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Stupidity Is Incurable

Stupidity Is Incurable
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 400, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 1, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Birds / Aves, Birds of Africa, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 1, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-25 21:56
Viewed: 6785
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 74
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kittlitz’s plover - Charadrius pecuarius

Stupidity can get one into deep-deep trouble and could have rather expensive results. Fortunately there are people who specialise in the rescue of the feeble-minded, dim-witted, mindless clots such as me.

I took this photo in the Richards Bay harbour area at a place called "Casuarina Point". I was not able to photograph anything since my flu started 2 weeks ago and was eager to get out to the bird pan to catch up on some lost opportunities. My son, his girlfriend, and I, set out early Sunday morning and spend an enjoyable couple of hours at the sanctuary where we saw some lovely birds, a 3m+ crocodile, and a number of co-operating insects, which I will still post in the near future. Eventually it was time to leave, but I thought it 'wise' to take a drive through the harbour area. Why didn't I just gone home?

In the search of just one more photo, just one more shot worthy of a TN posting, we drove to Casuarina Point, an undeveloped area inside the harbour where fishermen can partake in their recreational activities, but it also forms part or the RBR (Richards Bay Bird Route). This area includes a tidal pool where one can see numerous water birds. I decided to drive around the edges of this pool, and was very cautious (I thought) while feeling my way around the sandy fringes to ensure the surface is of such a nature that we wouldn’t get stuck, but content quickly grew into disrespect. But hey, the going was good and then we ran into this beautiful little beach runner the "Kittlitz’s Plover" and things couldn’t be any better as all seemed to be worth the while.

As we came around the final bend (just before we would join up with the regular road) I noticed that the surface looked slightly muddy, but since there were other vehicle tracks leading through the area I thought it would be save to pass through as well. Why do we sometimes make these stupid decisions? As the front wheels hit the spot my car just sank like a stone, right up to the belly of the vehicle, and I knew I was in deep-deep trouble again. Fortunately we had about 3 hours before the tide would come in, but I knew I had to make a quick plan otherwise I could greet my car as it was in for a swim. Please view the workshop photo which my son took with his cell phone. I didn’t have time to stop and think about that as I had to get someone to tow me out and that had to happen quickly.

To cut a long story short, some kind hearted people with a 4x4 came around and tried to free the car, but we broke his brand new, 20mm, special emergency, nylon rope, into three pieces, eventually we even broke a steel chain, but the car would not move. Finally the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) came to help and with their strong winch managed to clear the vehicle from the mud. A great big THANKS to Norman and his wife. Please see the workshop for more information.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

ellis49, AdrianW, Janice, scottevers7, coasties, red45, elefantino, Signal-Womb, firelord, aido, Robbrown, soccer, sandpiper2, SkyF, liquidsunshine, pilonm, ddg, jmp, rsiliato, peter_stoeckl, Dando, jeanpaul, ScottHale, saguzar, PDP, CTP, manyee, thor68, Silke, Miss_Piggy, Aaltjie, Rehanna, betsie, Amelia has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To SunToucher: Welcome backloot 2 07-14 16:47
To coasties: Grand children!!!loot 1 06-28 21:30
To PDP: Looks like a spider(?)loot 1 06-28 20:30
To ScottHale: Lunch timeloot 1 06-28 20:05
To ellis49: Up very earlyloot 1 06-25 22:34
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot,
it was a big adventure and I'm glad everything went well.
And I'm glad you are better from the cold too.
The picture is lovely, the colours are beautiful and the low POV are great, down on your stomach;-) The details specially in the plumage are great.
Excellent work, my friend.

You are up very early.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-06-25 23:17]
  • [2]

You win the prize I think for the best story told, Loot. I'm so pleased I wasn't driving!! And just as well the tide was still a way out!
But your little beauty was worth it - I love the colours here, she's a darling, so pretty and golden. The three photos are well shown!!

Hi Loot,
This is a superb shot. Great quality light and a spot on exposure means everything looks great. Beautiful colors and sharp detail. Great isolation of the bird looking over the bug. Great POV here where you are down at his level. I laughed at your story, but that is exactly something I would do. So I laughed with you, not at you. Nice work!

Hi Loot

Wow... what stunning coloured plumage, and all the effort that went into getting this shot needs to be .... well..... ummmmm..... acknowledged! Was this shot worth the stress and heartache.... at the time, no.... but be honest, it was a life experience, and sometimes, even 'we' adults have to learn by our mistakes and you now have something to tell the 'grand children'..... when they come along

Great shot with a 'twist'! :-)

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-06-26 2:12]
  • [2]

Hi Loot!

