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Snacking Birds #2

Snacking Birds #2
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: 2005-03-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 80-400 OS
Exposure: f/5.3, 1/800 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Rollers, Birds in Flight, Dedications to Gert [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-03-30 12:08
Viewed: 5649
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This one is for Bente, because she loves blue, but also for Gert and Philipe, who can teach me a lot about shooting birds. The problems with shooting birds on the wing are manifold in my opinion. If I can pan the flight, like gulls or DD’s flying in or out, even raptors soaring, I have a certain amount of success. However, when it comes to shooting birds from take-off, it is a different kettle of fish. As the bird is sitting on his perch, you are absolutely clueless as to where he will be heading if he takes off. I have had birds taking of vertically, horizontally, sideways, in any combination, twisting and contorting their bodies into unbelievable shapes. About 3 out of 5 shots rendered a bird in the frame. It is important to zoom out because the bird is much bigger when its wings are extended, than when at rest. As mentioned, this is where the amputations come in, because if you guessed wrong, the bird is either not in the frame, on only partly. And often it is that the best exposed bird is also the one unfortunately amputated. Sometimes I think we are suckers for punishment, to sit and wait in the glaring sun, getting cooked on one half of your face, keeping a 2 kg camera in front of your nose, waiting for Mr Aves to get off his butt, er, perch!
This is a combo picture, a feather in the bill as a snack and also on the wing.

We encountered a lot of rollers, mostly Lilac-breasted or European. These are fairly large birds, around 300 mm, and quite robust, even if they are so beautifully endowed in flashy colours.

They have a harsh call, and are insectivorous. Very intend on where the next mouthful will come from, they will fly right in front of a moving vehicle, and are hence often killed. Despite their dainty look, these are quite robust birds, and they can dispatch a variety of prey items. I have seen a picture of one swallowing a mouse, and have one of a kingfisher with a mouse in his bill too.

I have posted the bird before take-off as a WS. You can compare size and colour to get an idea of the amount of zooming out required.

Venue – KNP
Date 25th March 2005
Time 07h12
Camera - Nikon D70
ISO 200 & ± 0 EV.
Sigma 80-400 F4.5- 5.6 APO OS
Filter – Cokin UV
Focal length - 160 mm.
Exposure mode - Aperture Priority – 1/800 @ F5.3
Flash - None
Support – Handheld.
PP – 15% cropping;.; Selective colour; Levels; Hue/Saturation; USM reduced to Site size! Instead of NI to get rid of bad sky, replaced sky with gradient tool.

carper, coasties, jhm, sAner, manyee, liquidsunshine, NitzanCK, Signal-Womb, tinman, Fisher, Janice, scottevers7, AndyB, ellis49, naki, red45, elroyie, pompey, milloup, gerhardt, Luc, mogens-j, gopi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To milloup: Hi BenteCallie 1 04-01 14:24
To jhm: FotoCallie 2 03-31 01:26
To NitzanCK: WSCallie 1 03-30 14:26
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-03-30 12:15]

only for the note this is all good Callie,
Eigenlijk zouden we de note ook nog een bonus moeten kunnen geven als deze goed is. Okee, Callie jij krijgt bij deze de bonus van mij. little joke. Very good capture here, good freesing photo, fantastic pof, you can try a light camera for those. Very good job

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2005-03-30 12:30]
  • [+]

Dag Callie,
Ik lees altijd tweemaal uw nota omdat het meer op een grooy boek begin te lijken, waarvoor zeker mijn dankt.
Hier weer een mooie foto nu in de lucht met het eten, altijd zeer verzorgd.

PS Callie, wil u eens kijken op TE naar mijn laatste foto misschien weet u welk dier het is.
You want look at once on TE to my last photograph, I gladly would know which animal to see is?

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-03-30 12:53]

Congratulations, Callie, on another very hard shot. You managed to capture the roller in a wonderful position and with great clarity and exposure. I am surprised to find out that this bird of such delicate beauty is so big. Thanks for the very helpful note as well. TFS!

Excellent timing Callie, great capture.
Very good composition and colours.
The bird is'nt sharp enough, Imho.

Superb action shot, Bravo!

Nice capture Callie,
A very brightly coloured bird. well timed capture.
Excellent note.
Thanks for posting

You done very well on this shot Callie, the blue Bg is very striking and the bird is a beauty. Good composition and exposure, well done.

