Ray Prior owns a wonderful collection of birds of prey that he exhibits at public shows and corporate events.
On 21 February 2010, members of the club were invited by Ray to attend a private photo shoot at his home.
To help the birds acclimatise to these strangers with cameras, we spent some time in the garden with the birds on perches. We photographed them without getting too close so as not to upset them.
After a while, Ray brought more birds out and took turns to display them on his arm so we could get even closer and get better angles to take photos.
Then we moved into an adjacent field where Ray brought out one of the larger birds, a Chillian Hawk, to fly. The idea was that the larger birds fly a bit slower, and this would give us a chance to get used to photographing the movement, and catching mid-flight shots.
We then progressed through a number of birds of increasing speed and agility, until Ray flew a Lammer Falcon which is very difficult to photograph in the air.... so fast!
We all had a great day with Ray and the birds, and we're very grateful to him for the opportunity to photograph these graceful and beautiful animals close-up.
Click here to see the results of the photo shoot.