• "MEET A MEMBER" #12 Mark Young

    Mark is a long serving member of Feathers & Photos and hails from New South Wales. Truly at home at the beach, Mark loves nothing more than observing and photographing shorebirds. Long Reef is Mark's number one location to do what he loves and what place is there on the southern east coast of Australia.


    What is the first thing you think of in the morning?
    The cat usually wakes me up around 5:30 every morning, so it's normally something about him not letting me get enough sleep!


    What attracted you to avian photography?

    It was by seeing great images that other people took that presented birds in a way I'ld never seen before. It was a real WOW moment, and I've been hooked ever since.


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

    I think it was either a Galah or a Willie Wagtail. I don't really remember but those are the oldest images I can find on my PC.


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

    Each photograph is unique. Even if it's the same bird, there is always something different about it. Even for common birds like Gulls and Terns, you are always seeing something new in their plumage or behaviour. I never tire of it. I do get frustrated though with my own inability to be able to take the photograph I want .


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

    I'm inspired by people who are passionate about it and who put a lot of effort into their work. I think passion and genuineness in some ways is more important than technique as you can teach technique to anyone, but when someone puts that little bit extra into their images it really shows. I enjoy looking at the images of those people who continually strive for that perfect image.


    If you could choose anyone to join you on a shoot, who would that someone be?

    Anyone who doesn't mind getting down and dirty!


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

    My first was a Canon 400D with a 70-300 IS lens. Before that I used a Panasonic Lumix P@S. I still remember going on my first Boz outing with it up to Newcastle. I felt so out of place with this tiny little camera when all these other blokes had 'real' cameras with gigantic 400 and 600mm lenses!


    What is your current kit? Why did you upgrade?

    I have a Canon 7D with a 300F4 L + 1.4TC. This was the best I could afford at the time. It's not the 1D4 with a 600mm that I'm eyeing down the road though..


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

    Most, if not all of my sessions these days are late afternoon. That's mostly because of a time constraint. But I much prefer fading light to increasing light.


    When the light turns bad do you end the session?

    I try to make the most of it. It's a good time to practice high key style photos, and to work with higher ISO's. It's not preferable, but if it's all I can get then I'll take it.

    Do you have a species or group of birds that you enjoy photographing? If so, what attracts you to them?
    Shorebirds, Terns and Gulls are what interest me more than any other type of bird. I really started to focus on the Shorebirds after attending a course that was run by Birds Aust(?) back in 2009. It really opened up my eyes to what an amazing group of birds these really are. Since then I've just been so fascinated with them. Gulls and Terns are a natural extension of this because where I live we get lots of these birds as well.


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

    Not really, though I've taken a gazillion photos of my son in the past 18 months. I have dabbled in some amateur astronomy in the past and I would like to get into astrophotography at some time, but right now I don't have the time to invest in it.


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

    A month in Broome would be fantastic! The poo pond in Melbourne looks like a great place to go too. I'ld like a week down there visiting the area. Failing that then a month in Asia in one of the Shorebirds staging grounds as they migrate on their way through. Or any place where I can find Shorebirds/Terns and Gulls.

    Do you have a favourite location? If so where is it?
    Long Reef is my local patch. I spend 90% of my time there these days. It's a great location with lots of interesting birds at various times of the year, and one that I'm thankful not many people visit as I tend to have it to myself most times. I also like travel to Stockton a few times a year to see the birds up there.


    How often do you get out to photograph birds?

    Not much these day with an 18 month boy. I only manage to get out once every couple of weeks. Before Edward I was out 2-3 times a week.


    What are you trying to portray in your work?

    What I strive to capture is the natural beauty of the bird. I want to portray the bird as it is and to bring out a side or an aspect of the bird that people don't usually see, and hope that someone appreciates it.
    I also love capturing behaviour and interaction between birds.



    This article was originally published in forum thread: "MEET A MEMBER" #12 Mark Young started by Chris M View original post