My world has been a pretty significant blur as of late, with a number of client projects taking high priority. This article features a selection of my favourite images from a recent visit to Bird Kingdom. Well… not that recent… it was back in February… but I only had time to go through my photographs this evening.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Many captive birds can be quite stoic, sitting quietly on their perches. I always find it fascinating when a bird opens its beak and provides a glimpse of its tongue. Somehow it helps a bird’s personality show through. Its almost as if they are whispering to me.
The bird in the above image was gnawing away at a thick branch adjacent to its perch. I had to time my capture when the bird paused momentarily to change its beak hold.
Details always grab my attention. Whether it be a bird’s eye, beak, feet, or feathers.
Some of the birds in the small aviary were more cooperative than normal. This provided opportunities to get a few full body photographs with nice, muted backgrounds.
Small birds can be quite nervous and jumpy, even in captive situations. Patience is often needed to capture a bird during a momentary pause in its animated behaviour.
Photographing a bird while it is in song almost always makes for a good capture.
For whatever reason, some of the specimen allowed me to get in fairly close to them, allowing me to capture some nice feather detail.
It isn’t often that I can get close enough to the silvery-cheeked hornbill at Bird Kingdom so that a photograph captures the details of its eye lashes.
When visiting Bird Kingdom I often position myself in such a way that I can shoot towards a muted, monochromatic background. Then I wait for a bird to come into my shooting zone.
Patience is often required, as I wait for a bird to turn its head to give me a nice front quarter view.
When photographing birds in captive venues, pre-selecting shooting angles and backgrounds often helps create good subject separation in an image. This can be especially important when shooting with a smaller sensor camera.
I very seldom do any spot adjustments to my bird images in post. The egret image above happens to be one of those ‘classic’ poses and exposures that requires some attention to detail. In this case it was dodging the iris of the bird.
One of the newest residents of Bird Kingdom is the boat-billed heron pictured above. It was perched quietly in partial shade, making it difficult to get an even exposure. I decided to try for a tighter image.
I made sure to move slowly and quietly as not to disturb the heron. This allowed me to get a good shooting angle and fully extend my 1 Nikkor 70-300 mm zoom.
Our last image is one of a Mandarin Duck, one of the most spectacular birds at the facility. I took quite a few images of these striking birds… an article featuring them may follow once I’ve had time to examine my images more fully.
My recent visit to Bird Kingdom proved to be very fruitful. Even though I’ve been to Bird Kingdom countless times in the past, I view every new visit with a sense of adventure.
All images were captured hand-held using camera gear as per the EXIF data. All images in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
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