‘Patience and camouflage’ achieve stunning pictures for Sidmouth wildlife photographer

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 July 2020

Otter. Picture:  Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Otter. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Sidmouth photographer Mark Taylor Hutchinson has released photos of ‘incredible’ wildlife encounters, in advance of an exhibition later this year.

Otter. Picture: Mark Taylor HutchinsonOtter. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Mark, a freelance travel photo-journalist and artist, is best known for underwater photography. His pictures of sharks and seabirds have been taken in oceans around the world.

But lately he has been focusing on UK wildlife.

During the Covid-19 lockdown he photographed the animals and birds close to his home, and as travel restrictions were eased, he was able to go further afield.

His latest collection includes photos of otters, a tawny owl, a roe deer, a kingfisher and kestrels.

Tawny owl, Picture:  Mark Taylor HutchinsonTawny owl, Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

The otter photos were taken at night, ‘something I have not tended to do a lot of’, Mark said.

“Some slightly differing techniques were warranted, including the use of off-camera flash. I was supported in my mission by an award-winning wildlife photographer who gave some great tips and strategies and given this is the first time I have used such methods at night.

“I was lucky to see both species and capture some shots I really like. Plus to see otters feeding is such a wonderful sight.

“The tawny owl would land on the wall or fence in the field almost silently. I had to use a night-time hide to get these shots. The otter was completely different and there was nothing quiet about the otters’ arrival with cubs. The din could be heard a mile away, I would imagine. Unfortunately the cubs stayed out of sight, but the otter entered a large pond next to the river and was soon scoffing fish.”

Kingfisher. Picture:  Mark Taylor HutchinsonKingfisher. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

The kingfisher was photographed as Mark was waiting for nightfall to capture the otters.

He said: “Watching them dive in for minnows with such accuracy is incredible. I never tire of seeing these enigmatic birds.”

The roe deer was photographed close to Mark’s home, but he had to use ‘camouflage and patience’ to get within six metres of the deer.

The kestrel photos were taken at a farm near Sidmouth, near sea cliffs. “I watched as the male and female hunted and brought their bounty back to the youngsters, who would fight and squabble over a mouse or vole.”

Roe deer, Picture: Mark Taylor HutchinsonRoe deer, Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

The date and venue of Mark’s Sidmouth exhibition will be announced at a later stage.

Roe deer. Picture:  Mark Taylor HutchinsonRoe deer. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Kestrel in flight over the sea. Picture:  Mark Taylor HutchinsonKestrel in flight over the sea. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Kestrel. Picture: Mark Taylor HutchinsonKestrel. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Mark in the camouflage gear he uses to get close to wildlife. Picture:  Mark Taylor HutchinsonMark in the camouflage gear he uses to get close to wildlife. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Mark Taylor Hutchinson.  Picture:  Mark Taylor HutchinsonMark Taylor Hutchinson. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Off-camera flash was used to capture this photo of an otter. Picture: Mark Taylor HutchinsonOff-camera flash was used to capture this photo of an otter. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson

Tawny owl. Picture:  Mark Taylor HutchinsonTawny owl. Picture: Mark Taylor Hutchinson


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