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Three-year dream

Three-year dream
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Minolta AF 100-400 F4.5-6.7 Zoom APO, Hoya HMC Super UV(0) 72 mm
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-09 3:49
Viewed: 5244
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 116
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Three years I tried to take good photos of this amazing species. There are many Bee-eaters fly around our gardens in the countryside of Odessa. However, until these days I had few bad shots only. First, they feed on the agricultural fields surroundings our gardens on significant distance, rest on electrical wires or high trees. Second, they are so easily frightened.

Usually I go for a walk with camera during hours and shoot all I meet. It is rather good tactics. Almost all my shots were taken with its help. However, this tactics did not allow me to meet bee-eaters at proper shooting distance.

This year field exactly near my countryside house was sowed with sunflower. In autumn, it had involved many bee-eaters. And I decided to change my shooting manner. I determined the most attractive trees of forest belt for bird resting and I took places in the bushes nearby to these trees. Few hours a day of waiting and three days of shooting and I have many decades shots like this one.

Now I can say lightly: three years have passed and my dream has come true and I can to dream about next attractive shooting objects - woodpecker and hoopoe pictures, which I see all these three years too and also cannot capture.

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To oscarromulus: Warm greeting.Alex99 1 09-10 00:59
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-09 4:05]

Hello Alexei,
You're very lucky to have these lovely birds near your dacha. I've seen the European Bee-eater in Spain and they're gorgeous and I like their bubbling song. This is a lovely capture with great focus on the eye and the plumage glistening in the light. Well done!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-09 4:09]

Hi Alexei. It was worth the wait when you get the result like this. From this POV you have captured a fine well detail picture of this beautiful bird. Your use of the light shows it amazing colours so well againat the blue of the sun. well done TFS.

  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-09-09 4:13]

Hi Alexei,
your long ait has paid off my friend, this is a great image of a Bee Eater. The light in it's feathers is beautiful, and your sharp focus and deatil are both first class - very well done as always.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-09 4:51]

Wow! This is a very nice capture of this Bee-eater!
I didn't realise they came this far North either :-)
Very sharp and detailed.
Excellent composition.
Lovely colours.

Very well done Alexei, all that waiting has payed off :-)


Hello Alexei,
I understand you very well. Bee-easter are also common here. But taking their photographes very hard in many time, especiall roosting in a branch or tree. Contrary, they gives poses roosting on electric line. but artificial things, e.g. these lines, very bad for photography, at least for me.
Well, your captured wonderful with sharp details of focus and colors. Composition and lighting great. Thanks for sharing this great shot. best wishes my friend

Ciao Alexei, my today neighbour, splendid bird with wonderful colors, fine details and great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-09-09 6:03]

Hi Alexei,
I am happy for you that you finally had the chance to get a good shot of a bee-eater that satisfies you. Nice composition, colors and details. TFS

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-09-09 6:14]

Hello Alexei,
These beautiful birds to my country don't arrive and can only see on photo. Yours is very successful, good light, pose, blue BG, all is OK.
Regards, Pawel

You counted eh? My Realtor told me as I awaited a seemingly endless closing on my property (*which I eventually lost)...he said "All things come to those who wait"...Those words have so much depth...one can read whatever they want into them..but they fit here in an abbreviated way. A fine image and one that you doggone well should be proud of...VERY nice and congratulations for hitting a milestone. I am guessing you have a list of things that will now move up a notch:-)

hello alexei,
so finally you got it and that to in great style picture, i loved the natural light and the details of the plumage you have managed to get in this shot, the sky makes a fine bg here,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-09 7:55]

Hello Alexei,
It has also been my dream to get a good shot of this beautiful bird but we have to travel south to be able to see it!
I have tried several times, though and I know the difficulties in being to achieve a shot as good as this. You caught this juvenile Bee-eater in a fine pose and well managed strong lighting against a blue sky. Technically excellent you have also set this into a pleasing composition.
Thanks for showing us this fine image: it is an inspiration!
Best wishes, Ivan

Hi Alex
I have seen those bird when I was on Crimea. I am glad the you managed to take this shot. Your image is sharp, nicely composed with good exposure in a strong sun and nice blue sky backgrpund
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-09-09 8:12]

Hi Alexei,

An attractive capture and I know from experience that it can be quite annoying to try to capture a not so common bird in your local evirement (while others make fabulous captures of the same bird),I have as well some birds on my wishlist to capture locally in sweden,but that is what makes the photography as well fascinating,you managed quite well with this capture and I suppose you were just in time before he flew of (as I can see he is on guard for flying insects)


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-09-09 8:38]

Hello Alexei,
Congratulations with this photo of 'merops apiaster'. Fantastic result after three years. Very sharp in beautiful light and colours. And also against a lovely BG. Great composition.
Kind regards,

Hello Alexei,
Compliment and congratulation of such a beautiful shot on the Bee-eater!
you had the best exposure and focus in this shot with perfect sharpness, awesome colour and good details over it
I loved it and enjoyed it
many thanks for the sharing
take care and sincere regards from NZ

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-09 9:27]

Hi Alexei,

This Bee-eater was worth the three year wait. He must have known how much you wanted him and he paid you back with a marvelous pose. Face, wings and plummage are detailed superbly. I love the textures of the yellow feathers on his chin. Excellent colors - very natural and not overdone. Setting and composition are magnificent.


