My 10 best images of June

June began for me with the final push for the Matura. But I spent most of the time available for preparation for the oral Matura taking photos. After successfully completing the exams, I took the train straight to Germany, where I spent three weeks with my family in a mobile home.

1. Whinchat on the alp

Ein Braunkehlchen auf der Alp

1/500 | f/ 4 | ISO 80 | 500mm

Between the written and oral Matura exams, I went on a pre-excursion with the other leaders for the Field Ornithology Course Biel 2020/2022. It turned out to be well worth it that I had my camera with me anyway. Already on the car park of the alp we were greeted by this whinchat, which was relatively cooperative The uneven ground also allowed me to play a little with the foreground.

2. Great Crested Grebe underwater

Ein Haubentaucher Unterwasser.

1/800 | f/ 13 | ISO 720 | 16mm

I also used the break between the exams to experiment further with the underwater housing. Little by little I got closer to my ideas and so far the following picture is one of my favourites. There are still some things I would like to improve, but all in all I am happy with the progress compared to the first photos. Already I can't wait to get back in the water with the housing.

3. Great Crested Grebe Overwater

Ein Haubentaucher taucht auf.

1/1600 | f/ 4 | ISO 140 | 500mm

One morning I decided to go to the grebe colony with the normal telephoto instead of the underwater housing. The change felt quite good and I came home with several photos that I liked. Among them was this photo of a great crested grebe that had just emerged from water after it chased away a conspecific. The sun breaking through the clouds made for particularly interesting colours.

4. Arctic tern in the evening light

Eine Küstenseeschwalbe bei Sonnenuntergang.

1/640 | f/ 4 | ISO 280 | 500mm

On the Monday after the graduation ceremony, I took the night train to Hamburg. Together with my parents, we first went to the North Sea in a rented caravan. There I spent most of my time with a large colony of arctic terns and black-headed gulls. The colony is relatively crowded with people, which made photography much easier. The birds showed no fear at all. As I spent several days at the colony, I had the opportunity to take pictures in different weather conditions. I was lucky with the weather and after a couple of cloudy days, I also got some nice sunrises and sunsets.

5. Arctic terns in the backlight

Die Silhouette einer jungen Küstenseeschwalbe mit einem Altvogel bei Sonnenuntergang.

1/1600 | f/ 4 | ISO 64 | 500mm

Being able to photograph the terns at sunset without a cloudy sky was really nice, as the location was ideal for silhouettes. For example, I was able to photograph this young arctic tern with an adult bird. The fact that the two had just called at the same time was a happy coincidence, but it makes the picture a bit more special.

6. Black-headed Gull shortly after sunset

Eine Lachmöwe vor pastellfarbenen Himmel.

1/160 | f/ 5.6 | ISO 1250 | 400mm

Shortly after the sun had set, wonderful pastel colours appeared in the sky. This black-headed gull was sitting next to me for a while and was an ideal photo subject in front of this background. The soft light brought out the colours particularly well.

7. Young red fox I

After a few days at the North Sea, I went on to the Baltic Sea. There, on the first evening, I met a fox family right next to the camping site. Especially two of the cubs were very curious. This picture was taken on the first day, when this young red fox came along the field path towards me. Again and again he stopped and looked at me with interest until he finally settled down in the grass a few metres in front of me. There he looked at me with interest for a few minutes before finally running past me. That evening, this fox ran past me two three more times, but the light was gradually too dim and the photos didn't come out too well.

Ein junger Rotfuchs in einem grünen Rasen.

1/200 | f/ 4 | ISO 1400 | 500mm

8. Young red fox II

Ein junger Rotfuchs blickt neugierig in die Kamera.

1/3200 | f/ 1.8 | ISO 1250 | 50mm

The next evening I sat down again in the exact same spot and waited again for the fox family. The foxes did not disappoint and came even closer and more often to me than the day before. It seemed they had remembered me and wondered what I was doing here again. As I had already been able to take some good photos with the telephoto from the day before, I mounted my 50mm 1.8 that evening in the hope of being able to realise a 'wider-angle' image.

I was lucky and this young fox came within about half a metre of me. Eventually he also sniffed at my binoculars, which were lying at the edge of the field, before gnawing at my backpack. But he quickly realised that the rucksack was not really edible and then turned his attention to the June beetles, hundreds of which were emerging from the ground. So the little fox hunted all around me for the beetles, chasing the insects and jumping into the air again and again to prevent the beetles from escaping.

Finally it got dark and I left the fox family behind. The next evening I was back to spend one last evening with the foxes. I didn't really get any images though. The foxes had become so accustomed to me that they no longer gave me a glance. Without even really looking at me, the foxes walked past me as if I had always been there. Neither the clacking of the camera nor, when I moved, did I arouse any interest in the fox family. So despite only a handful of photos, this evening was a complete success.

9. Barn swallow in flight

Eine Rauchschwalbe im FLug.

1/8000 | f/ 1.8 | ISO 64 | 50mm

This month, I used the 50mm quite often. Besides the foxes, I also tried to photograph swallows with the lens in a few places. The aim was to get the background as blurred as possible. To do so, however, the swallows had to be extremely close, which of course made focusing much more difficult. After several attempts, I finally managed to get a sharp photo. I find the effect achieved by the 50mm makes the photo particularly exciting and I think it was really worth the effort.

10. Young great spotted woodpecker

On one of the camping sites I met a family of great spotted woodpeckers whose chicks had probably fledged only a few days before. This, of course, made photography a little easier, especially as the young tended to be further down the tree trunks. Besides many photos with a green background, I also managed to take this photo with a slightly more colourful background on one particular evening.

Ein junger Buntspecht vor einem orangen Hintergrund.

1/1250 | f/ 4 | ISO 200 | 500mm

These were my 10 best photos of June. Although I was still busy with my Matura for almost half of the month, I haven't been able to take so many photos for a long time. I hope it will stay that way for the next few months. In any case, I still have a lot to do before I start university in autumn.

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Nicolas Stettler

Weyernweg 27

2560 Nidau

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16.8.2022

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