: : wildlife photography through the lens of an animator : :

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Three predators

Three different birds in one afternoon decided to demonstrate how they catch and eat their prey. All this only a couple of meters away from me and the camera. At times I thought that somehow I have become invisible.
above: Noisy Miner, Sydney

There are quite many images in the Heron series, but unfortunately he caught the fish facing away from the camera. I could have asked for a second take, I guess...
above: White-faced Heron, Sydney

By the time this Kookaburra caught her worm the sun was very low and the light was insufficient. I had to lower the shutter speed to get decent exposure and the moving parts got blurry. Still, I decided to publish the last image as it shows certain expression.
above: Laughing Kookaburra, Sydney
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  1. Hi Nickolay
    Fabulous shots. I assume you are using video or automatic shooting to catch those action shots.
    Great quality.

  2. Really great photos! The birds there must be used to having people around - very lucky indeed!

  3. Hi Denis,
    Most of the time, especially when I expect some action to happen, I shoot using the high speed image burst function, which in the case of my camera produces 5 images in a second. What I usually do, though, is shooting in twos, threes or fours, and then re-taking the focus and doing another burst. This way it's more likely to have at least one very crisp action photo out of 15-20. I usually shoot at quite high shutter speeds and quite high ISO settings because of this, which inevitably produces a bit noisy images, but I have decided that I prefer noisy to blurry.

    In the case of the heron I spent a lot of time waiting and slowly getting closer to him. He was definitely hunting, so I set a shutter speed of 1/2000 expecting very fast action. Unfortunately he speared the little fish with a twist and that remained completely hidden behind his butt...

  4. Hi Mick,
    I thought the same -- those birds behaved as if I wasn't there at all. Hoping for nice weather on Saturday to go to the same park again.
    Best regards!

  5. I think I need to start boosting my ISO like you. I'm getting more blurry as I get older...and it's not my glasses!
    I love the last image of the "Laughing" Kookaburra. It's nice when they smile for the camera.

  6. G'day Nickolay,
    Brilliant series, I loved every one of them.

  7. It's a magic moment when you become invisible and get to see up close what nature is up to.
    Brilliant work and some more information for me to play with:)
    looking forward to some shots of Ibis!

  8. I love these! Amazing to see the detail of eating. look at that fish the heron is eating! so cool.