Photographer of the month: Patryk Kurc

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When photographing wildlife, we are most susceptible to the weather, the place where we can take photos and the way the light rays fall. Since we have influence on these last two factors and can play around with the positioning, I missed a lot of interesting photos and species because I didn't have the opportunity to set up in a good place.

I even tried wearing waders, a tripod, and water equipment, and positioned myself in the reeds, but I lacked mobility. The biggest problem was that even when I positioned myself perfectly and the models swam towards me, the angle of light was not appropriate and I couldn't do anything because I would scare away the photographed animals with their movement. Another thing was standing still for a long time in cold water, which was often the reason for resignation and lack of frames that were born in my head.

At first, I had the thought of building something myself, but after thinking about it, I found several problems that motivated me to reject this idea. One of the main problems was the lack of mobility. I often have to walk 1-3 km to the chosen photographing spot. I always try to choose areas very far away from people, because I usually find there interesting and rare species that are afraid of human presence. Another reason that discouraged me from building something myself was the weight. It would be difficult for me to reduce the weight to an acceptable size.

I started looking around with a float tube for reputable companies that make specialized equipment for nature photographers. One of the main criteria for my choice was the previously mentioned weight and the height of the lens above the water. In my opinion, shooting from the lowest possible level gives the best results. Hence, I only had two companies left to choose from on the market.

After further consideration, I chose the Buteo Photo Gear Floating Hide Grebe. What I liked about it was that it had an acceptable weight. Possibility of taking photos from a very low perspective, but you can also change the equipment to a higher one if the bird is sitting in tall grass or higher on the shore. That's what happened with the black-tailed godwit, which is very rare in Poland, and it was sitting on a higher island, among the bushes. A large number of windows, attached with magnets, reduce noise, which was very useful and provide very good visibility.

I was so surprised when the ordered package arrived. I imagined it to be much larger, and the packed float is the size of a gym bag. I really liked the quick tent unfolding system that works like an umbrella. And the perspective I dreamed about. 2-3 cm height of the lens above the water is not a problem. This is exactly what I needed. Remember that this height gives great effects, but you have to be very careful not to drown the lens.

I've been using them for 3 weeks now and it took me a while to take them apart for the first time to figure out what goes where. Now, in the dark, I can assemble it in 15 minutes, so it's a pretty good result. The float gave me amazing mobility. I am able to install and change teleconverters, and change the body between full frame and crop, with appropriate care. And finally, I can position myself against the light more often, which gives me the opportunity to create amazing frames against the light.

I have used the floating hide Grebe several or a dozen times since the purchase. You can see the effects in the attached photos. I rate it very positively and I am extremely pleased with it. Finally, thanks to them, I managed to achieve my dream results.


I encourage you to visit my profiles and follow the photos taken, among others, thanks to this float 😊

Ps. I can already guess why this float was called Grebe 😉 They worked great with mine 😊


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