WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Behaviour: Birds

Paul Goldstein, United Kingdom

Taking flight

Paul arrived very early on the shores of Lake Nakuru, Kenya, before the rising sun had burnt off the mist. He had returned to photograph the greater and lesser flamingos and used shade, shadows and silhouettes to create drama, rather than sunlight to emphasize their vivid colours. He was helped by a combination of circumstances: rain during the night, a rapidly clearing sky, enough time for the cold air to form mist over the alkaline waters and a hyena hunting for young or infirm birds along the far shore of the soda lake. The predator set up a wave of panic, with those closest to it taking flight and those nearest to Paul standing alert. Ten minutes later, not only had the whole flock lifted up, but the mist had also burnt off, completely changing the scene.

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1D Mark 4 + 500mm f4 IS lens; 1/5000 sec at f10 (-1.7 e/v); ISO 200; beanbag.


Lake Nakuru, Rift Valley, Kenya: latitude -0.31628, longitude 36.0757 Lake Nakuru, Rift Valley, Kenya: latitude -0.31628, longitude 36.0757

Lake Nakuru, Rift Valley, Kenya

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Paul Goldstein, United Kingdom

  • Family tree