almost got away in 2013 as well…but on December 22nd I finally got it!

Some of you might remember my Fails of 2012 post from last December, where I posted an image of the stunning Scarlet Honeyeater/ Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta) that perched on my perch, but never gave me a good head turn, so I ended up with nothing.

Here’s the image from October 2012 – It’s just a re-sized version of my unprocessed RAW file.

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A few weeks a go I went out with a friend and we heard a couple of Scarlet Honeyeaters (Myzomela sanguinolenta) above our heads. We always managed afew shots, but like a few times before the birds never quite landed in the right spot and we missed out on them. Scarlet Myzomelas (Myzomela sanguinolenta) only stay in Victoria for a few weeks, so time is precious and I really wanted an image of this stunning bird. However, it proved to be almost impossible. I tried several more times, but didn’t get one. On December 22nd, I decided to give it one last go and was finally rewarded with a striking male!!

What a great end to 2013!

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More images HERE

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Today’s image shows the feeder and my set up in my backyard in Berlin, Germany. I set it up in a way that enabled my to shoot from the elevated deck. Because the deck is higher than the perches, the background was the nice green grass. Had I set up lower, my background would’ve been the dark and ugly bushes.

You can see my blind and the perches, which I placed around the bowl. Over the course of the year, I had about 20 species visiting.

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Here are a few images taken there

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)

1D Mark IIn

600 L IS

ISO 400

F5.6

1/160

580 EX II + Better Beamer

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European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) with begging chick

1D Mark IV

600 L IS

ISO 800

F 5.6

1/400

580 EX II + Better Beamer

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At the end a video from one of the starling shoots 🙂

Puffins are certainly among most people’s favoite birds and I can see why. When you see them in real life they are suprisingly small and just look cool with their colourful beaks and face masks.

Here an image of me photographing puffins in Norway.

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And the result. Since it was often hard to just get a single bird in the frame with a nice background. I decided to go for a few portraits.

1D Mark IIn

600 L IS

2x TC

F11

ISO 400

1/800

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When photographing shorebirds that has to be the motto 🙂 Shorebirds love muddy areas ans hallow water and the only way to get a good images is beautiful sun light combined with a very low perspective.

Here you see me on a beach shooting shorebirds.

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And here are a few results

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) in breeding plumage

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Curlew Sandpiper and Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)

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Curlew Sandpiper JCW_20121128_7893clodo

Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)

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Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)

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All images taken with

1D Mark IV

600 L IS

2x TC III

ISO 800

1/1000

F 11

Since I didn’t have time to post a making of yesterday, you’ll get two today. Both will show Little Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea). At the end you’ll find a little video as well.

The first making of shows me in a park in Perth, Western Australia. I found a large flock of Little Corellas feeding on the ground and noticed that two particular birds just wouldn’t stop fighting and playing with each other. I slowly approached them and got a few nice action shots. One Cockatoo even made a back-flip!

As you can see (well, not really) my tripod was relatively high. Why’s that? When you look closely you can see how the background gets quite ugly at a certain height (bins etc), so I had my tripod a bit higher to have the smooth grass as my background.

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1D Mark IV

600 L IS

ISo 800

F 6.3

1/4000

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Last week I got another chance to photograph Little Corellas. This time in Melbourne. When driving home from a family get together, I noticed about 500 Little Corellas on a golf course. Most of them were ruining the short cut grass, by pulling it out and feeding on the roots. However, a couple of birds seemed to have become obsessed with the golf flags. One or two birds would fly up to the flag and had their way with it. Since it was impossible to capture all of the fast action and craziness of the birds in a single photograph, I also took a short video 🙂

Here’s the making of first. The background was really hard to work with and didn’t allow for fast shutter speeds at all, which made it really hard to photograph. At last I found a certain areas where I could use a green distant tree as my background, which worked out okay.

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1D Mark IV

600 L IS

ISO 1600

F5

1/1000 (very tough to freeze the action)

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and at last a video showing all the action!

It’s doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes you can get close enough to your subject and thus can use a shorter lens. It certainly doesn’t happen often enough,though. I’d love to use a smaller lens more often instead of my big 600mm lens.

On this particular day I spotted a few New Holland Honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) feeding on flowers right next to a café. I noticed that the birds would frequently fly to one certain flower. So I stood next to it for a couple of minutes and was pleasantly surprised when not one, but two birds came in and posed nicely for me 🙂

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1D Mark IV

70-200 L IS @ 235mm

1.4x TC

F8

ISO 800

1/500

580Ex II

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Making Of #18 – Sunbathing

December 18, 2013

Some birds have quite unique and specific behaviours they regularly display. With cormorants it’s probably their way of drying their feather after they went fishing. Most of the time they fully spread out their wings and wait till their feathers are dry. This obviously is a great photo opportunity, but it’s not easy to photograph, because cormorants often tend to be quite skittish.

The making of shows me, after I carefully approached a group of Little Pied Cormorants (Microcarbo melanoleucos), hoping one of them would display nicely for me. After a while a bird swam in from the ocean and did exactly what I wanted it to do 🙂

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You can see that my camera is quite high, so that I get the nice blue water as my background and not the sky.

1D Mark IV

600 L IS

1.4x TC

ISO 800

F8

1/1000

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sometimes you have to go to extreme measures to get the images you want. Although it’s not as bad as it looks like, because it’s Florida and the water was relatively warm and there were no saltwater crocodiles like there would be down here in Australia!

The only good spot to photograph the rare white morph Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) was in the middle of a shallow bay, so I had to jump in 🙂

The only downside of these kind of adventures is that your tripod needs maintenance afterwards or you can throw it away pretty soon.

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Here’s the results: White Morph Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) performing their amazing dance.

1D Mark IV

600 L IS

ISO 800

F5

1/2000

 

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Today I thought I show you what it looks like when I photograph songbirds. You can see me and my friend’s tripods with our Kwik Camo throw over blinds. Sticking out on top you can see the Wimberley Flash Brackets, Flashes and Better Beamers.

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On the day shown in the picture my friend and I were photographing Wood Warblers (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) in a pine forest. As you can see the lights was patchy and a bit tricky, but we found a nice spot in the shade, so that the sun couldn’t ruin the images 🙂

Here’s the end result. The image shows the rare light morph of the Wood Warbler

1D Mark IV

600 L IS

1.4x TC

F6.3

ISO 3200

1/200

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Something wintery again for today. You could already see in making of #6, how approachable the Grey Heron became in winter. After getting hundreds of “normal” images and plenty of action and flight shots, I really wanted to try something different. So I grabbed my 17-40mm lens and placed a piece of fish right in front of the lens and waited to see what would happen. I was stoked when I found out that the Grey Herons didn’t really care and continued to grab the fish. This provided me with a unique opportunity to create a very different looking image.

In the making of below you can see me lying on the ground, with the wide angle in my hand and a Grey Heron approaching.

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And here the final image:

1D Mark IV

17-40 L

F10

ISO800

1/640

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