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Surveying his kingdom

by Neil Alexander

Every Friday, Darren invites someone to become ‘Guest Editor’ for the day to choose and discuss three or four images that have not been previously published on the website.  Today’s Guest Editor is Neil Alexander (also known as Manctog). a landscape, travel and portrait photographer based in South Manchester. Neil says he wouldn’t really call himself a professional photographer, nor an amateur.  He would simply say that photography is his calling… his ramblings and work can be perused at his website and more concise daily nonsense on his Twitter feed.

Being a city dweller, I’ve long had a fondness for nature but never really delved into the topic in any depth.  I love getting away up into the Yorkshire Dales or the Peak District to focus on landscape photography.  I even once had a very close run in with a rather irate bull but that’s as far as it gets.

Though my wee lad is now at the stage where he wants to know what every tree, insect, animal and general little bitey thing is called,  I’m getting tired of saying “Not sure son”, so its about time I learnt a little.  That being said, there’s no chance of me getting into wildlife photography – it all sounds a bit too much like hard work, and Darren’s images are always so amazing that I’m quite content just looking at the work of the real pros.

I had to pick this image, not only because of it’s name (I believe it’s called a “shag”), but also because of the ambiguity. To me the pose looks like that of a ruler surveying his kingdom, very serene, yet confident or  possibly the pose is that of a bit of a post-meal snooze in the sun – as it looks quite dozy and to be enjoying the sun on its back. Very calm and collected either way. It’s a pretense that I could do with trying to adopt – if the bird were me, it would look all ruffled and flustered and would be running around like a headless chicken most of the time.

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