left everything in focus.
I ended up shooting at f2.8, 1/640 sec at ISO 100. I used my Canon 5DMKIII and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. It was a bright sunny day so no issue with shooting at such a high shutter speed. On reflection I could have shot these at around 1/1000 sec to ensure they were super sharp, but they don’t seem too sloppy at 1/640 sec anyway.
I’m glad I stumbled across these today, if anything it’s given me the motivation to seek out a falconry shoot where the conditions are a little more controlled and I can get creative with the shots whilst the birds are in flight, this will be my next challenge when I can find a suitable company to work with.
I got lucky with this final shot, the large lens I was using grabbed his attention momentarily, many thanks Gary!