Edin Whitehead

Auckland

Mokohinau Islands

At dusk, ōi (Grey-faced petrels) return to their colony after foraging all day at sea. I spent 2017 working with these beautiful birds as part of my Master's research, following their lives from courtship to chick-rearing. This photo is the only one I've ever pre-visualised, having spent countless evenings waiting for birds to return, feeling their velvet wings brush just over my head, hearing their whistling calls pierce the dark air. I snatched a few moments during a research trip to make this image, capturing ghostly birds whirling overhead with the help of a few puffs of flash.

Camera

Nikon D500

Lens

Nikon 12-24mm f/4

Image Settings

ISO 800 10sec f/8, manual flash