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Flying Free

Flying Free
Photo Information
Copyright: Callie de Wet (Callie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 80-400 OS
Exposure: f/8, 1/1600 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Predaceous birds - Aves predadoras, African Vultures, Vultures [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-10-19 8:40
Viewed: 5692
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
On Saturday on our trip to the De Wild Cheetah Institute, they also showed us some vultures in cages. Now, to me, this is one of the most sorry sights to behold. I hate seeing raptors behind bars; they were created to soar free, wild & wide, making the sky above us a better place to enjoy. As I mentioned before, just about 2 km behind our house we have the only breeding pair of Verreaux’s Eagles in a residential area in SA. I have seen the juvenile now twice soaring above the house, just pure magic.
This critter is a Cape Vulture, also sometimes called the Cape Griffon Gyps Coprotheres , 100-115 cm.
This is a heavy, long-necked vulture with pale cream feathers & black flight feathers. The bill & cere is black, the adult has a light coloured eye. The wingspan is about 255 cm. This is an SA endemic, much reduced over most of its previous range. When viewing conditions is optimum, one can see the two diagnostic patches of bare, blue skin at the base of the neck.
The wild dogs were chasing the vultures around, they were trying to get at the food of the dogs, & general mayhem resulted with birds landing, jumping & rising around us. This one I caught coming in for a landing above the tree tops. Standing in the front of the vehicle, I was panning and shooting at every bird that ventured near enough. As you will note from the focal length, this guy was quite near, but one also do not have the time to zoom in or out when panning at moving targets in different planes.
Venue – Kampala – Cheetah Research Centre
Date 28th September 2004
Time 10h08, 3 minute after shooting the wild dog puppy previously posted.
Camera - Nikon D70
ISO 200 & -0,7 EV
Sigma 80-400 F4.5- 5.6 APO OS
Filter – Cokin UV
Focal length - 105 mm
Exposure mode - Aperture Priority - 1/1 600 @ F8
Flash – none
Metering Mode – Muti Pattern
Support – Handheld
Bit of cropping, levels; hue/ saturation; Some USM, , reduced to Site size.

ellis49, RAP, gerhardt, mogens-j, JeanMichel, Kirsten, PDP, marhowie, extramundi, AndyB, deud, Luc has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To sAner: In flightCallie 1 01-29 12:49
To Kirsten: DankieCallie 1 10-20 15:22
To AndyB: ThanksCallie 1 10-20 15:10
To japie: KaapstadCallie 1 10-19 13:15
To japie: KaapstadCallie 1 10-19 13:15
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-10-19 9:11]
  • [2] [+]

When sunbathing for an extended period and you see one of these above you, you have been lying still for too long. The image is sharp and the DOF excellent.

Thanks for posting


Very good Callie.
Nice in-flight vulture, you catch it very well with the OS.
Good sharpness , nice composition and perfect exposure.
Great note.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-10-19 9:27]
  • [2]

Gran imagen en vuelo Callie.
Muy buena agudeza, pese al fondo que no ayuda con muchos detalles en sus plumas.
Correcto encuadre y gran nota.

Great image in flight Callie.
Very good sharpness, in spite of the bottom that nonaid with many details in its pens.
Correct frame and great note.

I believe that this shot just made up my mind, Callie :) This is an exceptional action shot. Great work, super note. Now I have to apply for a green card.

The sky is no good but the Griffon is great. Nice handling of the light and the pose is wonderful looks like a preper for landing. Very nice one Callie.

Hello Callie! What a shot! I guess it's difficult to gather so many details in such a moving image. You figure all what these raptors look like, up to the intense eye and beak combination, but really in action. It's impressive.

  • Great 
  • bartove Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 178 W: 1 N: 588] (7772)
  • [2004-10-19 12:57]
  • [2]

Nice capture at the right moment Good example of capturing the moment in nature photographing.

nice action shot :o)
good details on the feithers,colours are good to.
it isn't to centered, that's good!
good shot.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-10-19 15:26]
  • [2]

Excellent action freeze. Hard work with the exposure I bet. The picture has a hard look but it suits the bird's image very well indeed. Great work Callie.

Callie, Great wingspread display that captivates the viewer. Good details & sharpness present. Of course, there's not much much you can do about this suckers looks! ;-) Great catch!

I find it very difficult to point and shoot to moving targets, and find this type of shots out of my targets. I must learn and practice. Thanks for the technical decription.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-10-19 19:36]
  • [2] [+]

An great capture.
Excellent sharp detail,very impressive.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • pione Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 94 W: 0 N: 113] (542)
  • [2004-10-20 11:44]
  • [2]

Grande immagine del rapace che atterra, gli artigli protesi verso l'atterraggio e le ali a frenare la velocità! Ottimo tempismo!

Splendid, fantastic shot. I had to laugh at japie!!!! I cannot imagine seeing one free diving. I constantly see eagles, kites, and hawks in Asia, but they glide, this looks a bit awkward...... vicious!

Very good shot, great details.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-01-29 12:41]
  • [+]

Capturing a flying bird is HIGH on my wishlist. I never succeeded and your is just so beautiful! It's razorsharp and so well framed. Congratiolations, you have done a fine job!

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