This dazzling picture of a kingfisher was taken on a river in southwest England, close to where Charlie lives. He has been passionate about kingfishers since he was a teenager, and as with all his photography, he tries to devise new ways to present familiar scenes and subjects. To create this image took two days and a lot of prior experimentation. Charlie lit the kingfisher's flight path artificially, while simultaneously creating a shadow on the bank to highlight the colourful trajectory. Firing two strobes at the end of the exposure caught the detail of the head and wings. The result is a vivid scene, showing not only the kingfisher taking a fish to its young in their nest hole but also the family's riverine territory. The other parent is on a perch downstream, busy digging a new nest for a second brood.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 24mm f1.4 lens + cable release; 1/6 sec at f11; ISO 400; two Canon strobes + one 2.5kw blonde light.
River Boyd, South Gloucestershire, UK
Charlie Hamilton James, United Kingdom
Charlie is a television presenter and photojournalist, specialising in technical wildlife images and conservation documentaries. His lifelong obsession to understand, document and protect the natural world has led him to win numerous international awards as a photographer and cinematographer. He is currently working on several assignments for National Geographic Magazine.