These Photos Show That There’s No Need for Photoshop

Mario Cea is a Spanish wildlife photographer, who is known for his incredible bird photography. While he uses slow shutter speeds and artificial light, he’s able to capture feathered creatures in unexpected, artistic moments.

His stunning photo of a kingfisher diving into a pond won the People’s Choice Award at the 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and was recently shortlisted for the Bird Photographer of the Year Awards.

He has experience as a wildlife photographer for over 25 years and he is an expert at techniques that allow him to make this magic happen in the field. Through hard work and perseverance, Cea was able to bring his artistic vision to life. In fact, The blue trail is the fruit of 6 months of work and 2,000 shots in order to obtain this perfect result.

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Cea said: “This image DOES NOT USE PHOTOSHOP. It is made only with photographic techniques. The image was taken with a slow shutter speed of 1/15s, combined with continuous light to capture the wake left by the bird in its path, with a flash to freeze the flight. When the exposure begins, the continuous light of a lantern is on and the flashes are fired at the second curtain, just when the exposure ends. Some people ask me, ‘Why doesn’t the wake appear in the reflection?’ The answer is simple…the wake is only visible when the background is dark enough.

Below you can see special post-production tricks, knowledge of equipment, and hard work to get the perfect photo. For him, it’s all worth it in order to get across his creative point of view and draw in the viewer. Cea hopes that through his photography, people will not only gain a greater appreciation and respect for wildlife but also understand the work and effort that photographers go through to capture stunning images of birds in nature.

If you are interested in learning Cea’s creative techniques, he regularly teaches workshops throughout Spain and also keeps a blog to share his equipment and process.