How to Film Kingfishers and Dragonflies

Naturalist and cameraman Simon King offers techniques for filming wildlife, such as dragonflies and kingfishers, around freshwater ponds and lakes. Will you use them in your Eden Shorts film?

Simon King Eden Shorts How To Guide

Freshwater habitats are buzzing with life and are an excellent place to set your wildlife film.

With plenty of bugs and mini-beasts whirring and scuttling about you can find a subject on the smaller scale. This feast of invertebrates also attracts larger wildlife, feeding an entire ecosystem for you to capture on camera.

Freshwater Wildlife

Dragonflies and damselflies are one of the most beautiful and dramatic of insects, flying from mid to late-summer. Each of the species have their own habits, and with a little research you may be able to identify repeating behaviours that help you secure footage of these fast-flying animals. Using a macro lens or macro setting on your camera will help you to fill the frame.

One of the most accessible habitats for wildlife filmmaking and photography has got to be a freshwater pond or a lake

Water birds present a fantastic opportunity around freshwater habitats and with lots of species being used to people they make excellent subjects.

Find a place where animals habitually return to. Dragonflies usually return to the same stick or reed.

Find a place where animals habitually return to. Dragonflies usually return to the same stick or reed.

Some animal species are protected by law, such as filming kingfishers around their nest, so make sure you identify potential legal issues in your research.

Filming Techniques

It is a good idea to get down as low as you can when filming animals so that you are on their level. Around freshwater that means getting low on the bank or even in the water, but take care! Banks can be unstable and water treacherous. As such it is wise to take safety precautions and even have a friend near by. You don't want to endanger yourself, or even your equipment!

It's always a good idea to keep still and move slowly while filming to prevent spooking your subject and if you're filming larger animals or you're in an exposed environment you may want to consider a hide or camouflage. If you are hidden, sitting down-wind also ensures that your subject can't smell you.

Ultimately, what you need most of all is patience.

What do you think of Simon's tips? Do you have any of your own? Stick your thoughts in the comments below.