Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of winner profiles from the Showcase 2018 Competition. We will feature one winner each week. Not all of the winners chose to prepare a profile, but we have quite a few who did. This week, we focus on Kevan Sunderland and his winning image “Gift Exchange – White-tailed Kites, South Texas.” DL
Showcase 2018 Winner: Kevan Sunderland
Title of Winning Image: Gift Exchange – White-tailed Kites, South Texas
Kevan’s nature photography has had multiple Top 100 and Top 250 placements including winning the Bird Category in NANPA. He has also finished in the Top 10 in the Big Picture, second in Denver Audubon, plus numerous top 250 entries, has won Nature’s Best Backyards two years in a row and has had winning images in Wildbird and Florida Wildlife contests.
His images have appeared in Wildbird Magazine, National Audubon, Denver Audubon, Nature’s Best Photography, and numerous scientific publications and field guides. They have also been shown in galleries throughout South Florida including at Everglades National Park and J. R. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
How did you get the image?
“I knew that the White-Tailed Kites started nesting and courtship in April. Friends had given me ideas on areas to look along the Texas coast. I spent a lot of time driving roads looking for Kites and hoping to see feeding, courtship, and interactions.”
What was special about this opportunity you had to capture the image?
“After finding a perched Kite, getting out of the car and using the car as a blind, I soon heard another Kite calling. For three hours, I watched the complete courtship of these magnificent birds. They exchanged food, both on perches and in mid-air multiple times and jointly added sticks to the beginnings of a nest and mated.”
What equipment and camera settings were you using to capture the image?
“Canon EOS – 1Dx, f/6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, 800mm lens, no flash”
Related to your nature photography:
How long have you been photographing and what, in particular, got you into nature photography?
“I grew up in the Florida Keys and the rich wildlife environment of South Florida. I started out with film, then slides and changed to digital about 10 years ago.”
Describe your nature photography experience level and current status.
Full-time wildlife photographer, teaching individual and small group classes on understanding photography, I have finished second in Denver Audubon, first in NANPA Birds, Top 100 in Audubon, won Nature’s Best Backyards twice, finalist in the Big Picture, finalist in Outdoor Photographer, currently have photo and article in the April 2018 edition of Outdoor Photographer. Have been published in many national & international publications.
How should people follow you or see more of your work?
“First, here is a link to my NANPA-sponsored portfolio: http://www.nanpa.org/portfolio/kevan-sunderland/
“Then, my Facebook and Flickr pages, along with my website.”