Incredibly awesome to see my parakeet picture published in the latest National Geographic Magazine (October 2016). It's one of 3 double page spreads in the opening "Visions" section - The Most Stunning Visions of Earth: phenomenal photos of the world's wonders. WOOP-WOOP!!
A feature in the current "Christmas Special" issue of Amateur Photographer Magazine asks 10 magazine, agency and website editors to select their favourite image from 2014. Matt Swaine, editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine has picked my WPY and GDT EWPY awarded image of parakeets as his favourite of the year and here's what he says about it.. Thanks Matt!
Matt Swaine - Editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine
Rose-ringed Parakeets Flying Over a London Cemetery by Sam Hobson
I would like to nominate Sam Hobson’s picture, which was a finalist in the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Sam specialises in urban wildlife and works hard to understand animal behaviour to get the right image. I believe this shot was taken in a graveyard in South London and it shows rose-ringed parakeets – an alien species that is now becoming quite commonplace on garden feeders in this part of the UK. Invasive species are a serious issue, and this photo shows these birds in a clearly British setting, bringing home just how commonplace they have become.
UPDATE - 20th December 2014 - Parakeets also included in Daily Mail Most Amazing Pictures of 2014
Amateur Photographer Magazine - 20-27 December 2014 - Images of the Year
UPDATE OCTOBER 25th: LINK TO IMAGE ON WPY SITE
A few images have been released early from this year's special 50th anniversary Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and I'm really excited to finally share that I have been awarded in the birds category. There's a sneak preview of this year’s awards is in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine, featuring a nice double page spread of my image of parakeets flying through an urban cemetery at dusk.
I’m really happy to be included this year as it’s the 50th anniversary of the awards and my image was chosen from over 41000 entries. I can’t wait to see my picture in the exhibition and book, alongside so many photographers that I respect and that have been such an inspiration to me.
The September BBC Wildlife Magazine will be available in shops from tomorrow and the results of the awards will be announced on the 21st October, when the exhibition will start running at the Natural History Museum and the book containing all of the 50th anniversary awards images will be available.
Competition picture info.
Just before dusk fell over London, the birds would start to appear. Sam says there were ‘swarms of them coming in low across the cemetery, heading for their roost in the trees just behind me. I’d keep having to duck.’ Ring-necked parakeets, an Afro-Asian species, are now well established in the wild in Britain – the result of escapes and deliberate releases from captivity – and they are thriving in London. Their winter roosts can be huge – Sam had checked out several before opting for this one. ‘There were probably 5,000 birds – the noise was amazing,’ he says. With a constant stream of arrivals squawking past in groups of 20 or30, Sam worked out the parakeets’ typical flight paths. He set up his kit, experimented with various techniques and realised they were coming close enough for him to use a wide-angle lens. With a burst of flash at the end of a long exposure to create their ghostly trails, Sam captured the essence of these eye‑catching aliens in the English urban landscape. By the time it was dark, an hour and a half after the first arrival, the fly‑past of thousands was complete.
Nikon D7000 + 17–35mm f2.8 lens at 17mm; 1/30 sec at f6.3; ISO 800; Nikon Speedlight SB-800 flash + PocketWizard Plus III remote release; Manfrotto tripod.