Taking pictures of the wintering birds of the coast of Charente Maritime department, France. January 2013.

During the month of January 2013, we have photographed birds wintering on the coast of the Charente Maritime in France. These photographs of birds for an exhibition project that will take place in 2013. We started this topic in November 2012 but the appalling weather conditions forced us to extend our stay for several weeks. We realized these photos on the islands of Oléron and Ré in nature reserves.

We chose for this exhibition wintering birds as they are very likely to arise in the Charente Maritime. Therefore few people know all the species. We photographed brant, barges spills, godwits, avocets, spoonbills and many other species as beautiful as each other. Photographing these birds is a challenge because they fear humans. Once they see a human standing, they fly away. We used hides and show a lot of patience to make these shots. Two parameters must be considered for photographing birds wintering on the coast of Charente Maritime. The first parameter is the tide. When the tide is low or out, the birds are feeding on the foreshore which is very clear. It is impossible to take pictures. We have to wait 3 hours before the high tide for the birds to be closer to the continent. For the shooting, we must take care of days with favorable tides. The other parameter we must consider is the sun. We need a lot of light in order to freeze the movement of birds flying. We need speeds higher than to 1/1000th of a second. When the weather is cloudy or rainy, we can not make photographs. Making animal pictures of birds in Europe is a very complex task. Patience and dedication are certainly the two qualities most needed for this type of shots.

Taking pictures of the wintering birds of the coast of Charente Maritime, France.

Taking pictures of the wintering birds of the coast of Charente Maritime, France.

Taking pictures of the wintering birds of the coast of Charente Maritime, France.

Taking pictures of the wintering birds of the coast of Charente Maritime, France.

Taking pictures of the wintering birds of the coast of Charente Maritime, France.

Taking pictures of the wintering birds of the coast of Charente Maritime, France.