By Nancy Murphy campbell – Middle Basin
Photographing loons is one of my favorite activities. I experience a deep sense of peace when I’m quietly sitting and watching them from my kayak. The loons are both beautiful and fascinating. I love how they interact with each other and especially how they communicate – using a variety of coos and calls.
I was asked to write about what it takes to take great wildlife photos including the ones that I take of Moose Pond’s majestic loons. Here is what I have come up with.
After years of watching these beautiful birds, I can usually tell when they are about to spread their wings, or when another loon is flying in for a visit. These are good times for great photographs.
It helps to love your subject. I can sit for hours just watching and snapping photos of these beautiful birds.
- Keep your distance. If they want to get closer, they will.
- Buy a good telephoto lens. I have a 600mm lens so I’m able to get close shots without being too close, but you don’t need one that powerful to take some really great pictures.
- Mind their moods. After observing them for years, I can differentiate between several different moods. When the loons are fishing, they have no use for me and will quickly ditch me. When they are in their calm (barely moving) mood, I’m able to get great reflection shots of them, this usually happens in the early morning or late afternoon. When the loons are grooming themselves – they completely ignore me.
- Be patient. It can take some time for the right scene to unfold but, when it does and when you capture the shot it is very rewarding.
Nancy Murphy Campbell is an award-winning photographer who spends much of her year on Moose Pond. In 2020, one of her photographs was named one of the 10 best photos of Maine by DownEast Magazine. She takes amazing photos that you can see on Instagram (njc_photo) or on the Moose Pond Association’s Facebook page. She also creates and sells an amazing calendar each year that features some of her finest shots. If you want one, message her through Facebook.