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lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

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Sunday, 05 December 2010 12:19

thumb2 Wildlife photography – the beauty of the moment

 

I was thinking about the title of this article and ended up with this rather vague and neutral term “beauty of the moment”. Already for some time I wonder what some photographers mean by saying “this is the nature how I see it” or “I want to photograph that scene differently then others”. These statements seems a bit selfish to me, especially when it comes to the bird photography, but maybe I am still too much a beginner to construct such a strong opinions… My thoughts are, that the best thing on wildlife photography is the fact that you never know what happens the next moment, what species of bird (animal) you will see and if you ever get a chance to make a picture of it. Please note that I am talking about wildlife photography – not about captive birds that are quite easy to handle and arrange according your best ideas. I do not want to criticize the photographic workshops with captive animals, I just want to emphasize that when we do real wildlife photography, it is in most cases about accidental encounters with animals and the only thing you can do to have better chance for good picture is to get to know your camera really well. Again – I omit one thing that is even more critical – you need to know the species you want to capture and you need to know how to behave in the nature, but as I said, now I talk purely about photography…If I was to judge the hit rate of my photo trips, I would probably say that in one out of three or four cases I take a picture of at least one bird species with at least good technical quality. The rate for really nice captures of wildlife animals would be even lower. It also depends on the locality of course but it is more than clear that wild-bird photography is most of the time about casual encounters and we cannot really talk about arranging our photos in any way. Even if you prepare for anything, you set up the hide, lure the bird with food or recorded call, the animal is not a robot – sometimes it comes, sometimes not; sometimes it shows you amazing performance, sometimes it keeps showing you its back or hiding behind the branches. It makes some photographers furious but……

 

Unexpected encounter with Golden Plover

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But why I talk about this at all? It is because I feel sorry that quite big deal of photographers is mad about getting the best action shots of birds and they keep forgetting all the beauty all around us. According to my own experience I think, that every wildlife photographer must after some time spent in nature come to a stage of the overwhelming bewitchment (in spite of the fact that “passion for nature” is the magic phrase of every wildlife photographer – beginner). When we start really to care about nature it brings us a new levels of perception of nature and its better understanding, which in turns gives us more opportunities to capture its beauties. It is much easier to take amazing shot of hunting Egret in Florida than an average picture of Crow or Treecreeper here in Europe. But if you, instead of going for a week to Florida, put the same effort to explore your neighborhood, you might be lucky to get fantastic shots of some of locally common but rather difficult-to-photograph species. As for me, I was lately amazed by e.g. a series of Treecreeper of Jirka Míchal, the beautiful Goldfinches of Libor Jabůrek or the Long-eared Owl of Martin Mecnarowski. I could go on and on with loads of other names but that is not an intension of this article – you can find your own favorites, there is a plenty of wildlife photographers today and everyone of them has some amazing moments to share with you so take some time and explore their websites, it is worth doing and you can also learn something useful…

 

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

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The pictures accompanying this article just illustrate how the coincidence worked for me during one late September morning at the migration locality Herdla near Norwegian Bergen. The spot is popular for the local birdwatchers as it offers wide meadows and gentle shores that can be overlooked easily with the scope but the place can be a hell for photographer – the birds usually fly away before you notice them. As many times before, that morning I was returning back to the car with hardly any picture on my CF card. The little wader strolling in the grass in a distance in front of me seemed to be more a teaser than a real opportunity for photography but to my surprise the bird did not fly away when I came closer so I took a chance and spent some time photographing it. There is not much action in these pictures indeed but for me, there is a great beauty in them, the beauty of one autumn morning and a few moments spent with this, maybe common but beautiful Dunlin.

 

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

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So, how is “the nature how I see it”…? It is full of surprises and luckily it never behaves as we sometimes desire it should. I wish to all of us many remarkable moments in the nature – the wonders happen all around us, we just need to watch carefully…

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 08:34
 
Comments (51)
  • Jirka

    Máš naprostou pravdu Jirko, také nejraději fotografuji v okolí bydliště, většinou kam dojdu pěšky a mám vždy velkou radost, že se něco povede, případně že najdu pro sebe nový druh, i když by to nemělo zase jít do extrémů a neodmítat cesty za fotografováním.

  • J Slama

    Ahoj Jirko, ja take neodmitam cesty do zahranici, to je myslim na webu take videt :-) ale zkratka si cenim vice tech veci, pro ktere se musim nadrit. Tvoji Soupalci jsou bombovi!

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