• "MEET A MEMBER" #8 Gerard Satherley

    This week's MAM likes to dabble in the dark arts Yes, like our previous MAM participant Geoff Longford, Gerard Satherley shoots NIKON
    Gerard, like many of us, is a very passionate bird photographer. He is also one of the Feathers & Photos crew members responsible for helping to maintain the site. Gerard generously shares his knowledge and knowhow on both the F&P Forum and also his personal website Gerard Satherley Photography . Gerard hails from NSW but is really at home out in the field with his eye to the viewfinder framing up some of Australia's natural beauty.

    What is the first thing you think of in the morning?

    Starting with a trick question? Itís sad, but itís usually whether the weather is good for photography.

    Why were you attracted to avian photography?

    A love of birds since childhood, plenty of challenging subject matter and the ability to incorporate bird photography with my passion for travel.

    What was the first bird you photographed? Did you know what species it was?

    Not sure, but it was probably something like a swamphen in Centennial Park, Sydney. I would have known its common name.

    What is it about avian photography that keeps you coming back for more?

    The challenge of getting a good image and getting into the outdoors as much as possible.

    Which nature photographers are you most inspired by? Why are they such an inspiration?

    There are a lot of photographers on this site that inspire me. It could be their technical excellence, their passion or the overall appeal of their images that I find inspirational. If you look at my website links
    you see some of my current favourites. Anyway hereís a few whose work is always inspirational.
    The master of the Set-up: Alan Murphy.
    Chris van Rooyen creates images with great impact.

    What was the first camera & lens combo you used for avian photography?

    This would have been a Fuji Pro1 Digital (6MP) + Nikkor 300mm f/4

    What is your current kit? Why did you upgrade?

    Nikon D300, D7000, Nikkor 500mm f/4, Nikkor 300mm f/4, Nikkor 70 -200mm f/2.8, Nikkor 12-24mm f/ 1.4 TC and 1.7 TC. Plus a cupboard full of accessories.
    Iím a bit of nerd, I like having the latest gadgets. Iíll be up grading shortly, hopefully to a D400 or D800.

    Do you prefer to shoot in the morning or afternoon? Why do you prefer this part of the day.

    I donít have a preference as long as the light is good. Sometimes the location will dictate the best time.

    When the light turns bad do you end the session?

    Not always especially if Iím travelling and there is the possibility of a new bird. What is bad light? Maybe it should be difficult light. Unless itís overcast I would normally only photograph for a few hours after sunrise and a few before sunset. I donít think I have a decent shot that was captured when the light was harsh.

    When youíre out in the field and a bird presents itself, are there times when you donít press the shutter button? If so could you explain when and why?

    I donít bother photographing ferals or birds on man-made perches, just not my thing. I would also hesitate if the background was distracting or the light was coming from the wrong direction. There are also times when absorbing what is happening before your eyes is more important than capturing an image. To get a killer image you need to know your subject, so you need to observe it first.

    Have you any interests besides birds when it comes to photography?

    Iím happy photography anything in the natural world. When I started out getting serious about photography it was landscapes that were my main focus.

    Do you have a dream location where you would love to spend a week (or longer) photographing the native animals?

    At the moment itís probably the area around Paluma in North Queensland. We were washed out last year. There are plenty of birds in a beautiful habitat.

    Do you have a favourite location? If so where is it?

    It keeps changing; when I first started it was the Capertee Valley, then Bowra, then Kilcowera, then Lake Cargelligo....itís a moving feast.

    How often do you get out to photograph birds?

    My wife and I spend 4 to 6 months a year travelling with the main focus being photography. When Iím at home I try and get out a couple of times a week. If I have a particular species Iím working on I might spend a few solid days trying to achieve a few good images.

    What are you trying to portray in your work?

    Firstly I want to achieve technical excellence and then ideally I want to create a unique image in which the subject is demonstrating some sort of behaviour. I have a great collection of portraits and birds on sticks so I have a long way to go. My bird photography is a work in progress.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "MEET A MEMBER" #8 Gerard Satherley started by Chris M View original post