Posts Tagged ‘Back yard birds’

Nikon P150I recently received a beautiful surprise, a terrific burgundy Nikon P510 with a marvelous zoom lens for close up shots. I should explain that I had a perfectly good “point and shoot” camera which I had used as I travelled throughout the Middle East and Switzerland,taking some memorable pictures which I am quite proud of. So the appearance of this new camera was more than just a little surprise.

It’s strange how much emphasis we attach to certain things when faced by a sudden change. I was thrilled by my first solo overseas holiday so it would have been amazing if I was unhappy with any photos I took at that time. I’m still really pleased with my trusty “point and shoot”, mainly because I didn’t have to think about focus, light and balance. Truthfully I wouldn’t have had the time to do all that and grab a photo, often on the fly. It served me very well and I can recognise everything I took a photo of. Not bad I thought.

So what happened to change the status quo with my trusty “point and shoot”? We moved house, again,but this time we have almost a quarter of an acre with a giant blue gum, an over abundance of palm trees and a gorgeous little pond. This pond has been the reason for the new camera. Each day since we moved here we have a variety of wildlife which comes to visit. Mainly birds, and, so I was told, the hardest of all to get good photos of. Why, you may ask?  It’s really quite simple, they move and fast! They wont take directions and head off just at the critical moment when you have finally set the light, focus and scene…. hence the frustration.

Yesterday we took the sane step of getting the salesman to come out and give us a lesson on the basics, at least to get us started with the camera. For a week I’ve been “playing around” with it, getting familiar with the zoom, and trying to get a few close-ups…. I have some adorable orchids which are a mass of flowers and duly deserve to be preserved in digital format. Not such a big ask I thought.

First we went outside… the lighting was just right and we went to get some good shots of the resident bird life – only there wasn’t any to be seen! Not to worry, we can pick a spot, any old  mass of flotsam around the fenceline and aim and shoot. Just practising our light exposure and so on – really good fun.  Not at all!  Have you ever tried describing exactly the same clump of rubbish attached to a piece of wire on a fence to try yo aim at? It isn’t very easy, especially when you admit to being geographically challenged as I am.  This means that north, south, east and west  are not the best way to advice me to point towards. I’ll inevitably end up facing the wrong way!   Next to the big cut off trunk in the corner of the next paddock, came the final piece of advice. Gret! I found it and away I went.  Not bad considering the frustration of trying to find it in the first place.

The good news was that by the time I had managed to take this one photo of a piece of rubbish some of the birds had heard my unspoken plea and arrived to have their wonderful selves immortalised en camera.

Purple swamp hen  It may not look much but when you’ve been standing, arms akimbo and the tremble has begun to shake the camera around like a flea looking for a meal on a hot summer’s day, you begin to appreciate how difficult it is to get a bird to play ball with you!  The hysterial laughter s I tried to get a bird in flight was just the tonic we all needed. The blur was indistinguishable and deleted after the laughter subside.  Next, in came the pair of wood ducks we think are nesting near the creek.  They are so flighty I almost stopped breathing so I woudn’t scare them away. However, the instructions continued and I managed to capture this….

Wood duck in back yard

Okay, it’s not much for a first effort, but I was rather pleased with it all the same.   I’ll take what comes along my way and practise some more and who knows… perhaps I’ll be able to photograph the moon like I want to next week. Now wouldn’t that be something!

Just to show how much I blurred it all… here is one of the best shots I missed

Blurry birds, courtesy of hypergurl.com I’m told it can be much worse, I know it can because I did it later.

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