The Stellar Collection by Chris Baldwin

We have a new exhibition which started on 8 February 2019. Barry Barker’s image have been replaced with Chris Baldwin’s The ‘Stellar’ Collection. If you look through the results of our club competitions, you will find some of these images. Here’s what Chris says.

I call these images my “Stellar” Collection as the main characters in the are Stellar Sea Eagles. They were photographed just off the coast of the northernmost island of Japan – Hokkaido. I went out on a fishing boat from the port of Rausu to an area of pack-ice a few miles off the coast. The boat was rammed into the pack-ice to give us a stable platform to photograph from and the crew threw fish for the birds.

What followed was a comic display of aggression and bullying as the birds contrived to get the food. Often they didn’t eat the fish immediately, holding on to it and defending it from other birds. Their main rivals were the White Tailed Eagles and they had to ward off many types of gulls and groups of crows.

This provided the main highlight of a 2 week journey across Japan including the winter migration of the cranes and other birds. A group of of us plus a guide stayed in cheap local hotels, dressing, eating and sleeping as native Japanese – a unique and enjoyable experience.

Chris BaldwinI took up photography in my student days at Leeds University in the 1960’s. It has stayed with me since as photography moved into the digital age. Nowadays we huddle over computer screens instead of groping around in the darkness. However the thrill of creating and fine tweaking an image still exists.