Tag Archives: flying birds

Happiness is a new camera #photo

When you get past a certain number of years on the timeline of life you don’t wait for birthdays to give yourself presents. I’ve had a Canon 550D camera for several years now, and it has served me very well, but I’d started to yearn for something better. My favourite subjects are moving birds and whales and there had been a few times when I’d thought I’d captured a stunner, only to find it was slightly out of focus, or fuzzy around the edges.This is an example. It looks great small, but blow it up to full resolution and it’s not quite there.

sea eagle

So when I discovered that a lot of photographers who published their work in National Geographic used the Canon 5D Mark III I went into lust overdrive. After a few sleepless nights I thought what the hell? You can’t take your money to heaven (or hell, for that matter). So I used some of my writing earnings and became the proud owner of a 5D.

It’s a whole new learning curve, but here are a few shots I’ve taken with it so far. I think it’s worth it already.

Hold on tight

Hold on tight

Coming in

Coming in

butterfly on rosemary

butterfly on rosemary

 

 

 

Photographing Brahmani Kites

Flying brahmani kitePictures of this majestic raptor always brings oohs, aahs and wows from people. Yet in many respects, they’re the easiest of my targets. The reason is two fold.

1)      I know where to find them

2)      They’re not shy

Our part of the bay supports a pair of Brahmani Kites. I’ll often find them on the tidal flat near Tooan-tooan Creek, where they’ll perch on driftwood or an exposed rock – anything where their tail is clear of the ground. Unlike the sand pipers and the white egret, they’ll let me get reasonably close. As they’ve got to know me, that’s increasingly close.

Brahmani kite on driftwood with snake

They’ll fly off if I intrude too much – especially if they’re protecting dinner.

Brahmani kite flying with snake

If they’re not on the tidal flats, they may be at a favourite roost in the mangroves above the creek.

Brahmani kite in mangroves

Or they may be up the other end of the beach, where a line of rocks is exposed at low tide. In fact, I got my bestest pictures of the pair together at that spot. You can see them here and here. If you want those you’ll have to pay for them.

And because they’re so big, they flap their wings slowly and glide so the camera can stop the motion. It’s much harder to get a clear picture of a small bird or an insect in flight because they move so fast and their wings move so fast. For flying shots, the camera is set to ‘sports’ mode, which means maximum shutter speed. That means you sacrifice the amount of light you get in the camera, and depth of field, so for the best shots, I need a bright day.

Share the pictures on this post by all means – just credit me the copyright.