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October 14, 2020

Cover image photos from left to right: Melissa Groo, Ben Hall, Ryan Mense


Bird Photographers are an incredibly resilient bunch. Taking a good photo of a bird requires a lot of skill and lots of patience and of course, for winter bird photographers, good gear to keep warm. It's surely not a task for the fair weathered photographers.

We love seeing bird photography pop up on our Instagram feed because it's a subtle reminder that all life is precious and worthy of documentation no matter how small the creature. From tiny warblers to bald eagles, birds and their faithful photographer audience hold a special place in our heart. Here are our favourite bird photographers of 2020!


1. @benhallphotography

Looking at Ben Hall's images often feels like looking at modern art instead of your run of the mill wildlife photography. His thoughtfully composed photos showcase the mysterious and whimsical side of our natural world. 

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I'm delighted to announce that this image has won a highly commended in this year's GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. It's the first time I've entered this comp so extra chuffed to have been successful! This was shot just a few miles from where I live and was the result of numerous early morning visits. My preferred time of day are those first few minutes following sunrise when golden light floods the water. From a particular spot on the lake it is possible to shoot towards an area of deep shadow, which, providing you expose correctly results in a deep black background. For this shot, I chose to use a slow shutter speed to render the motion in the gulls wings. I exposed for the whites and let the areas of shadow fall into underexpsure. As I was shooting, a swan landed on the water nearby and created a wave at the bottom of the frame, a bit of luck always helps! I am always harping on about the benefit of getting to know your local areas and would encourage everyone to do the same. The knowledge built up over time, and numerous visits will pay dividends in the long run. #GDT #Europeanwildlifephotographeroftheyear #award #gull #black-headed #naturephotography #wildlifephotography #bbcwildlifemagazine #birdsofinstagram #canonuk #instanaturefriends #natgeo #thephotosociety #canon #wanderlust #benhallphotography #bird #nature #winter #rspb #bbcwildlifemagazine

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2. @terjekolaasphotos

 Terje is a fellow Norwegian photographer who spends most of his time in Northern Norway capturing photos of the animals who survive in some of the harshest conditions on earth. His feed will give you an up close and crisp look in the the life of Arctic birds.


3. @espenhelland

Espen Helland is Norwegian-born, Scotland-based bird photographer (and also a Youtuber!) who spends much of his time photographing birds and mammals in the Scottish Highlands. Espen's photography is about combining a passion for wildlife with an obsession for photography and one look at his feed will have you mesmerized. 


4. @micheldoultremont

Michel is a Belgian photographer and all around nature-lover. He strives to create emotion through his images by showing an aesthetic aspect of the biodiversity. He relies on lighting effects and the natural environment to capture the image of an animal as it would appear in a fairy tale setting. 

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Riverside hide. I’m waiting for the otters who should soon be coming out of their snow burrows. The water flows on the frozen shore is the only ambient noise in this vast Yellowstone valley. A shadow passes in front of me, a magpie lands in the snow not far from my position. She's looking for food. Winter is a critical time for many animals. In small jumps, she walks the banks of the river in search of food. #magpie #bird #snow #yellowstonenationalpark #winter #wildlife #wildlifephotography #wildlifephotographer #animals #borntobewild #lifeforthestory #neige #hiver #pie #oiseau #natgeo @natgeo @canonbelgium #micheldoultremont Follow me on FB : Michel d'Oultremont photograph

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5. @wild_things_by_leeanne



6. @matthias.kahrs

 Matthias is a bird and landscape photographer who is skilled at bringing a lot of life and detail to small creatures. His photographic style is very honest, featuring natural tones and post processing. 


7. @melissagroo

 We admit, we can't get enough of Melissa Groo's feed! Melissa is an award winning wildlife photographer and conservationist who started photographing birds but no focuses on all wildlife photography. Her work features intimate portraits of all creatures, big and small with thoughtful captions, giving you an inside look into her photography world.

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“I look at the bird before me and imagine how it senses the world, how it feels breathing cold air, how it feels to have its feathers ruffling in the wind, how it feels to always have an eye out for possible food and possible predators. The bird sees me and is a nanosecond from flying off, but it stays. Why? By imagining the life within, the bird I am seeing is alive, no longer a shape and its parts, but a thinking, sentient being, always on the brink of doing something. By feeling the life within, I am always conscious that all creatures have personalities, and so do trees and clouds and streams. To feel the life within, I now imagine myself as the bird that is looking at me. I imagine its wariness, the many ways it has almost died in its short life. I worry over its comfort and safety, and whether I will see my little companion the next day, the next year. To feel the life within is to also feel grief in the goneness of a single creature or an entire species. Imagination is where compassion grows." ~Amy Tan American Robin a few days ago, seeking berries in this late snowfall.

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8. @wind.and.wing

Theodore Emery is a wildlife photographer whose deep love for the natural world has been culminating for over 15 years through his work as an environmental educator, field biologist and field guide across Wild America. His work features all kinds of birds found all over the world. 


9. @ryanmense 

Ryan Mense is a bird photographer from Wisoconsin whose work comprises of using professional photographic equipment to best capture the scenes that he spend a lot of time searching and waiting for. He's also a contributing writer for @fstoppers so if you've ever learned from a bird photography article on Fstoppers, there was a good chance it was written by Ryan!

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Gray Catbird I have a feeling this one might just be "for me." I don't know what it is, but I really like this photo. So much so it was one of those where I couldn't even think of anything to do with it in post, and therefore all I did was added a stop of exposure and ran it through Topaz DeNoise AI. My analytical side sees things that are technically wrong with it, but it's being wholly trumped by an indescribable appeal. Captured with the Canon EOS-1D X and Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x III on May 17, 2019 at 5:54 PM. I used One Shot AF mode and multi-segment metering. Auto WB setting. Raw processed in DPP4. Noise reduction with Topaz. ・・・ Canon EOS-1D X Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x III 700mm · f/5.6 · 1/1000s · ISO 400 ・・・ #birdphotography #birding #birdwatching #bestbirdshots #birdsofinstagram #your_best_birds #birdstagram #birdlovers #nuts_about_birds #feather_perfection #eye_spy_birds #birdfreaks #birdextreme #wildlifephotography #birdlover #ig_birdwatchers #bestbirds #birdplanet #igbirds #bird_brilliance #wildlife_inspired #audobonsociety #discoverwisconsin #thinktankphoto #lenscoat #canonusa #mycanonstory

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10. @mattbarfield8

Matthew Barfield is a UK based photographer who enjoys capturing the marshland creatures found near his home in Lymington. He tends to stick to birds in his own area but because of the large variety of species in the marshlands, you'll rarely see a repeat image on his feed. 

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