Photo skills: How I took this gannet image

Barrie Williams was awarded Overall Winner in the British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) 2015. Find out how he took this winning shot of northern gannets. 

‘On the edge’ (northern gannets) by Barrie Williams

“Visiting Noss National Nature Reserve, Shetland, I was blown away by the sheer volume of gannets surrounding me.

I studied the scene for a while, soaking in the seabird orchestra and thinking about how best to convey this.

I stalked along the cliffs, looking for a vantage point that offered a view with a difference. 

Keeping a tight grip on my camera, I lay down on a ledge, inched forward slowly and composed my shot. 

Within moments, the gannets far down below flew into the frame, and I just knew I had to fire the shutter.”

Equipment specification Canon EOS 600D. Canon EF-S 15-85MM f/3.5-5.6. Shutter Speed 1/200, Aperture f/ 5.6, ISO 100.


  • Research your subject. In wildlife photography, the images that often stand out are those that demonstrate the photographer understands the animal.
  • Always look for a new angle. Think about how you can show your subject in a new light.
  • Have plenty of patience. It took two hours of searching before I found the perfect spot to take this gannet photograph.

See more great photography by Barrie Williams. 

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