Black Giants

September 21, 2010

This past weekend I was fortunate to find a flock of about 20 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatos feeding in a marsh area. 🙂

While they were sitting in the high gras I could barely seen them. Suddenly three birds flew up on a fence post. My pulse went up dramatically and I tried to approach them in my car. Well……they flew off…..Luckily not very far away, just back into the meadow behind the fence. So I waited next to them hoping for some flight shots. In the meantime I had set up my tripod inside the car, to be able to freely move the lens. ( I hate to put it on a bean bag)

After a while some birds flew off and I could get a few frames 🙂 Most of them turned their back towards me, but two birds started off in my direction 🙂

Quite happy with the frames I had gotten I thought about moving in, but the Cockatoos decided to fly back on the fence. And this time they let me do a few nice close ups 🙂

Also the weather was not the best I was thrilled with what I had gotten


After getting an appropriate car for my OZ adventures I can finally start to head out and get some more advanced species 🙂

This weekend I was thrilled to get a Striated Fieldwren on some lovely vegetation (anyone knows what it is) and a lovely Red-capped Robin.

To see the reds properly, you should use a calibrated screen and FireFox with the colormanagement option enabled.

Lately, I have started to neglect the flash. This has several reason. First of all it is quite a hassle and extra weight you have to set up and carry around. Especially with a Quantum Turbo attached. Secondly, which is the most annyoing parts ….you just cannot have all images flashed. I shoot with a 10 fps camera and the Quantum Turbo+ flash combo might do 4-5 fps in highspeed mode. So in the end you end up with only 50% of the images actually flashed. So getting the right image flashed is a pure matter of luck. This is the greatest downside. Shooting below 1/300, which is the 580EX II’s snych time, is not really an option in bird photography.

Sometimes, it is just necessary to use flash, but like I said I started to do not do it lately. Like the Red-capped Robin. I could have used flash there, but the difference would have been marginal.

The last point is still the risk of chasing away your subject. Especially with a bird I do not have any images of, I try to avoid using flash, at least in the beginning of the session until I have some decent images.

That all seems a bit like a drawback from what I have set about using flash earlier, but I thought it might be interesting for you guys to share my latest experiences with you. One factor in this line up might me the Mark IV. It requires substantially higher shutter speed, than any other camera I have used. That combined with flash intensifies some of these issues.

If I do a bigger set up, in my garden for instance, I love to use flash, though.


September 9, 2010

Yesterday morning the weather was really nice and I was fortunate to find a pair of Australasian Grebes 🙂

The key, as always, is to get low and look for some pretty water, where you think the birds are likely to swim through.

And a New Holland Honeyeater at the end 🙂