Missed opportunity

June 17, 2011

Trafalgar Square in London used to be famous for it’s many tens of thousands of feral pigeons but due to the costs associated with cleaning up after them and concerns about hygiene and potential damage to local monuments the Greater London Authority turned to using trained falcons as a form of pest control. Hardly any pigeons remain in Trafalgar square but you can often see handlers with the falcons, which are perhaps even more photogenic than the pigeons.

In the shot above the photographer is doing his very best to capture a photograph of a falcon perched on a lamppost ten or so feet away just off camera to the right of the frame.  The photographer spent such a long time with his eye pressed against the viewfinder in an attempt the get the best possible shot than he failed to spot the falcon that had landed just a few feet away from him in a prime spot waiting to be photographed.

I took this shot because it was an amusing spectacle but it got me thinking about what we could be missing when we focus all of our attention intently on a subject.  I guess it’s worth looking up from the camera every once in a while to see what’s unfolding around us as we could be missing a great opportunity!  There may not always be a large bird of prey sitting just a few feet away posing for a photo but there may be something unexpected and equally as exciting just waiting to be discovered.

I don’t know how this ended up but I really hope the unidentified photographer managed to get the shot he wanted.

Here are a couple of shots I was able to take:

Happy shooting.


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About the author

UK based photographer Mark J P.


  • http://twitter.com/dinosauray Dinosaur Ray

    Simple yet brilliant as always, Mark. 

    • http://www.markjp.com Mark J P

      Thanks Ray, very kind of you! :)

  • Trevor

    Looks like a falconers wayward Harris Hawk