I'm delighted to present a guest blog from one of my colleagues, and talented photographer Michael Harvey, who is often to be found at lunchtimes here at RSPB HQ The Lodge putting his skills to good use. I also had the privilege of being able to select some of my favourite shots from his portfolio to accompany the blog. I hope you'll be inspired to keep taking your wildlife shots and sending them in to natureshome@rspb.org.uk Here's Michael...

My name is Michael Harvey and I'm a colleague of Marks in the RSPB's Supporter Marketing Team. It's my pleasure to have been invited to write a guest post for this blog. A marketer by profession, I'm also a blogger and semi-pro photographer in my spare time, and the two are more related than you might think.

I photograph a lot of different things: landscapes, people, urban scenes, events and nature, so I couldn't describe myself as a specialist in any one area, but my passion for nature photography has grown immensely since joining the RSPB. Before I came to The Lodge I was a hiker and outdoor enthusiast but someone with very little knowledge about birds and other wildlife. My wife still likes to joke about how proud I used to be of being able to identify a blackbird or a robin, and while that's not the whole picture it certainly shows where I was coming from.

Blackbird (MJH Photography)

Since working for a conservation organisation, however, I've grown from someone with a general appreciation for the natural world into someone who really believes in the cause of giving nature a home and who takes a much greater interest. Whilst someone like Mark is still clearly in a different league, my knowledge has deepened with my fascination.

Spring blossom (MJH Photography)

That growing love and knowledge of nature has also grown in tandem with my photographic skills. The journey there, over the course of a few years, has been from an enthusiastic amateur to someone who now sells images and does commercial photo shoots. It's all a lot more serious, but the photography and nature-love really go hand in hand. The more I get my hands on fantastic high-spec lenses the more I want to capture the wildlife all around me, both on RSPB reserves and off. The more I capture the more I want to know about what it is on my screen. And the more I know, the more I want to capture.

Drinking swan and autumn colours (MJH Photography)

It's a cycle of growth driven by a desire for excellence and maximum use of my ability. It's no longer enough to get a distant snap of the birds on my garden feeder. Now my quest takes me to the cacophonous heights of RSPB Bempton Cliffs, a.k.a Seabird City, the gently sighing reedbeds of Cambridgeshire at dusk, and probing into the secret world of macro photography.

A gannet disagreement captured at RSPB Bempton Cliffs (MJH Photography)

I look forward to further developments in this quest, never knowing where it might take me or what I might discover. It's wonderful to reflect on how many passions and pursuits overlap with nature and how appreciation for the natural world can enrich and enhance our other interests, not to mention our own well-being. I hope that my images will inspire and delight others and help to engender both a love of nature and a resolve to protect it from growing threats.

Bathing beauty (MJH Photography)

Thanks for reading, and please do check out some of my work on my website: or my Facebook page: or you can follow me on: Instagram @mjhphotography1