Photographing Birds and Animals require lots of patience and tolerance. They are very sensitive to sound and movements. Due to our enthusiasm and anxiety we tend to get close to these birds and animals to get a better picture and the result is they are gone or we get pictures in unwanted angles. Best thing to shoot these creatures is to use long zoom lens, on a tripod or support camera with fixed bracket. Mostly photographs of Animals and Birds are termed as spontaneous pictures unless we are covering a whole life-habitat project on particular area or animal. Exposure and settings of camera vary from location, environment,time and season. Simple way to start is visit a local zoo and give your best shots...though there is difference in wildlife photography and tamed animal photography.

This picture was taken in Denver Zoo during daylight. Great attraction to photographers are these big cats which are wild and yet tamed in closed environment. Noticed this Tiger playing with a plastic lid in small pond to capture the moment. Note the colors of rocks and tiger skin blending to dull contrast with stripes marking the difference. Set my focal length at 190 mm and f-stop at 5.6 with ISO on 500.

Dancing Delight.
Noticed a peacock being happy with onset of rain and weather becoming cloudy and cool. It spread its feathers to full fan mode and started moving around carefully to its tunes making pleasant noises from its throat. Took close-up shot trying to balance  and highlight the radial pattern of feathers from one corner to backdrop with the subjects head being at one corner. Felt happy to capture this angle since many prefer to take photos of peacock in front facing mode. Used  18-55 mm lens with f-stop at 5 and shutter speed at 1/100 sec. on 55 mm focal length.

Another good example for careful exposure. Got this shot at close encounter in a enclosure . There was sun light falling on its face in 60 degree angle exposing its facial expressions which show that this lizard is enjoying the sun bath. Notice the texture of its skin with scales and its claws hooking over the trunk. It is a good example for spontaneous photography where you need to capture the moment instantly. Took at 4.5 f-stop setting with ISO speed at 500 and exposure time being 1/100 sec.

Good example for close up encounters in photography. Took this picture in dark environment and used pop-up flash at 65 degree angle. Enclosure had thick glass to cover the subject. I was focusing on this Red Lemur and was waiting for good moment to capture its expressions. Small boy tapped on glass and it looked at me. Instantly, I flashed the unit and was happy with the result. Red Lemurs fur and Its surprised looks added Icing  to this photo.

Spots on body and fierce looks are assets to this picture. Pale tone of Leopard's body in the bright green grass around the animal gave good contrast to visual settings. It was difficult to capture this animal in frame, which was restless and constantly moving. Patience pays. Got finally a good snap and that too in close-up. Used Canon 55-250 mm lens with exposure time at 1/160 sec and set f-stop to 5.6.

Wednesday 31, August, 2011

Birds - Spontaneous Moments

Moving around with camera and looking for best, cool and attractive instances is most common attitude of a photographer. Be it for landscapes, for coverage of mass movements, for taking street shots, for taking pictures in wild jungles etc. Capturing them at right moment in right place with correct balance is what finally matters….It feels well when you get nice photos after spending hours of time on locations and subjects in photography. One interesting field to cover for spontaneous moments with special emphasis on Birds is somewhat risky and time consuming. Birds are generally conscious and sensitive to human interference around their settings and give us less chance to capture them at close-up shots. But you get lucky sometimes in capturing such moments on birds and here I am showing you some examples…

This photo was taken in India near Taj Mahal, a tourist location at Agra. Birds alter their practices and behavior according to environment they live and fly. This is good example how this Maina got adapted to human articles within its domain. Maina was about to take off carrying piece of paper with its beak maybe to embed it in its nest and I got this with my camera. It was swift and gave less time to click. 

Maybe this Pigeon made Chandelier as its nest or rest place and was sitting within when I noticed. I liked the way this bird was positioned from photography point of view. It was as if hiding to be un-noticed and at the same time wants to cover who is around from its place.  Covered this shot with 35mm lens with f-stop at 5 and exposure time being 1/60 seconds at ISO 400.

Too many birds in one frame with different action sequences are good examples for Single Snapshots on Bird Photography. We get these chances mostly with small birds living in groups in one common location like old buildings, big buildings, feeding areas and near ponds/lakes. I took this shot with several birds in flying mode at a tourist location. I clicked this at 1/1000 second exposure time with same ISO speed. Notice carefully different flying positions of birds in single frame. Its fun…

Everyone loves Flamingo's…The color and beauty of this bird makes me sit and watch for hours, its actions and behavior. This is one such moment, I captured when this American Flamingo was trying to pick some food from water. I took these continuous shots using zoom lens at 110mm focal length with exposure time of 1/200 seconds at f-stop 11. When viewed as single picture it can be funny to see bird with its head totally being in water…   

I got this photo of Salmon Crested Cockatoos with beautiful eyes and clear face looking at camera for a good moment to capture. Cute little birds of Indonesian origin gave good posture in a diorama setting. I used external flash to balance the exposure with 55mm lens.

I took this picture of American White Pelicans in a golf course one early morning. These birds were enjoying the sunlight and relaxing. One bird showed its beak wide open allowing me to see the clear and transparent sac of beak through the lens. I felt happy in capturing the moment quickly as it is hard to see these birds in close range with happy feelings. Lens: Canon 55-250mm, f-stop: 5.6, exposure: 1/320 and ISO: 100

I took this picture of Great Colorado Cormorant which was sitting and drying its feathers at a lake. I took great care in clicking this moment without any disturbance around the bird. I thought I cannot see the birds face as I was at its back, but it suddenly turned its face and I immediately captured the shot. I got clear features of bird with shinning waters in background using my zoom lens. Notice the bluish green eye of bird with yellow crest near the beak.

