Behind the Lens with Michael Vickers

, 11 November 2020
Behind the Lens with Michael Vickers
Yellowhammer ©Michael J Vickers

We speak to Michael Vickers who has just won the public vote of our photography competition with this stunning image called 'Kingfisher Confrontation'. 

Tell us about Kingfisher Confrontation.

I took the photograph at Warnham Nature Reserve, near Horsham. I’d been a regular visitor, seeking to photograph this stunning bird. On this occasion, I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, when one male kingfisher aggressively confronted another, who had been quietly watching the water.

Kingfisher Confrontation   PC20©Michael J VickersSussex Wildlife Trust

Tell us a bit about yourself

I'm a retired estate agent, and I live with my wife in West Sussex. 

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How did you develop an interest in wildlife photography? 

As a child I grew up with pets and I enjoyed photographing animals from a young age. I was given a Box Brownie camera and it all started from there. 

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What do you find most challenging to photograph? 

Birds in flight. I have spent a lot of time locally photographing barn owls and other raptors.

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What equipment do you use, in brief?  

For many years I used Canon equipment but about two years ago I changed to a Fuji XT3 and XT 4 mirrorless cameras as they are a great deal lighter in weight.

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What are you communicating with your photos? 

Hopefully awareness, so that people can appreciate wildlife and support conservation organisations such as the Sussex Wildlife Trust. I offer my images to a number of conservation-based organisations. I have often taken photos of wildlife in India, as I have a particular interest in tiger conservation. Some of my photos have been used to support wildlife there - on posters for a campaign against poaching, mainly tigers, which were used in all the major airports.

Firecrest taken at the Arundel Wetland Centre


Any tips? 

Have patience, know your subject, understand the settings on your camera, especially aperture and shutter speed.

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What is your favourite shot and why?

Probably a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers feeding their young in the nest of an old oak tree.

Great spotted woodpecker taken at Ashington

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