Saturday, 21 March 2015

The work continues....

I sometimes get the impression that people underestimate the amount of work that can be involved in getting a good bird-in-flight shot. Sometimes of course it is simple. A bird flies over and you just happen to be in the right place to squeeze off the perfect shot - can't actually remember when that last happened to me, but it must be possible! However, working with garden birds usually requires a lot more planning and hard work.



This Blue Tit shot above for example is the result of some careful jiggery-pokery. You can see that the twig is tied to something else; actually it is a garden cane. This cane is in turn fixed to an aluminium framework that I have erected in my garden as something of a bird studio.

The birds tend to fly from a natural perch in a nearby hedge. I have a special electronic detector placed so that most of them will fly over it. The camera is pre-focused on the point where I hope they will be when the shutter fires - pure guess work. The vast majority of shots obtained in this way are out of focus, but some come out well.


In the one below, I have re-positioned the camera to try to get an upward-looking shot. That works, but the timing is wrong, the bird has just landed whereas I want to catch it just before that point. That means I have some more experimentation to do today. Actually, even though the bird has just landed, it has not settled, so you get some dynamic tension in the shot which you don't usually see in a perched bird photo.







The same comment applies to the photo below.



Apart from garden birds, I have also been making trips to the Somerset Levels to see what can be found. Not much at this time of year actually, with the winter visitors thinning out and the spring visitors yet to arrive, but you can still usually find something to make a nice photo.

Great Crested Grebes are always a fine sight.



The Herons (below) are nesting in the reeds.



Little Egrets might be doing the same.







 And even a pair of Mallard make a nice picture as they pass a woodland background as they cruise to land.


 Please do visit my website to see more photos www.johncrabb.co.uk

Thanks!