Interview with William Dickson
Please introduce yourself, where are you based and where do you photograph wildlife?
My name is William Dickson. I am based in Fife, Scotland and mostly photograph wildlife in Scotland.
How did you get started in wildlife photography?
15 years ago I started getting into photography, and birds has always been a subject I was interested in.
What kind of equipment do you use and why did you choose it?
I use a Canon R6 and a Canon 1DX Mk2. My lens is a Canon f/4 400mm DO Mk2. No particular reason I use Canon. My first camera was Canon and I liked it, so continued using it. The f/4 400mm DO Mk2 lens is lighter than my old 500mm which suits me fine....With a 2x attached you have an 800mm lens with hardly any reduction in image quality and easy to carry.
What's the most challenging aspect of wildlife photography and how do you overcome it?
The most challenging aspect is flight photography, especially with smaller birds. I love a challenge and I overcome it by practice. Practice makes perfect.
Can you share a particularly memorable experience or encounter you've had while photographing wildlife?
I was lucky when a Sparrow-hawk took a Starling outside my house. I ran out with camera and lens and managed 500 shots before the Sparrow-hawk took off with the prey. It was an awesome moment to witness and not something that happens very often or ever..
How do you approach photographing different species of animals, particularly ones that are dangerous or difficult to access?
I mainly photograph birds so nothing dangerous. I wouldn't photograph them if access was an issue.
How do you post-process your images, and what software do you use?
I process my images on an iMac using Adobe Camera Raw, Topaz DN (if needed) and Photoshop.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue wildlife photography as a hobby or career?
My best advice is to buy the best equipment your budget will allow. I didn't, and found myself having to upgrade several times, especially with lenses which in the long term cost me more.
What projects are you currently working on or planning for the future?
Nothing planned for the future at this moment, but I am on a regular basis photographing small birds in flight. Not easy, but well worth it.
How do you enrich your passion of wildlife photography?
I am very passionate about my hobby, probably addicted. Due to an unforeseen illness which has 'slowed me down', both mentally and physically and for the time being, made me rethink what birds, and where I can go very limited. But I will continue my passion whatever it takes. And hopefully I will be back to normal soon.