daniele occhiato

I was born in July 1968 in Calabria, southern Italy. I've been interested in nature, especially birds, since childhood. In those exciting years, when birdwatching was just beginning to take hold in Italy, there were just a handful of birders around, and even fewer nature photographers. At the age of sixteen I moved to Tuscany, central Italy, where I met some local birders and bird photographers and I also started to take bird pictures. My early equipment was simple and cheap, just a film camera (my father's Pentax MX) and one lens, the Sigma APO 400 f5.6, soon followed by my own camera and a slightly better lens, the Pentax 400 f5.6. While the results were always rather poor, those years were very important for my training as a bird photographer... Birds were few and difficult to approach due to the strong hunting pressure, and there were very few places where was possible to take bird photos. As a consequence, I learned many tricks about how to get closer to the birds without disturbing them, and in this I was helped by my knowledge of their habits and behaviour, since I also became an active ornithologist around that time. Over time, in fact, I became a keen birder and developed an increasing interest in bird identification. As a consequence, I was invited to join the Italian Rarities Committee (COI), where I held the position of secretary for about five years before leaving it. It was in those years, the early 2000s, that I decided that, while remaining a birder, bird photography was more than a simple passion. So I bought my first pro gear, a Canon EOS 3 and a Canon 300 f2.8 that I used for just a couple of years before upgrading to my first digital camera, a Canon EOS 10D and the beloved Canon EF 500 f4 IS L. The Internet era had arrived and I realized that this was the way to go... The years that followed brought a range of new cameras and lenses, and I began to focus more and more on acquiring the largest possible number of photographs of birds of the Western Palearctic, without sacrificing the artistic aspect of the picture - I am not after a mere collection of species photographed. In this regard, I can say I've never had a precise photographic style ... what I always try to achieve in my photographs is maximum sharpness against a clean background under the best possible light.

daniele occhiato standing with his camera PAST EQUIPMENT:
  • Canon EOS 3
  • Canon EOS 10D
  • Canon EOS 1D MKII
  • Canon EOS 1D MKIII
  • Canon EOS 1D MKIV
  • Canon EF 300 f2.8 L
  • Canon EF 100-400 f4-5.6 IS L
  • Canon EF 500 f4 IS L
  • Canon EF 600 f4 IS L
  • Canon EOS 1D-X Mk II
  • Canon EOS 1D-X
  • Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L IS II
  • Canon EF 300 f2.8 IS L II
  • Canon EF 600 f4 IS L II
  • Canon EF 24-70 f2.8 L
  • Canon 2XIII
  • Canon 1,4XIII
  • Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripods and Monopods
  • Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Head
  • Really Right Stuff (RRS) MH-02 and Photoseiki MH-101 Monopod Heads