Hi Alexei,
A nice capture of this beautiful bee eater. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Alex.
Super picture, splendid sharpness and composition, really beautiful shot. To make great art picture of such quality, so timid animals what be birds. Congratulations.
I greet Robert.

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-09-09 12:58]

Hello Alexei,

Excellent sharp picture of this bee-eater. Superb composition. Very good POV. I like very much the bright light on its feathers, that gives an impression of metallic colours. Very good colours.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-09-09 13:01]

Hi Alex,it's impossible to found words to comment a beauty like that,perfect POV,sharpness,details and colors..jst my best compliments and thanks to show us this fantastic bird,have a nice day,Luciano

Mario, your friend from Canada.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-09-09 17:11]

Hello Alexei! Well it was a dream for you but now it's a dream for us!
:-) Well done my friend, congratulations for this fantastic shot!


What a fantastic realization of your dream, Alexei! This Bee Eater picture is perhaps the best among all posted on TN till date. The image is so sharp and clear with natural colours that even strongest human eye cannot see it that distinctly.
I also love the blue sky against which you have captured this bird.
Thanks for showing this image and all the best for your tryst with Hoopoe and Woodpecker.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-09-09 22:37]

Hi Alexei

I agree with Ulla - you are very lucky to have these birds - I have only ever seen them fleetingly. Excellent pose and detail.


Privet Alexei,
Well this has been really a long wait.
But with such a successful outcome, as we can see very clearly.
I like the upwards POV and the beautiful light, just enough to produce that fine details all over the plumage.
My compliments and thanks for share.
Warm regards,

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-09-10 4:17]

Hi Alexei
very good sharp and detail
very nice composition

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-09-10 5:32]

I like that simple picture, Alex. The colours are remarkable even if the shot is taken against the lit blue sky. I also like the pov showing the bird's colours and beautiful feathers. I wish we had such beautiful birds flying around our fields! Great shot and as always, most interesting notes, Thank you!


Hallo Alexei
Time was my biggest enemy lately, and I have lots of catching up to do. A stunning, super sharp and super special image filled with lovely colours and clear details. Masterly photographed and I cannot find any fault. Your dream has become my dream and I also hope to take a super image like this one day. You have managed to capture this soft coloured Bee Eater in a great pose, and I like the side view. Details are really great and the colours are fabulous. Focus, sharpness and framing is great and presented in a most delightful manner. The blue background highlights the beauty of this bird, making your dream photograph even more special. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2008-09-10 5:56]

Отличный снимок, Алекс!
Резкость, цвет, поза - все отлично!

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-09-10 6:50]

Hello Alexei, Good shot and good eye focus. Its a pity that the full bird is no on the frame. This does not effect your shot but too much crop could have been avoided.Ganesh

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-09-10 8:38]

merhaba my friend
beautiful bird and wonderful capture
POV, DOF, light, colours and sharpness are great

Hello Alexei,
I hope you can capture the woodpecker and so forth in the near future.
I'm surprised to hear and see these birds can be spotted in the Ukraine. Wish I could photograph these in Belgium. On the other hand we have some cryptozoology within the government.:-) Just kidding; my own reflection when looking into the water.;-)
About the photo...very good light indeed. He's alert...:-)
Well done
Thanks for sharing

Hello Alexei,

Well, you were a very patient photographer to try for three years! You've certainly gained your dream! This is a superbly focussed shot showing excellent details of the plummage.
The sun is making his feathers shine like silk and reflecting nicely in his eye.
A very well composed shot of this alert little bird!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Nice shot. The clarity in the image is very pleasing. Also good colours and sharply focussed. May be you could have removed the green tree at the bottom. Anways, beautiful picture. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-09-10 23:36]

Hi Alexei,
Outstanding shot of this beautiful Bee-eater and your dream was fulfilled with this awesome image - congratulations. Immaculate sharpness, lovely colours, clear details and a fine pose. The blue sky as BG makes the image stand out and you have handled the natural lighting so well here. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Thanks for sharing this fine image.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-09-11 3:15]

Hi Alexei

This is a very nice capture and i'm happy that you finally saw your dream come true :) Congratulations!
It seems your change in tactic was indeed excellent and the results are lovely. The capture itself is very nicely taken, with impeccable sharpness on the bee-eater, superb natural colors and a great blue sky in the BG.
This post of yours makes me think about my tactics, too :) Who knows, maybe i'll try this "sit-and-wait" tactic on dragonflies and maybe i'll be able to catch some new species :) Thanks for the idea, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

Dear Alexei ,
Another Excellent work from you.
It has wonderful details and nice sharpness.
Colour is great too.
Congratulations and TFS this beauty!


