4 August 2013

You saw them here first !

The "Special Edition" volume of Handbook of the Birds of the World came out a few weeks ago. Essentially it is "No. 17" to the 16 landmark volumes that preceded it between 1993 and 2012.

A couple of years ago the people at HBW announced a photo competition to find 200-or-so photos that they would use (and pay for) in an "HBW Photo Gallery" section of the book.

Here are two pictures they selected and printed. Both shots were taken in Hong Kong and were included on a couple of 2010 blogposts:

Black-faced Spoonbill with fish, Nam Sang Wai, Hong Kong


Far Eastern Curlew in flight, Mai Po Nature Reserve, Hong Kong

and here:

Lynx Edicions (Publishers of HBW) have always impressed me as being well-run and efficient.  Unlike some other publishers, they always said upfront what they would pay for photos, and paid promptly on publication. Emails and queries were always dealt with expeditiously. I gather that the painters of the plates and the species account authors were also treated like professionals.

The HBW people put the authors of all those wheedling "but we have no budget for photos" picture requests to shame.

When I left regular, gainful employment I thought I might use my new-found freedom to try to create a few shining examples of bird photography. What I ended up with was a load of workmanlike shots of not-often-photographed species. However, I'm pleased to report that forty four of those photos have appeared in HBW over the years.

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