I am both happy and proud to announce that for the third time in four years, I have been chosen among the winners of the annual Grasduinen (now Roots) nature photo competition. My image of a singing male Bluethroat in a pinkish haze of heather was awarded the runner-up position in the Bird category.

As always, the award ceremony was very enjoyable, with several old friends and new faces to have an engaged photographic chat with. Congrats to all the other winners, all their amazing images can be seen at Woerden Castle, and in the upcoming issue of Roots Magazine.

Some background info about the image: I wanted a close-up of a singing male in a heather bush, but as usually, the birds were not very cooperative and kept a safe distance. I mounted the non-ideal double converter on the 500/4 hoping that the bird would at least get close enough for that combo. It did not, but when I looked through the viewfinder towards a distant bird (32 meters, according to the EXIF), I noticed the beautiful pink haze of the out-of-focus near and far heather bushes that surrounded the bird. As you see, sometimes the best shots are born out of simple frustration…

Singing Bluethroat; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4L IS and EF 2.0x; 1/100s at F10 and ISO800; tripod


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