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pp_striped kingfisher

Just a charming pose in the Okavango Delta

Just a charming pose in the Okavango Delta
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Lucky 3 Award
Peer Award
sathishkumar_6562 cahit nathaliedesmet
Superb Composition
lewismiles joshuagraff
All Star
Top Choice

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Rule Of Thirds In Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class
Rule Of Thirds In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Rule Of Thirds In Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1


1 Comment | Report
Roach1969 March 26, 2015
Fantastic capture, awesome shot. Great composition and love the DOF. Thank you for entering my challenge :D

Behind The Lens

This was in the Okavango Delta, Boptswana. We were based at PomPom camp for a few days and had viewed all manner of kingfishers. Plenty of woodland and pied were around and the occassional maechite along with a single, amazing giant kingfisher. This was a new one for me, the striped kingfisher and I managed to remeber all the things a keen amateur should!
We were returning from a morning game drive so it was probably around 9 a.m. The sun comes up around 6.30 or so, but it still felt like the golden hour.
The light, the angle and the distance all just fell into place. This image was captured very much on the fly. not only that but the subject was very obliging. Unlike the pesky pied kingfisher that has the ability to move off as soon as you lift the camera this little bird sat offering different poses, this one caught the light perfectly.
Because there are a number of short hops on very lighht aircraft I've got my kit down to a minimum. I was using a typical set up to cover most opportunities which is a canon 6D with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens and 2X extender. I also carry a travelling tripod, but for this kind of shot I rely on the IS function on the lens (no time to mess about).
As you can imagine I have a large number of indistinct images of small birds, often I have to refer to notes to even find them in the picture. In this case I had a new (to me) bird sitting close enough to make a reasonable capture. The sky behind and the light was beatiful and the arrangement of the branch meant that the small size of the main element was balanced out. You sawit, you had to shoot it. Not everybody agrees with my SLC (shoot like crazy) approach but I think I took about 12 images, mainly to have the choice of pose. I'm also always aware that I'm ther to look and enjoy the wildlife in it's natural state and that not every sighting is a photo op.
Very little for this on. Using CCS2014 I adjusted levels and applied a touch of unsharp mask and that was it.
In my camera bag
I'm really trying to cover the bases with the minimum amount of kit. In practice this will vary depending on what I'm expecting to see. For a safari trip like this I'lll have 2 bodies, a 6D and 5DmkIII. One will have thelong lens, the other will be there for closer shots. For this trip I had a canon 24-105 on the 5D, but alos took a really nice canon 24mm. A travel tripod, remote shutter release and polarising filter is prettty much it apart from a few bitsw of cleaning kit and battery charger etc.
To get this kind of shot you first need to get lucky. That said you can improve your chances by being ready for whatever nature throws at you. In my case, self taught, getting ready (and I'm not there yet) means taking lots of shots and learning from what you do wrong. They say that experience is learning from your own mistakes and wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others. Finding out how images you like are captured is a path to wisdom, which I guess what this is all about. Enjoy you photography at all stages.

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