“For me they are the epitome of beauty and gracefulness. Every autumn I spent many mornings at fish ponds in Barycz Valley in Poland trying to photograph them.”

When the ponds are being drained, Piesiak says thousands of birds gather around in hopes of catching fish.

“My first aim was to find out which pond was being drained. The next day I woke up before the sunrise and went to the chosen place with my camera and camouflage net. It was very important to be at the pond before birds so I went when it was completely dark.”

He quickly hid myself in the reeds and waited in silence for birds.

“After some time, the first egrets and gulls started to appear in the distance. It was still very dark so my exposure time was pretty long. Suddenly the white-tailed Eagle appeared on the horizon. All gulls lifted off while the egrets were standing still and motionless. I started to take photos. I was so happy because earlier I’d already imagined what kind of photo I want to take and this was the perfect chance to make my dreams come true.”

In the days ahead, he says he tried to take more photos of the egrets, but the perfect conditions of that day haven’t been repeated since.

Piesiak says he is working on a projected titled, “Art of flying” but can’t yet reveal the details. In August he is going on a photography expedition to Iceland, which will be topped with an exhibition and an album. Then he plans to publish his first-ever photo book.

Location:       Barycz Valley (Poland)

Settings:        1/13 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 800


About The Author

Mateusz Piesiak

Mateusz Piesiak, was born in 1996 in Wroclaw, Poland. He studies Automatics and Robotics at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology and first began taking photographs in 2009. He is a member of the Polish Nature Photographers Association. His images were awarded at national and international photographic competitions, published in journals, and presented at exhibitions. He’s been interested in nature since he can remember, saying it allows him to calm down and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. He mostly photographs birds. He says wildlife photography requires a lot of patience and preparation, such as building blinds, but when he finally gets the awaited shot, it’s worth the effort. He says he especially loves those moments when, hidden inside the blind, he feels like a spectator sitting in the front row of a theater, admiring the amazing spectacle of nature taking place before him.

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