Behind the Lens with Mali Halls

20 February 2019 | Posted in Project
Behind the Lens with Mali Halls
Skylark by (c) Mali Halls

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in a village in Suffolk called Lakenheath, and lived there until I moved to Hastings in 2002. I worked for the US government as a landscape gardener for 25 years on the airbase at RAF Lakenheath. I also had a home studio, so I've always had a camera. I had to retire from work through bad health. So I decided to put my love of birds together with my love of photography as a hobby in my retirement. 

Unfortunately I don't drive, so I have to rely on public transport to get out birding. And with that and my poor health, I don't get out as much as I'd like to.

Wheatear 5143

Where do you take most of your photos?

Mostly around Pett, Hastings Country Park, Dungeness and Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. 

Stonechat 8584

What qualities do you need to take good wildlife photographs?

Patience is probably the thing you need most to be a successful wildlife 'tog [photographer]. Knowing the behaviour of your subject helps too. Most birds and animals have a routine that they follow if they're not disturbed.

Wren 5709

What equipment do you use?

I use a Sigma 500mm prime lens on Nikon D500 and D7100 camera bodies. 

What's your favourite photograph?

I don't really have a favourite shot, but peregrines are my favourite subject, so it would probably be one of those taken during the past 12 years of monitoring peregrines on license with the Sussex Peregrine Study group.

Peregrine Falcon 4478

What do you find most challenging?

Some of the smaller birds are quite difficult to photograph as they usually move fast, and weave their way through hedges/reeds etc. Groups of birds in flight can be tricky too, to get the whole group in focus.

Lapwing 1998

Where and when would you most like to take your camera?

I don't really have a favourite place to be in with my camera in this country. My children and grandchildren live in the USA, and when we visit Chesapeake Bay, I love taking pics of ospreys and bald eagles, and that would find me at my happiest I think.

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Follow Mali on Twitter for more of his wildlife photography  @MaliHalls

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