  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-09-11 22:03]

Hello Alexei,

You got indeed a very good image of the bee-eater. I like the light from your photo rendering well the beautifull colors of bird's plumage. I also like how you have captured the glitering of the feathers. There is a nice light sparkel in the eye of the bird too. Image has a high quality showing very sharp details of the bird.

Thank you for sharing,

Amazing species as you say Alexei, love the colors of this bird.
Excellent DOF and sharp detail.
I appreciate the notes on how you went about getting this one,
Great work!

hello Alexei

what a superb shot, your patience payed you this superb shot,
very fine POV and framing, wonderful colours and luminosity,
excellent sharpness and details, and i love the fact that
the bird is doing a triangle with the branches, RFS


  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-09-14 15:15]

Hi Alexei, The time was worth waiting to get this sort of clarity of a fine specimen. I like to hear how you walk each day and see what is available on each trip. The colours here are superb. TFS. Murray.

PS i just bought a 100-400 lens, impressed with the fine results you show us regularly. Hope to learn the settings in the next few months.

Hello Alexei!

Beautiful sharpness and detail. Very nice BG. It was worth the wait. Congratulations!


Olá Alexei

A nitidez e cores são impressionantes.
Belo trabalho, meus parabéns!!!
Grande abraço,

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-09-16 16:49]

Ola Alexei
Belissima foto com uma otima nitidez e contraste de cores. O fundo ficou bem criativo a luminosidade esta otima.Você temsorte de fotografar essas belissima aves.

Hola Alexei.

Divertida toma de un abejarruco desde abajo tan atento avistando alguna presa que ni se entera de tu presencia.

Saludos cordiales.
Jose Luis.

Hi Alexei,
The dream come true in a perfect way; your picture is very nice. Simple composition but effective, maybe POV from blow not the better, but thinking you´ve been waiting for three years is an excellent pic.
Best regards

Hello Alexei. I am happy for you too that your dream came true with this excellent capture of the bee eater. This shot was so well taken like it is right on top of your head. Excellent sharp details exposing well of the plumage. Beautiful perch against the stunning blue sky. Best regards. Jusni

Una palabra para describir esta fotografía: ELEGANCIA. Alexei, consigues en muchas de tus fotografñias el objetivo principal en las fotografías de naturaleza: plasmar la realidad con fidelidad y sin complicaciones. Siempre es un placer el poder admirar tus trabajos.
Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi Tejedor.

Hi Alexei,
To capture this bird on such a natural object is not easy. I saw it mostly on wires. Very good pose and great details. TFS.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-09-29 9:40]

Hi Alexei
Beautiful image.Excellent plumage detail and very sharp image of that species I had never seen before.Colors and light are beautiful.
TFS Michel

Ciao Alexei,
meravigliosa cattura di gruccione, eccellenti POV e composizione per la bellissima posa con lo sfondo del cielo, super nitidezza, molto belli i colori.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-10-05 5:54]

Hola Alex,
preciosa captura y bello plumaje,
la percha es fenomenal,
un exquisito trabajo amigo.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-07 19:28]

Hello Alexei,
Amazing image with quality color and sharpness, great work Alexei. Its so rewarding when you finally reach the goal you set out for, thank you and congratulations.

Hi Alexei,
Congratulations on this beautiful and rare capture! There are species here as well that are on my wish list since a long time! This is a very nice POV of this superb bird excellent details and exposure. You also capture nice brilliance on his plumage. I wish we have those colorful ones here as well. Greetings from autumnal Quebec!

  • Great 
  • sayat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 280 W: 0 N: 258] (1457)
  • [2008-10-09 8:31]

An excellent bee-eater shot Dear Alexei, I like a lot your point of view from under the bird which reveals the beautiful white plumage. But to me the magical point in the shot is the amazing detail captured in the eye and the dot of light there. Magical!

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-10-12 14:02]

Hi Alexei

It is a beautiful bird, I can see why you would want a photo of it. You really did the bird justice with a fine POV, lovely blue sky BG, sharp details and wonderful light



Looks as if your patience paid off. You got very nice exposure and details in the plumage. I thought the plant foliage in the bottom left corner would be distracting but it seems to work just fine in this photograph. Great shot and TFS.


hello alexei!
A very fine bird!
you show it in a very nice way!
good work!

Hi, Alexei.
Thank you for remembering. Your dream is really beautiful. Tack sharp. Against nice blue sky.

Nice bird close up. Sharpness is spot on

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