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"Rolling" in the wind

Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Digital ISO 200, Skylight
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/400 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2004-12-21 15:09
Viewed: 4278
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Well here is the 1st shot from my camping trip in the Pilaansberg Nature reserve. This is of a Lilac-breasted Roller (Roberts: 447) and I am lucky that the shot came out as it is. The conditions were windy, which is evident in the feather on the wing being blown up and the sun was very bright from the wrong angle. I had to set set my flash to manual to get the maximum burst of light on the Roller and not use the TTL reading.

More about the Lilac-breasted Roller, one of the more spectacular bushveld birds:

It is a large, brilliantly coloured bird, which usually sits on an open perch. Size 35-36 cm - Larger than a Laughing Dove, but with a longish tail. Afrikaans: Gewone Troupant

The Rollers have strong, short, bills with a hooked tip to the upper mandible . The Lilac-breasted Roller has a blackish bill and yellowish-green or green feet and legs. The eye is dark.

The breast is a brilliant lilac colour, streaked with white. The belly is sky blue and the wing coverts are various shades of blue. The crown is greenish-turquoise and the rump and tail are bright blue.

There is a white patch on the forehead, and around the dark eyes. In flight the totally blue wings are a spectacular sight, with stunning contrast between the sky-blue inner wing and the dark blue feather ends. It has a spectacular display, which can be seen in the breeding season, when it flies high above the woodland calling loudly. The bird will fly with a curious rolling motion, involving twists and turns. It then suddenly turns and dives down on open wings.

This is a common species of the bushveld areas, and is usually seen perched on a prominent perch from where it can see the surrounding terrain. It is usually found singly or in pairs. It generally flies down to the ground to catch large insects.

The main food is insects, including locusts, beetles, caterpillars and ants.

The call is a harsh, grating rak-zak-zaak, zak-zak-zak, zak-raak - usually utteed in display - otherwise generally a quiet bird.

It breeds from August to December. The nest is in a natural hole in tree, 2-6 metres above the ground.

The camera settings:

Program Setting: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 500mm
F Stop: F/13
Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec
ISO: 200
Tripod: No
Flash: Off Camera Man.
Reflective Panel: No
Cable release: No
White Balance: Sunshine

extramundi, JeanMichel, Fisher, mumek, Luc, willie, Callie, red45, ellis49, deud, Signal-Womb, Lourens has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To extramundi: WOWjapie 1 12-21 22:13
To extramundi: Maskjapie 1 12-21 16:05
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Critiques [Translate]

Your explanation helps to understand the shooting conditions, and instead of regretting sharpness, I appreciate the bad weather feeling conveyed by this bird, a bit shaggy but showing attractive colors.
Great note, Japie.

Obviously is not your best shapness, but according to the conditios explained you did quite well, you managed very well the white background and the awfull wind (I hate it), did you do a mask to improve it?.
Sorry i did not explain well, I meant a mask to sharpen the bird but not the BG. I did a workshop to explain.
The USM also aded some noise to the bird but not to the BG.
Very nice subject and fantasic note. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2004-12-21 17:38]

Japie, this is a beautiful bird. Well done on your composition and detail.
The focus is soft.
Well done


  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 0 N: 180] (853)
  • [2004-12-21 19:31]

The windy conditions donít change the fact that this is an excellent picture. The picture is sharp with good details and colors. Composition is interesting and the note is excellent.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-12-22 1:00]

Very good painted one too :-), Japie. No need to post a perfect picture to learn on Nature on TN.
Good work; Picture and note.

Mooi troupand Japie.
Excellent pose and capture under the conditions. Very well done

Composition: ****
Sharpness: **
Color: ****
DOF: **
POV: ****
Note: ****

A pity that the focus is too soft, this is a great birg. Excellent note.
Well done.

Hi Japie
Pragtige troupant
SO this is where you dissapeared to.
How is the sightings?
I want to go on Saturday, is it worth it?

One thumb up only this time but it was time you missed for heavens sake Japie, you are too good !

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2004-12-22 4:34]

Great note and beautiful bird Japie! So colorful. Little soft focus but overall very good post.

Very good Japie.
Great pose, composition and good colours.
It's a little soft but under the circumstance it's good.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2004-12-22 9:50]

very intresting. the colours of bird against all the rest is good.

and i missed so many great shots!try to catch up in holidays!good shot of this wild lookin' bird!good colours and details,compo is good too,pity 'bout the focus!
well done!

Nice capture Japie and such a beautiful looking bird. Felipe workshop on this does this photo justice. Great note.

Oh, my favourite SA roller since Callie first posted some last year, these chaps have such gorgeous colours ;-))
Light seems to have been handled nicely, but the photo is too far to the soft side for an all thumps up, I'll go with Radu.

One of the most colourfull birds we have and you have captured him very nicely. Great work.

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2004-12-27 3:59]

The note explains ur pic more.I would have told if eye is clear then it would be superb shot.Good compostion and nice colours.
Cheers to Sigma170-500&you :).


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