June 2018. Wildlife Photo Project in the Dombes in France to Photograph Water Birds
In June 2018, we spent three weeks in the Dombes in France to photograph water birds and marshes.
In this project, which we are conducting for the sixth year in a row, we used floating blinds. The advantage of this technique is to approach birds without frightening them and without alternating their lifestyle.
The floating blind also allows us to photograph birds at eye level and avoid the down effect that is obtained when photographing them from the bank.
The floating blind also allows to choose a specific photographic point of view as we walk in the ponds. We can easily adapt to the light and choose the best scene possible.
This year, conditions in the Dombes were quite difficult. The water level was very high because of the rains that fell in the spring. We were unable to photograph shorebirds because the mudflats were submerged. We found places with black-winged stilts and Eurasian spoonbills, but we could not rent these ponds.
Waders were less numerous because they had trouble finding reed beds to hunt. Waders walk along reed beds to catch fish; thus, we think they took refuge deeper in the reed beds where the water level was lower. They hunted the frogs that were in great numbers this year.
This trip in 2018 has given us the opportunity to photograph many species of ducks such as common pochard ducks, tufted ducks or mallard ducks.
We also saw many Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and Black-necked Grebe.
But what we will remember this year is not so much the poultry species that we have photographed, but the extraordinary lights bathing the ponds in their glory. For 6 years, these are certainly the most beautiful lights we have seen. They gave us the idea to create creative artistic photographs with reflections and wavelets. These artistic photographs will enable us to create more abstract collections of nature in collections "Around the Mind". The more naturalistic works will feed one or two collections of "Around the World".
Despite the difficult conditions of this year, 2018, we focused on our best artistic approach.