Behind the Image: Oystercatchers at dawn

The early bird catches the oyster. Trevor Sherwin caught this image on the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. Here he tells us more about the inspiration behind his image, the winner of the Community, Population, and Macroecology category in the 2017 BMC Ecology Image Competition.

What is your profession?

I am an Associate Dean (Postgraduate) and Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
 at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

What type of research are you involved in?

I’m mostly involved in regenerative medicine involving stem cells and cell reprogramming for ocular disorders

Why did you become interested in this area of research?

Originally I worked in Parasitology but became interested in vision research and Ophthalmology when I moved to New Zealand.

How did you become interested in photography?

I have always been interested in photography but only as an enthusiastic amateur.  When you work in biological research you do a lot of imaging and when I did my Ph.D. we had to do a lot of our own developing and printing in the darkroom.

Where and how was this photo taken?

This image was taken on the Otago peninsula in the South Island of New Zealand with just an everyday point and shoot digital camera.

Why were you there at the time?

I was on holiday with my family.

Can you explain a bit more about the image?

We were walking past a dishevelled boat house early in the morning and I was struck at just how many oyster catchers were congregated on the one roof.

What about this scene particularly interested you?

The fact that there were only oyster catchers and I had only ever seen them in pairs before, this meant that I had to stop and take the photo.

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