Indigenous Great British Birds Designer Wallpaper from Photographs
From photography to bespoke designs. Get out your cameras and keep your eyes peeled – this is how Lorna Syson captures fabulous images of indigenous Great British Birds and transforms them into digital designs, handmade cushions and incorporates birds into which are available in wallpaper, fabric, lampshades, greeting cards, gift wrap and handmade cushions.
by Anna Syson
Birds have always been a source of inspiration for Lorna’s collections and her travels with us in the US recently saw us hiking and spotting new birds together. A holiday is the perfect opportunity to spend time enjoying bird life; photos make the perfect souvenirs of your trip, as well as beautiful additions to your wall. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your holiday time, so whether you are relaxing in the UK or abroad, you will take away some images worth saving.
You will be surprised how many birds you will see if you keep your eyes and ears open, and not just in remote areas. We see a lot of birds in and around our campgrounds, as well as in urban areas, and if you look and listen for a little while, you will soon pick up on when and where you might be able to snap some lovely pictures.
Photo of Vermillion Flycatcher by Anna Syson
“We saw this vermillion flycatcher within minutes of setting up camp in Big Bend National Park, TX. I soon realised that he would be a regular visitor and managed to get some nice photos”
Relax and enjoy the wait
If you have some outside space to use, sit quietly with your camera nearby, and a coffee or maybe a glass of something cold. Sooner or later, you will probably see some birds.
When Lorna was with us, we enjoyed relaxing outside, reading and chatting. After a while we saw a hummingbird making his way back and forth across the nearby pond and were able to get some shots of his antics.
PHOTO OF HUMMINGBIRD by Lorna Syson
Invest in a camera with a decent zoom
We chose a Panasonic Lumix Bridge camera for our trip (around £300 from John Lewis) as we wanted to be able to capture wildlife up close but not have to lug around multiple lenses. It’s got a powerful zoom, is compact, and has both automatic and manual settings to provide speed and flexibility. I photograph most of my birds on automatic settings; if you get to know how to focus your camera, and keep practising, you don’t need to be a professional to get some lovely shots. A decent zoom will bring you closer to birds so that you can take your time framing the photo without disturbing them
PHOTO OF TOWHEE by Anna Syson
Visit parks, wildlife reserves or beaches in the area
You’ll probably be out and about for walks or picnics and these can be the perfect times to see birds you might not otherwise spot. Keep your camera with you and your eyes and ears peeled and you will get some lovely photos as a memento of your day.
Understand bird types in the area
If you can, get hold of a guide to local birds in the area. You may find this in a second hand bookshop, in a tourist information office, or on the national birding sites for the country you are visiting. This will help you understand what kind of birds are in the area, as well as when and where they might be, so that you will recognise them when you see or hear them. It can be a great way to get to know a region and understand its habits.
If you’re in the UK see if you can spot the birds from Lorna’s collections such as the Willow Tits, robins, seagulls, kingfishers and ducks. If you are travelling further afield, you may be lucky enough to spot some of the more exotic birds Lorna has seen on her travels such as flamingos, toucans and cockatiels.
Identify likely bird areas
A park ranger at one of the US National Parks told us that birds love an edge. They like to inhabit the areas where two types of eco-system meet, for example, the edge of a wooded area and a path, or the grassy meadows at the side of a river. This gives them the maximum opportunity to keep an eye out for predators, as well as richer and more varied sources of food. If you’re walking on a path through a forest, along a river bank, or even at the side of a car park or road, stay alert as you might well be able to snap a few pictures you weren’t expecting. I spotted these ducks on the edge of a path, near a pond.
PHOTO OF DUCKS by Anna Syson
Enjoy every kind!
Birds don’t have to be exotic or unusual to make great subjects of photographs. Seagulls, abundant in coastal areas , are great characters and inspire one of Lorna’s most popular cards. A bird common to the region you are visiting can make the perfect memory of your trip. Lorna took this colourful seagull photo while visiting Alcatraz Island National Park with us, in San Francisco
SEAGULL FROM ALCATRAZ by Lorna Syson
Written by Anna for LornaSyson.co.uk
Follow our year exploring the USA by road at www.thisyearofourlives.com