Okay so I have never professed to be a photographic “Twitcher” before by any stretch of the imagination. I have been more drawn specifically to the Raptors (My Personal Gallery) that we have in Southern Africa. I recently read in a leading handbook specifically for this type of birding that I may indeed be a Raptorphile……..seriously not a word I am going to bandy about but each to there own . They are graceful and a powerful sight to behold.
One of my favourite Raptorphile Images – A Cape Vulture captured before landing at Giants Castle shot with my trusty Canon
I have taken a number of images along the coast near Knysna of the african oyster catcher , pied king fisher and general sea birds. Along with the cool colours of the bushveld birds it has been nothing more than an incidental capture while on a wildlife photographic excursion.
After my visit to the Chobe , I can say that I have become a little more obsessed with capturing some quality images of the avian variety in general. Yes , I would even go as far as to say that it is more inline with a challenge set out by a certain Mr Trevor Hardaker as to getting quality images of this addictive genre of photography .
Looking into more detail there are a few interesting things I am learning .
- Shutter speed for small birds should be at least 1/2000th of a second..THEY ARE FAST
- Handholding long glass is not always practical. With this a proper gimbal or panning plate is a must. (Look below at example)
- Patience and timing are big assets. Two qualities I am working on as birds will sit for ages and then fly off a perch without warning (well if you don’t have any idea what to look for)
- Some birds will give tell tales signs and behaviour knowledge is important
- Birds wading or feeding make for awesome portraits in golden light. They sometimes show ‘cute’ moments one must be ready to capture it at the right time
- Waterbirds often feed from similar perches and land there again and again so you could get that shot with a little patience
- Birds n flight………THEY RE FAST
- Practice , Practice , Practice
Here are some of my recent Chobe favourites. So if you keen to get there ……..
Hope you keep shooting and enjoy what you are doing and join me to capture Africa’s beauty .
Peace and Light