The BWPA winning images for 2018 have just announced and as usual there’s plenty to inspire me to head out with my camera.

I’m also pleased to say I’ve been highly commended too!

What makes it more special this time is it’s for a video and not a photograph. It’s the first time I’ve entered a video category and as you can imagine there’s a lot more involved in creating a video than a photograph – well normally at least. I probably spent as long trying to do the voiceover as I did filming the content. I did asked Sir David Attenborough if he’d do it, but he was ‘busy on other projects’, so you’re stuck with me. Although, joking aside, it’s a personal story of my experiences with starlings so, although I know people who could have done a better job than me, it wouldn’t be the same.

I’ve slowly been shooting more and more video over the years. The hard part; after you’ve learnt videoing techniques, sound recording and video editing software etc is what to create with all that footage.

It’s easy enough to string a lot of nice clips together (which I’ve done plenty of) but to actually create something with a narrative is a lot harder, unless you’ve plenty of time and resources that is.

My short video, ‘Starlings – be part of the conversation’, was only half planned. I’d taken the murmuration footage in Norfolk and liked it, but by itself it wasn’t saying very much. It wasn’t until spring, when I started seeing large numbers of young starlings feeding in the garden that I made the connection. My humble garden (and everyone else’s) is as important to them as the reedbeds they seek shelter in during winter. This I thought, had the makings of decent short video.

I’ve learnt a lot creating this video and having reviewed my video library I’m now planning to fill the gaps so I can make more meaningful videos.

Another bonus to being highly commended is you’re invited to the awards ceremony! Held at the Mall Galleries, London, it’s always a special occasion and there’s no better way to appreciate the winning entries than by seeing the prints.

You can see the winning and commended images here:

And the winning and commended videos here:

My highly commeded video ‘Starlings – be part of the conversation’

Video details:

The video was taken on a Nikon D850 using 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 and 80-400mm f5.6 lenses and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Below are my other successful BWPA images from previous years.

Winner – Animal Portraits

Highly Commended – Coast and Marine category