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Local photographers: Luke Parkinson

Luke is 19 years old, New Forest born and bred and he has been taking photographs of the National Park for six years.

I started taking photos several years ago following surgery to find out the reason for an illness, after which my parents brought me a Canon 300 film camera which came with a 28-90mm lens. The reason for getting into wildlife photography was because we had a pair of kingfishers on our local village pond in Pilley, however with that size of lens it was very much a blue spot in the middle of some water!

From the very start of my photography I have always been learning. Even now, six years on, I’m still finding out what looks good in an image and what doesn’t and I’m never happy until it’s right. Money was an issue when I started as I was only 13 years old, but I worked hard at a local shop to buy the equipment I needed.

The period of time that is most memorable to me with my photography was the kingfisher season of 2009. It was when I spent most time with my Dad at the weekends, photographing the seasonal kingfisher behaviour. It was a year of 12 hour days taking hundreds and sometimes thousands of images - I wish I could go back to those few months again.

My future hope is to carry on photography as a career. I’ve recently started adding strings to my bow by doing landscapes, equine and studio images in addition to my more familiar wildlife photography.

My favourite snaps


This kingfisher was taken on the Lymington to Brockenhurst river. I went down to the river a few weeks previously to do a bit of research watching the bird's flight paths and watching were its favourite fishing spots are. From this point I set a stick up in the river were I thought the best place would be and sat and waited to see if the bird would land. Eventually the kingfisher did land so I   set up a more photogenic perch and set the camera up. Eventually I managed to get the shots I was after, including this one with a fish in the kingfisher's mouth.


This New Forest pony reflection was taken in October 2012. After a long walk from Pilley to Ladycross there wasn't much around to photograph that afternoon, so I decided to come back not long before final light. When coming back along by Pilley allotments I spotted a chestnut mare stood in the pond similar to the one in this photo, and thought to myself that it really wasn't my day. Then from behind me this mare came and started walking towards the pond, so I got down on the bank and hoped that she would do the same - this was the result.


This sunset at Hatchet Pond was taken when on the way back from Southampton Hospital. Landscapes aren't one of my real strong points, but I thought I'd experiment with a couple of ND filters to create the effect I got here.

For more images from local photographers visit

This entry was posted by Matt Stroud on Monday 10/02/2014


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