What makes a picture compelling? What is about an image that repays the time spent trying to capture it? And why do some images leave one feeling indifferent – quickly skipped over in favour of something else – while another continues to give pleasure? There is nothing special technically about this shot; there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of shots of Chaffinches out there that are in every way superior to this shot. This picture is a current favourite of mine and yet it may leave you cold. Is it that I enjoyed the time spent waiting for the songbirds to come into the copse in which the hide was situated and the picture reminds me of that time? Is it the simplicity of the composition or the stillness it evokes? Or is it simply mood – today I like it but tomorrow, perhaps, another will take its place. From a photographer's perspective, it is, I think, an interesting thought: do we tend to appreciate the images taken most recently or will there always be special shots we go back to again and again.
Canon 1DS MkII, 1/400 sec, f10, 400mm at ISO 640