A mere 6 years, 4,200 hours and 720,000 photos …

It took Alan McFayden, of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, 6 years, 4,200 hours, and 720,000 photos to get the shot he wanted.

“The photo I was going for of the perfect dive, flawlessly straight, with no splash required not only me to be in the right place and get a very lucky shot but also for the bird itself to get it perfect,” said McFayden. And he sometimes took as many as 600 shots in a single session.

But he finally got the shot:

Photo © Alan McFayden

Photo © Alan McFayden

Of course, along the way he got a few other great shots.

Photo © Alan McFayden

Photo © Alan McFayden

Photo © Alan McFayden

Photo © Alan McFayden

As a child, McFayden was often taken by his grandfather to watch a certain kingfisher nest. He was intrigued by the birds and as an adult wildlife photographer, returned again and again to the same spot.

Categories: Green, Photography

21 replies

  1. Now that really is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. If he never takes another picture he knows he took the perfect one, unbeatable.

  2. Amazing action shot, it must have taken such patience to capture this special moment.

  3. The third one blew me away! Well, all of them did, to tell the truth..I can believe it took him thousands of tries. They are spectacular!

  4. All beautiful. But, the first shot is most interesting. Notice how the birds image is sharp while its reflection isn’t. It means the shot was made much more difficult because the photographer was panning with the bird. Fantastic!

    • Okay, so now I’m impressed and amazed all over again, but even more than the first time! But I suppose he had to be panning since he couldn’t have known in advance exactly where the bird would hit the water. I suppose I’d just attributed the blurred reflection to dirty water or something.

  5. Extreme persistence resulted in perfection. Usually, just a few humans seeking perfection are able to attain excellence. This guy made it all the way. Beautiful!

  6. So remarkable these are almost surreal. Nature provides an endless supply of wonder, yet so many don’t notice.

  7. Exquisite shots – the years of dedication to the craft of getting the perfect shot show up in these images – speed, accuracy, preparation, knowing the bird and where it’s likely to dive. Fantastic!

"Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got." ~ Art Buchwald

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