Wonderfull post! I love your story - you're really brave man :-) And - you've got real TN spirit - your car was sinking and you took photo of it :-) Always ready :-))) By the way - we did almost same thing yesterday. With our sporty Honda Civic we went to the forest and almost stuck few times on sandy roads. Excellent story, workshop pictures, and of course main subject :-) God bless NSRI!

What an adventure!

About the pic it's great!
I love the light on the eye and the soft colors,

Hello Loot, what a great read although at your expense, you were lucky. My post for today had me stuck in mud also but I was on foot. Anyhow, great capture you got here of this little fellow. Nice detail, composition and the bonus of him with meal. Well worth your troubles, good work.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-06-26 4:49]

Hi Gert,
A mini-adventure rather than a regular TN post :-) I'm glad you got out of trouble ok and your car looked fine too.

A nice shot you have here, I've never even heard of this bird before. It has beautiful colours, a real looker of a bird. Fantastic detail, wonderful colours. DOF is perfect, every part of the Plover in perfect focus. Nicely framed, excellent shot and a great entertaining post.

Hi loot Glad you got out OK, the volentry rescue services around the world are brilliant we have several like the RNLI (royal national lifeboat institute) and the Mountain Rescue all of who turn out in some very bad conditions to rescue people who make errors of judgement like yours.
The image of the bird is very nice maybe a little over sharpened IMO but that is very minor. TFS yours Robert


Great POV displayed in the pic. The Composition, DOF, Sharpness and detail of the pic are great too. TFS,

Great story Loot, you do like to have adventures don't you.
The plover is very nicely captured.
Excellent POV and superb details.
Excellent sharpness.
Well done.

Hello Loot, Great job,perefct details, Bg, POV, DOV, perfect ly worked Photo, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-06-26 8:02]

Hi Loot,
sounds like quite the adventure! Excellent story, the things we do to get the perfect shot;-).
And a great shot you got. Wonderful POV, colors and light are very nice.

Good shot Loot! Focus and DOF are spot on, and the separation between bird and mud is surprisingly good considering they're very similar in colour. I wonder what it's pecking at? I suspect a slightly tighter crop would be better (cut left and top) to remove the wiggly bit near the left hand edge. Your note is truly excellent, if I could give you two points for that I would, and as for the Workshops - they add a very nice finishing touch to the story. Glad you escaped! Excellent work :D

Hi Loot,
It sounds like a real adventure you had. The only time I had something similar happen to me was after leaving my car in the car park (a big muddy field) at the Glastonbury festival for 5 days (while it was hammering down with rain).
That was a nightmare to get out after the festival with thousands of others.

back to your lovely shot.
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.

Thanks for posting, have a great week.

HI Loot,
wow, I can count every single feather of this nice bird, it's a wonderful shot, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

magnifique oiseau avec ses couleurs orangées,les details sont tres bons et la netteté impeccable.

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-06-26 15:10]

Well caught Loot, this is an excellent shot with colours that harmonize perfectly. Great sharpness too and beautiful lighting, very well done, Didier.

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2006-06-26 15:21]

Hi Loot,

What an incredible story!!! What kind of silly decision can we make when we want to take a final picture ;-) But, for my pov, this one deserve your adventure ;-) In fact, you are offering us a so nice photo of this little colorful plover! Do you know that the name plover came from the french word "pluie" meaning "rain"? Your pov and composition are great and the colors looks so natural! Here in Quebec, one of our plover, called "Killdeer" can simulate a broken wing or tail in order to distract predator from the nest. Has Kittlitz’s plover has the same ability? Great work and TFS,


  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-06-26 15:45]

Hi Loot,
Though the shot is wondeful, perhaps this time is not clear if it's worth it!:-) Color, feather and POV are wonderful but you have shot the moment too! Fortunately all had a good end.
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-06-26 17:57]

Hi Loot
Beautiful bird and good shot. Good sharpnes, light, colours and POV.
Well done my friend.


Great shot Loot! Even better story! Hope there were no crocks in there with you!!!


Hello Loot,
very pleasant shot of that cute looking bird inspecting its seafood snack.
The adventure story around that lovely scene provides a good idea of a habitat where human beings and their cars to not seem to be natural players in the system. Happy for the good luck you had - and let us praise the cooperative spirit of our human species!
With thanks, and best regards,

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-06-27 17:00]

Hi Loot, one of those ocassions where it's worrying at the time but you can have a good laugh afterwards. Glad you got your car back safely and you were all safe. With regards to the picture it is a truly excellent shot. The lighting is great and the details, colours and exposure spot on. I also like your low POV and the way you have captured the different textures. Can't really say anything but perfect Thanks for sharing both your picture and story.

