Mike Atkinson Bird Photography


My goal: "To capture and convey the beauty, variety and lives of birds through high quality, aesthetically compelling photography".

Thanks for visiting my website. I am a bird photographer based in the North West of England.  I hope you enjoy looking through my photos and maybe get a few tips from my tutorials, or get in touch about my other services (see below).

My twin passions for birds and photography have been with me since my teen years.  The advent of digital photography has finally enabled me to combine these passions.

Many bird photographers concentrate on getting photos of rare birds, even if these are only 'record shots'.  What I love, though, are images that have a 'wow factor', even if these are of a common species.  For me, this can mean several things:

In the hope of taking photos with these qualities, I invested in a Digital SLR camera in late 2004 and have gradually upgraded my gear since then.  Full details of the equipment I've used and the lessons I've learned can be found in my Equipment tutorial.

The first thing I learned about bird photography is that it's far more difficult than it looks!  I've spent countless hours learning about the birds themselves, where and how to get close to them, how to photograph them, how to process digital images, how to create a website and more.  Despite this, there is always more to learn.

The other key thing I've learned is just how much pleasure you can get from every step of the process, from fieldwork to publishing and exhibiting and, more recently, helping others to develop their bird photography skills.  In particular, you never tire of your own favourite images: each one of them instantly transports you back to the time and place that you took the picture, and recreates the transient connection you had with the bird.  If you've never done so, try it for yourself!

By the way, the vast majority of my images are of wild, free-flying birds.  I have, on occasion, photographed captive birds, but only one such image has been added to my website since 2008 and that was for a tutorial article.  Any images of captive birds on my website are identified in the 'alt text' for the image in the Galleries section and in the image legend in the Latest Images section.  When I find time, I will move these into a separate section.

Until recently, I contributed (for seven years) as Photo Editor for BirdGuides, who host the Web's leading site for birders, with rarity reports, webzine articles and a huge collection of bird photos uploaded by thousands of photographers.

I now judge the bird photography competitions for I Shot It, one of the world's leading photo competition websites.

If you're interested in any of the following, send me an email with the details: