I had one of those "I love it when a plan comes together" days today. Kingfishers are photogenic and I have taken successful portraits numerous times over the last 6 or 7 years, I have been described as obsessive as far as Kingfishers are concerned and I have photographed them diving, fighting eating various prey items and also going in and out of nest burrows. I have even successfully photographed them underwater so you would think I have had enough of them? Not a bit of it though. I really like to see photos of birds in flight and particularly just as they are just about to land on a perch. They have got their legs extended at that point and it's always such a good photo but crazily difficult to achieve. Most birds fly really quickly and Kingfishers are faster than most. I have been planning all week to try and get some success though and I set up the perfect backdrop to make it work. The plan was to position myself and the camera side on to a likely perch and wait it out until a bird arrived. I would need to have the camera set to the highest shutter speed possible - a minimum of 1/3000 of a second - and get the light bright enough from over my shoulder flooding on to the branch. The most difficult thing was going to be timing, I would have to wait, perhaps for even 2 hours or more and then be ready to press the shutter just as the bird flew in but before it landed. Can you imagine how hard it was going to be to keep my concentration for all that time and then be ready to get the shot? Well thankfully my new Panasonic Lumix camera had all the bases covered. This camera records in 4K movie mode at 30 frames per second, every frame can then be used as a 10 megapixel Jpeg. OK, I was half way there. Wonderfully, it gets even better because the Lumix has a setting called "pre-burst". A press of the shutter records 2 seconds, thats 60 images including the second before you press the button! In essence it means that you have 30 photos of the second before you react!!! Amazing or what! It was going to be a doddle! But it didn't turn out that way, it never ever does. The first few days and a total of about 7 hours left me with frustration, I just couldn't get the Kingfisher to use the perch that I had the camera focused on. Eventually it did but by then I had depleted the battery! I was getting frustrated. However, I just knew it was going to be a great shot when it all came together so I kept trying. One other thing to tell you about is the amazing Panason Lumix app which allows you to see on the iPad exactly what the camera is seeing. You can adjust all the settings like shutter speed, ISO and White Balance all from the iPad without having to even touch the camera. I think that is absolutely brilliant. What's more you fire the shutter by just touching anywhere on the screen and you can also set the camera to fire the shutter in a totally silent way.....they have thought of everything! This means that you don't have to wait for hours staring through the cameras view finder and with your finger on the shutter release, you can relax and stare at the iPad instead. So, this afternoon I was all set up and in position when after only 20 minutes or so, there was the Kingfisher right where I wanted it. I panicked, I thought I had missed it, but pressed the record on the iPad and then the bird immediately flew off again. I was disappointed for a split second, I thought my reactions had been too slow. A quick excited look at what I had got though confirmed that the pre-burst had worked perfectly and as you can see, it was a great success. The only downside was that the sky had just chosen that moment to go slightly dull which meant the I had to lighten the images later as they were underexposed and a little more light would have given me just a slightly faster shutter speed and consequently, even sharper images.