The Ferruginous Hawk in landing posture…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wildlife - Close up Photos

It is very common to click pictures of animals when you are visiting a zoo or a sanctuary. Several people now are using their mobiles or point and click cameras which are easy to handle and readily available to use when we encounter animals at a distance in cage or in an open jungle/safari. Animals as subjects in photography are easy to frame since we adjust ourselves mostly to get well balanced picture using good cameras. At the same time they are difficult to picture since they are not in our control to get nice angles and positions. With the modern DSLR’s it became easy to aim at these Animals/Birds using Tele/Zoom lenses and get close-ups. Tele lenses with built-in magnification and crop factor enable to click nice wild life pictures at close ups. Some  Photographers use Macro Lens to picture good close ups if animals /birds are tamed and are at close encounter.

Few pictures of animals/birds I took at close ups are shown here…I am not giving the technical details of each picture since all of these are photographed using Canon 300mm zoom lens with different ISO and Exposure settings.

Click on each picture to see in large format

Effort was to highlight Lemurs face and eyes.

I made  an attempt to capture the facial expressions of white faced Capuchin.

Hmm!!! I see you.....I guess, you need no Introduction of me....

I focused on Elephant Skin Texture  and facial wrinkles.

Can you see Bear Smiling?

This is Colorado Black Fox. It is hard to see this animal in open places during day time. I captured picture of this Fox at a close range. Used 35-80mm lens and focused on facial features and eyes of Fox. 

This is Mountain Red Fox staring at Lens. I took this picture in open lands of a farm house.  Shy with humans and social with small animals...Came for hunting during day time???

This is head of a Crowned Crane. My Intention was to capture Cranes Crown and facial colors.

This bird always mesmerizes...Giving a cautious move or not to move...

Look at the smooth texture of this Penguins skin. But see the crooked and fuzzy beak too...

This is a close up look of great Rhinoceros Horn-bill's beak. Smooth shades and strong bones are worth watching...

I got this Harris Hawk close up with great difficulty...It was constantly moving and was impatient. Patience pays in Wildlife Photography...

Have you seen this Great Horned Owl? It is pleasant to watch the birds eye's which are yellow and big. Note my images in the bird's eyes.

I got this very cool and calm posture from a domestic bird in wild open space. Good combination of black and white feathers normally seen in Barred Plymouth Rock Hen.

This is close up shot of a Katydid (Green Leaf Bug). A Macro lens would give better picture, but took this shot using Zoom lens. Got satisfied results. See.. it is looking at you....

Wednesday, November 09, 2011 

Birds in Action

Everyone loves nature photography. Birds moving around in wild jungles to those flying in our backyard are good subjects to capture as pictures and cherish the moments. It is hard to get closer and get good expressions of these birds specially when they are in flight but little patience and techniques can result in good examples in nature photography. Use of nice equipment like powerful Tele lenses to sharp skills in fine tuning the lenses will result in perfect photos of moving birds which I term – Birds in Action. It is a challenge to capture these birds in flight as they are quick and fast in action. Patience, quick reflexes and fast shutter speeds will give us nice results in flight pictures of Birds in Action.

Few pictures I took on birds in action are shown here. 

Click on each picture to see in large format

I liked this picture which is dramatic in appearance. It shows a single Ring - Billed Gull flying high in air at one corner and four gulls sitting on individual poles at other corner of photo. With light blue sky as backdrop and subjects at corners this picture is just like a screen saver.
Lens: 55mm, f-stop: 9, Exposure: 1/400, ISO: 100.

This picture shows solo flight of Red Tailed Falcon up in the sky. Details of bird are not that clear but shows the design and pattern of feathers under its wings which are captured in action during flight of bird.

I captured the action of the bird as silhouette. Note the technique in showing the details of tree in light and capturing the action of bird in shadow form. Lens: 300mm, f-stop: 5.6, Exposure: 1/800, ISO: 200.

This is similar to above picture…but the challenge is can you find the second bird in the picture? There are two birds in this frame.

Birds of a feather flock together...

This is a good picture showing group of birds chasing an American Bald Eagle (which is declared as Endangered Specie). I noticed couple of times this Eagle flying around in my neighborhood and this was one instance, I captured this bird in action. Notice the action of small birds. They all are in synchronized form while chasing the big bird in sky.

These two pictures show birds in flying action in a group.

The Landing...

These three pictures show birds in action specially while landing. Two are showing the action sequences of Black Billed Magpie and the third one shows the landing action of Green Winged Teal in a pond. The fluttering action of wings are captured in these photos.

Feeder Fight...Flight...

The following four action pictures of Red Winged Black Bird of Colorado are captured while they are attempting to grab seeds from a feeder. These birds like sunflower seeds and go crazy when they see them. I made an attempt to capture the shots at high shutter speeds of 1/1250, 1400, 1600.

This is one of my favorite shots. Well balanced, clearly framed and timely clicked photo of European Starlings, which were trying to feed on blue berries of pine tree, is seen here.

Another photo showing Blue Jay trying to grab the sunflower seeds from the feeder. I liked this picture since I got the details of bird and fluttering action of wings clearly against the fading backdrop.