Welcome to the Photography section – this section is all about showing you just how the amazing photographers at Cromwell Bottom do it!  Which cameras and lenses do they use and what are the camera settings needed to get pictures like this?  Is the time of day important ? You will see that the early morning for the ‘North Loop at Dawn’  picture (the yellow one on the homepage, and below) is vital to get a shot like this.  All our photographers featured on this website are Trustees of Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group and can be contacted on a Thursday morning, or all day Sundays, down at the Cabin.  They would be delighted to help you in any way they can.  Or you can email the group for information at cromwellbottom@gmail.com for the attention  Mike  Henshaw who records for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and if you scroll down this page you will see the last recorded picture of a Cuckoo at Cromwell Bottom!

  ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT CBWG – thank you for respecting this.

MIKE HENSHAW – Mike is the bird recorder and a Trustee of  Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group and he sends us a selection of his instructional photographs.  

Mike says this about North Loop at Dawn –  taken  on 9th May 2016 at 0613 and a misty daybreak. I had been on the reserve for about an hour and I was standing on top of the bund on North Loop when I took the photo and I did not realise the Heron was dead centre until I downloaded the pics on to the computer!  We get up early to see Cromwell and North Loop at it’s wonderful best with no disturbances!

Camera Sony A350 DSLR / Lens Sony 70-300mm  / Focal length 70mm. 

 Aperture (f stop) f11 –  Shutter speed 1/250 sec – ISO 100 – auto white balance


Taken 11 August 2015 – This bird had been around for a few days and was fairly distant, so I set myself up by the weir for an hour. I waited until it came close to the overspill and bingo! Click on the image for a larger picture so you can view the water drops coming off the beak.  Here are the camera settings:

Camera Sony A350 DSLR 

Lens Sigma 70-300mm  – set at  300mm

Aperture f11.   

Shutter speed 1/4000  – ISO 400 –  white balance daylight


Taken at the dipping pond on 07/07/2019 at 11.38.am. To be able to get images like this  is a waiting game and most dragonflies have a favoured perch they almost always come back to so it is a matter of watching. It was a fairly bright and warm morning so this was nice to capture.

Camera Nikon D 810  Lens Nikon 70/300   Lens set at 300mm. 

Shutter speed 1/1250 sec – aperture  f7.1.

ISO 800 –  white balance auto. 

Spot focus and spot metering. 



This picture was taken in the bird feeding area at 1139 and the light was fairly bright that morning so very good conditions for this kind of picture.  

Camera Sony A100  – Lens Sigma 70-300mm set at  300mm

Aperture f5.6  – ISO 400

Shutter speed 1/2250 – white balance auto.  

A high (fast) shutter speed is needed to freeze the subject and good light and a fairly open aspect to track the subject.



Taken by the main gate into the compound by the substation on 21/01/2020 at 0949. Good light but windy so high shutter speed. This was taken when I was sitting in the car and the bird was not bothered about me parked alongside!

NIKON D 810 with 70-300 lens – set at 300mm.

Shutter speed 1/1600 – ISO 800,

Aperture  f6.3

Auto white balance

spot focus and spot metering

 Sedge Warbler (m)

One of my favorite photos as Sedge Warblers are heard more often than seen so to catch one in the open, and singing,  was a big bonus. 

Taken on 19/05/2011. 

Camera Sony A350

Sigma 70/300 lens – set at 300mm

Shutter speed 1/500th –  ISO 100 – Aperture f8

 auto white balance – spot meter and spot focus



Siskin (m)

Taken in the bird feeding area on 19/03/2013 at 1042 am, on a  fairly bright day.  

Back in 2013 both Siskins and Redpolls were all around this area.

Camera Sony A350. 

Sigma 70/300 lens – set at 300mm

Shutterspeed 1/400th –  ISO 400

Aperture f5.6

White balance daylight and spot meter and spot focus.