  • Great 
  • tinman Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 7 N: 458] (2663)
  • [2005-03-30 13:56]

I wish I could take a pic like you can - oh well, one day when I'm big!!! LOL - good capture.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-03-30 14:39]

Sir, Callie, excelent shot man. You had your trigger finger at the right time. Well done. The blues and hues are awesome. What a beautiful little one.


  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-03-30 14:56]

Hi Callie, very interesting note - many tips for us - thank you.
The colours of the Roller are so attractive. You've caught him well in flight, and have you given it a completely new sky background? Is that what "replaced sky with gradient tool" means?
Well done.

Nicely captured brightly coloured bird, a good in-flight capture and well worth your wait.

Superbe photo, moment bien capté.
Bravo !

A great stop action shot on this bird. It looks like you got everything perfect in this one. Excellent timing on this pose. Nice Work!

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-03-30 18:10]

An excellent shot.
Lovely colours on this bird and a great take-off capture.
Nice work,very well done.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-03-30 22:09]

Bravo pour l'envolé et les couleurs de ce superbe oiseau.

Merci pour cette belle prise nature.

Great shot Callie.
You are absolute right, you have zoom out otherwise the wings will be cut, it happens very often to me.
Very nice composition, great colours and good details. Perfect timing. And of course a great and informative note.
Excellent work, my friend.

Runnin' late..I looked ;-)

Great timing Callie. Nice work on the sky too. The 'before flight' shot is really good. Is that a feather caught on th beak? I think I like it more than the main post. Great how it is perched right at the very end of the branch. Both are great work. Thanks

Hi Callie!
I love you african blue sky with this wonderful bird. It looks just free in the sky... Good job!

Nice shot, great bird. I'm not sure that it was a good choise to change the sky, the bird doesn't come out in a natural way (IMO). I'd like to see the original shot.
Anyway, Well done.

  • Great 
  • naki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 382 W: 27 N: 5] (40)
  • [2005-03-31 4:06]

Great capture Callie. It is almost frozen in the air. Good note too.
Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-03-31 4:26]

Colorfull gem flying to the blue sky. Perfect Callie!

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-03-31 5:16]

Amazing colors, excellent capture, fantastic action. Unbelievable Callie! How do you do this? You must have a kazillion tons of patience, a lot of skills and some luck. :) This is good. Well done & TFS!

  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2005-03-31 6:28]

This is incredible. At first I thought it was very out of focus, but looking closer it's not the case. It ressembles a painting using very thick paint (or did you put the bird in the washing machine to remove some of the colours). Brilliant capture and composition.

Quote: 'Sometimes I think we are suckers for punishment, to sit and wait in the glaring sun, getting cooked on one half of your face, keeping a 2 kg camera in front of your nose, waiting for Mr Aves to get off his butt, er, perch!'
:) :) :)
I know this from my own experience, but sometimes it is worthwhile like in this shot.
There is something very strange on the edges of this post that you sent, it can seen especially around the bird's face and bill.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-03-31 14:24]

Wonderful capture Callie, colourful, excellent pose, great details.
Good note.
Thanks for sharing.

Why, Callie, another blue beauty for me, thank you - and here am I one of the slow ones in commenting ;-))
I sincerely hope he was taking off, because if this was a landing, then the aim left something to be desired ;-))
Good and sharp capture with excellent colours and again the added bonus of a snack.

I still have this one on my wishlist. I guess I have to go north to get this beauty. Very well done Callie. These snacker shots of yours are really impressive.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-04-02 13:08]

Personal assessment of the photo: excellent.
Great visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: more than complete.
Sorry, friend Callie, no time for an elaborate comment. I will pay back better later.

Really an excellent capture Callie. Very good sharpness indeed and plenty of details too. Beautiful colours and perfect cropping.

Nitzan did a great ws too making the colours come through.

  • Great 
  • gopi Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 22 W: 0 N: 70] (337)
  • [2005-04-15 15:45]

Thats a good shot... I agree with the uncertainities we face with Mr ans Mrs Aves in flight. I recently had a great time shooting terns in flight (which i post soon)at Muthupet mangroves in South India. Check out the Indian cousin of your roller at (http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Asia/India/photo12985.htm) and let me know what you think.


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