Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pied Shags

The intent today was to go back to the Kingfishers, however the tides were against us and it was too cold for the Kingfishers to be out and about. So after photographing the odd shag on an unusual perch, we headed out to Makara.

We set ourselves up in the flight path of the shags and did our best to capture birds in flight. I figured this would be good practice for when I head up to Cape Kidnappers to photograph the gannets. It took me a while to work out the best settings on the camera to achieve what I was after, but I did manage to get some shots that I am pleased with.  The shags were very obliging, heading off past us every ten minutes or so.

We saw one hawk while we were there, he was being chased off by a pair of magpies. Once they disappeared out of site he came back for a brief fly over. I didn't get a close up of him because he was just too far away.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I had an hour to spare today before going to an event, so made the most of it at the Petone Estuary. The tight was out and the birds were feeding. Especially the kingfishers - they were everywhere! Today was the opposite of yesterday, I have so many great shots to process I almost don't know where to start :) Yesterday I was out for several hours and all I got was sore feet!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Working with Photoshop

Recently I upgraded my old PC and finally I have a computer capable of doing lots of work in Photoshop without freezing every 10 mins or so. I have been going back through some of the images from  my last shoot with the Burlesque girls and reworking them a little. The two lovely ladies below are Winnie Chester and Sadie Von Scrumptious.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The kingfisher and the crab

I am fast learning that bird photography has LOTS of challenges. Lately I have been following the tides with the sea birds, but this means that the light is not always how I would like it. Add Winter into the mix and a cloudy day and it wasn't ideal. Today I shot a heap images and am really not happy with any of them, I know I can do better. So I have put today's effort down to practice and will go out again at the next opportunity.

I did learn lots though and that was a bonus. I already know that Kingfishers are territorial birds, so if you see one somewhere you should be able to find it there again and again. Today I not only saw one but watched it fishing. Every ten minutes of so I would see it swoop down into the water, pluck something out and fly off. And every time I missed it!!  So I got stubborn and smart and focused on the water where it was fishing and waited. My hands were getting cold, my back was aching but I was determined to catch this bird fishing.

As it turns out I did catch it with a burst of six frames, but the light was against me and they are not the best of shots. They have shown me that I can do it, I just need to get the settings right and try again another day - and I most definitely will do just that!  Below are the images from that one burst of shots - they show the bird and the crab, just not as clear as I would like.

Got it!

Take off!

Heading back to the tree.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Royal Spoonbills

On the way back from Butterfly Creek (Auckland), we stopped at an Estuary in Manukau City. The tide was on it's way in and the sun was already down low but I couldn't resist getting the camera out when I saw the Spoonbills. I would love to go back there at the right time of day and try again.


A cold winter's day and the start of school holidays was not the best time of year to visit Butterfly Creek. There were people everywhere! The walkway was almost constantly shuddering which I could feel all the way up the monopod and into the camera. Add to that I was using my newest lens and had no idea what settings I needed it on to achieve usable shots and you can just imagine my frustration. That is, until I worked out the magic formula. After that almost every shot I took worked.