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Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron AF70-300mm LD, Hoya skylight (1B)
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Ibis (family Threskiornithidae), Threskiornithidae (Ibises & Spoonbills) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-09-30 11:00
Viewed: 5154
Points: 25
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)

I did a fact sheet on the species in a previous posting.


Ever since there were people, people have watched birds fly and wondered how they did it, wondering also if they too could fly. Only in the 20th century have people been able to build machines that can fly through the air (after carefully studying birds). The birds however do a better job in many ways than we do with our airplanes.

If a bird is just gliding (or "soaring"), that is, not flapping its wings, it flies in pretty much the same way that an airplane flies. The wings push air down, so by Newton's third law the air must push them up. Partly, the push comes from the angle the wings are held at and partly from the curvature of the wings. The air travels faster above the bird's wing than it does below, and this makes the pressure lower above the wing.

Birds are more complicated than that, and so are airplanes. Some energy source is required to overcome the unavoidable drag of pushing through the air, to lift the bird or airplane up to flying height, and to give the bird or airplane kinetic energy. Airplanes use propellers or jet engines. Birds use strong muscles in their breasts to flap their wings. In addition, bird wings are hinged, while airplane wings are riged and fixed. The bird uses its strong muscles to push its wings downwards, pushing air downwards, generating lift, and, if the wings are angled properly, also thrust. The big problem then becomes not pushing air back upwards when the bird moves its wings up for the return stroke.

This is accomplished with the hinged wings. On the downstroke, the wing is fully extended, offering its full surface area for pushing air downwards. On the upstroke, the wing folds up, presenting less area. It is a lot like rowing with oars. The oar pushes the water behind the boat on the power stroke, but must be removed from the water and, ideally, turned 90 degrees so it does not push air or water forwards on the return stroke.

Birds have a lot of adaptations for flight. Their bones are hollow and light, but strong, they have light feathers which catch the air. They can fold up their wings when they are not in use. Their lungs are extra efficient at extracting oxygen from the air. we huff and puff when running, and flying is much harder! They eat huge amounts of high-energy food, relative to their body weight.

People go on and on about how birds fly, and it is indeed amazing that they do. I tried out the Tamron lens when the pair soared overhead. It is my first in flight shot of birds. It’s not even close to some of the shots I’ve seen here but… I like it and hope you like it too.

carper, Signal-Womb, Esox, PDP, extramundi, RAP, AdrianW, Robbrown, marhowie, Lesley, AndyB has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To AdrianW: Thanx for the interestgerhardt 3 10-01 15:33
To RAP: Very perceptivegerhardt 1 10-01 00:39
To japie: Food levelsgerhardt 1 09-30 11:23
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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)
  • [2004-09-30 11:10]
  • [+]

Ek is bly ek is die 1ste om te comment. Beautiful work in capturing these hadidas. The detail and sharpness is good. It almost looks like you were flying next to them - I know this is not possible becaus I know you are not an angel. Very well captured and thanks for posting.


I eat lots of high-energy food too!

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2004-09-30 12:59]

I know how differcult it is to capture one flying bird. You took 2 flying birds, Oke the composition is not great, but the capture is okee, good freesing good colours, Een moeilijke klus, erg goed gedaan Gerhard.

Nice capture of a difficult subject Gerhard. I think if I had have been planing to shoot that sort of shot with my 300D I would have overexposed alittle so as to get the correct exposure on the birds. I usually underexpose most landscape shots BTW to stop blown out skies. Great note and post.

  • Great 
  • Esox Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 20 N: 344] (972)
  • [2004-09-30 14:10]

A great action shot.
Efficient shutting speed, wich freezes the move.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-09-30 14:14]

Lovely shot Gerhard, you did very well to get two in. I'm very impressed with the quality. Great work and excellent note as per usual.

This new camera is settling in well! (I'm still jealous and am considering talking to my bank manager for a loan!)

The composition is nice. Although light did not help this time you took a good photo, it has good rhithm. Thanks for the notes!

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-09-30 17:07]
  • [+]

Gran imagen en vuelo Gerhard... y con 2 especímenes tan particulares!.
Excelente calidad por la nitidez y presentacion.
Muy completa nota tambien.

PS: el link que incluiste es erroneo... tiene unos caracteres adicionales al final que no permiten acceder a la imagen.

Great image in flight Gerhard... and with 2 so particular specimens!.
Excellent quality by the clearness and presentation.
Very complete note also.

PS: the Link that you included is erroneous... in the end has additional characters that do not allow to accede to the image.

very nice Gerhard 2 nicely seen bird, you manage to do some thing I cannt manage to do so hats off to you.

Good shot! I really like the way you've managed to capture these two Ibis, the blue sky provides a lovely neutral background for them. Your composition is excellent too. The only thing I'd play with (if it were my shot) is the sharpening - it looks like you applied a bit too much high radius USM, and not enough low radius USM to me - there are haloes starting to form around the birds, but the feather detail isn't coming out. From the original try something like (10%, 20px, 0)(40%, 1.2px, 0)(20%, 0.8px, 0) and see if that looks better to you. Anyway, good note and well captured :-D

Like your pair just fine Gerhard. Perhaps a different time of day would've illuminated the foremost Ibis underside a little better..I found this note really good reading this time. Knew the basics of the aerodynamics of the wing but not the "birds" adaptation of it.. Very interesting! Thanx much.

Very good Gerhard.
This is difficult but you manage well , good colours and nice composition.
Great note.
Well done.

This is a real good photo, although I do see some halos around the edges.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-10-02 8:35]

Excellent capture.
Very nice detail of both the birds,I cant even get one!
A great note too,very well done indeed.

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