LOL, what a hilarious story, Loot! I've done equally stupid things so I appreciate your candor.

Back to the photo, what an amazing image. I've never seen such good detail of feathers. Cute little bird, too!


Bonsoir Loot
Félicitation pour cette magnifique prise de vue de ce superbe oiseau que je n'ai jamais Avant aujourd'hui .La composition est trčs jolie et en plus il y a ce ce petit déjeuner qui s'en vien pour lui..

Merci et au revoir....JP

The lengths that we will go to, to get a shot. I am glad everything worked out in the end. I'd say this photo was worth it but only you can be the judge of that. (I don't know how bad it messed up your car.) The detail of the Kittlitz’s Plover is superb. The composition is perfect. Was he ready to munch on a spider? I think your notes are great, it's nice to read a interesting story, just sorry it had to be at the expense of your car bellying in the mud.
Fine work,

Hello Loot,
What a expensive price to pay for a birdie photo! Tahty kind of thing sometimes happens, but the picture was worth it, the close up is perfect, capturing the moment that the bird observes its next food; details and colours are delicate.
A great job, friend.

Be careful next time ;D

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-06-28 17:13]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,

Great note, I'm glad you made it!

It's a good photo here - the composition is very good and great to see a little action with the plover pecking what looks like a spider(?). The colours are great too.

I think there is a little too much sharpening here which has started to produce some noise most notably under the tail and breast. There is also something odd in the mud - the bird and it's legs are in the depth of field adn yet the mud is blurred quite uniformly from the front of the frame to the middle - did you selectivly sharpen the bird and blur the bg?

Good work.

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-06-29 2:28]

Hi Loot,
Excellent Plover capture.
I like your excellent pov,dof,focus,sharpness,blurred bg,note,composition,colors and framing.
Well Done.TFS
Have a Great Da,

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-06-29 3:54]

Hi Loot,
*Sigh!* I guess I just can't leave you unsupervised. : P
I go away for a few days, and you get into no end of trouble. (chuckles)
Well I certainly am glad that everything turned out okay. What a story!
Your little plover is beautiful. I love the low POV (Did you lie down on the quick sand?) and the expression on the bird. He seems to be contemplating how to go about his meal. The colours on those feathers are lovely (The plovers our way are dark brown where yours is orangy). Excellent focus and exposure.
Hope all is well with you now. : )

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2006-07-02 14:47]

hehe, i like your ford focus, loot! :-)
so you really had to go through a great adventure to get
this photo to us - TN can be very dangerous. *g*
i guess i would have got stuck, too, liking to drive everywhere possible and impossible.
actually one should give 2 points for the wonderful plover
and 2 more for the great story around it.
excellent capture, perfect sharpness and superb pose with its eyes on whatver will be its lunch (crab, spider,..).
well done & take care (!!!), thorsten.

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2006-07-04 7:49]

Wow! Another stunning photo: crisp focus, lively colours and superb composition.
As for your story: you are a most excellent story teller, TFS.
Best regards

Hi Loot,
It's time you get a 4x4 as well if you are planing more of these adventures trips. Maybe you can sell some photos and by a Hummer. (LOL) Anyway, great story with great back-up of the additional photos. By the way, I am back from my excellent vacation.

The photo...jus beautiful, such a great low POV and such a good DOF. The sharpness and the action you've captured is more then beautiful and deserves all the credit it can get.

TFS my good friend.

Hi Loot


Hello Loot
Hettie likes this little one. She says the colours are beautiful and well detailed.
A pleasant photograph you have here, I've never seen this bird before. It is really a charming little bird with beautiful dainty feathers. Every detail in this photo is perfect, and what an interesting story you told us in your notes. Very entertaining and both Hettie and I shared the excitement of what happened to you. After all of that you still produce a super quality shot.
Warmest regards
Aaltjie and Hettie

Dear Loot
You might have been in trouble on the day you took this image, but you came back with a wonderful story and a great photograph. The Kittlitz's plover has lovely features and you have captured it well. The detail of the toffee and cream coloured feathers are beautifully seen against the sea sand, that not only creates an ideal background but also a great frame around the bird. The catch light captured in this little bird's eye, as well as the "Jewish" cap formed by the patch of feathers on its head, is worth a smiley on its own. If I could have, I would have given another smiley for the detail captured of the sea sand, in the foreground. Every here, there and everywhere one can see a twinkle of light in the sand reflecting back at you due to the sunlight shining on it. A great image and a super story that went along with it. Thanks for sharing at the time, once again nearly 4 years ago, but rather late than never.

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