The first #WexMondays competition of the year got off to a fantastic start – here’s the winning photographer with the story of the shot
Image by Simon Wilson
One of the best things about our weekly #WexMondays Twitter competition is that it attracts photographers of all disciplines, so we never know what we’re going to get. The winner of the first round of 2020 could have been a portrait, a landscape, a street shot, a still-life… but as it turned out, our first winner of the year was a wildlife shot!
This image of a goldcrest took our top spot, and was snapped by Simon Wilson, also known as @00MrWilson00. A tremendous capture with real crispness and detail, it was a truly worthy winner that set a high standard for the rest of the competition.
We couldn’t resist catching up with Simon to find out a little more about how he caught this shot...
Wex Photo Video: Congratulations on a fantastic winning shot! Can you tell us when and where you captured it?
Simon Wilson: I took this image on the 10th of January, in the afternoon. The weather wasn't too great, but had a few bits of light coming through. Usually I see quite a few small birds sitting on top of the bushes around the heath at Holton Lee in Poole, Dorset, but on this day there was nothing about so I took a stroll over to a huge pile of logs which has been there for a few months. Glad I did – there were goldcrest darting in and out of the logs, then hopping on to the bracken.
WPV: What were the main challenges of grabbing this shot?
SW: There were only a few spots of light coming through the top of the trees and landing on these logs and bracken, and this made it hard to get a picture of the goldcrest. I had to get the bird landing in the right place and try to get the focus on his eye at 550mm. all hand-held. This bird landed in some light but not the spot I wanted it, so I had to change settings quickly as the light in this spot was so dappled. The settings were: 1/640 sec at f/8, ISO 400. On this particular lens I find f/8 is the sweet spot for anything over 500mm.
WPV: What kit were you using when you snapped it?
SW: I use a Canon EOS 90D with a battery pack, and the lens is the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary.
WPV: Have you entered #WexMondays before?
SW: I always try and enter #WexMondays ever since a few years ago, but never really got anywhere with landscape images. When I started uploading some wildlife images last year I suddenly got a couple of wins, and have had a few shortlisted since then.
WPV: How long have you been taking wildlife images? What do you enjoy most about it?
SW: I've been into wildlife photography for about a year – living in Poole and being near the harbour and all the wetlands makes it ideal for wildlife photography. I like the hunt and waiting for the right time, even if this takes a few hours – I used to do a lot of carp fishing, so I’m used to waiting!
Fancy entering #WexMondays for yourself? Head here to check out the competition’s rules and find out how you could be crowned the next Wex Photographer of the Year.