Hi Conor! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?
Photography is my second career and a hugely enjoyable part of my life. Birds are my main passion and I have travelled to Hungary, Romania and Finland so far to get images of birds in their natural environment. I also like to visit the best places in the UK e.g Farne Islands, Skomer, Cairngorms etc to get images of our more local birds. I also enjoy landscape photography but I find it takes me a long time to get it right. Both of these genres require a lot of patience, they are highly unpredictable and you just don’t know whats going to happen in front of your lens but when that defining moment does appear its simply magical.
QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?
AMoving into a snowy field in Kussamo, Finland to get setup to take pictures of the hunting owls. I couldn’t see that the snow was so deep and plunged waist deep into it with my camera gear flying everywhere. When I eventually got to a good position I was able to carve a makeshift seat out of the deep snow which proved very comfortable and surprisingly protective against the cold winds. I had to wait in this position for over three hours before the owl left the tree to come hunting. It was quite a contrast to my previous office life and an illustration of just how much photography has changed my outlook.
QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?
AFor wildlife photography I shoot with a Canon 1DX and Canon lenses 200-400mm and 600mm. The need for long focal length is a given in wildlife photography and the speed of focusing and high frame rate per second of the 1DX is excellent. For landscape work I use a Canon 5DMark II with 16-35,mm Canon lens and also I’m just getting used to a 24mm tilt/shift canon lens. I guess my favourite set up is the 1DX with the 200-400mm, its just such a versatile lens for all situations and it gives terrific results.
QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
AAlways remember photography is an art form and thus it raises different emotions in different people, some people won’t like your work, others will rave about it but try to keep level headed, don’t get too full of yourself when people delight in your work but likewise don’t get too depressed when they don’t.