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Birds of a Feather

It has been a very different experience for me today.  I went out and did nature photography, not something I have done much of before.  I was contacted recently by a man called Ted, who had seen my blog and was interested in helping me with my field trips.  We met today and he took me out to scout some new places.

It was pretty amazing.  We went to a man’s place, Keith, near Birchip who was really happy to show us the Tawny Frogmouth Owl that was nesting in a tree near their house.  I haven’t really shot birds before, but hey, I am willing to try.

I don’t really have the right lenses for taking images like this.  I used the cheap 70 to 300mm zoom, but it really wasn’t enough.  I had to crop the image a lot, and a lot of the images I took were out of focus, it really isn’t a good lens.  This bird is a native here in Australia.

The lens was terrible for this.  This is a Wedge Tail Eagle and they are very very hard to get close to.  I really had to crop this a lot , probably could never print it, but it gives you a better idea.  Ted had a great lens for this kind of photography.

The tree on the right, can you see that large bunch in the bare branches, that is the nest for the eagles.  It is so big, you can compare the size with the sheep down below.  I love this image, very Australian, very Mallee.

It was such an interesting trip.  I saw so many places I would like to go back and photograph.

Of course part of the reason for going out to take these images is to find places to take people out to take photos.  It is too late to do it this year now, summer is almost here and the Mallee is horrible to take photos in in the summer, too many snakes, and the light is so harsh.  Hopefully early next year we can start offering them.

I am out on my own tomorrow, hoping to find some new places.

47 Comments
  1. Something I think you should continue doing. I would like to see more of the wildlife down under.

    October 4, 2012
    • Thank you Colline, I don’t mind doing it a little, but one of the biggest problems with Australian wildlife is that most of it is nocturnal, I’m asleep when it is awake. Haha.

      October 8, 2012
      • Too true 🙂

        October 8, 2012
  2. Welcome to the bird photography club. It is VERY addictive. Ideally you need at least a 400mm lens. Check out Tom Tarrant’s images on Flickr (under Aviceda). He’s near Brisbane. The frogmouth is nice 🙂

    October 4, 2012
    • Thanks Andrew, but I won’t be doing a lot of it. I don’t have the right equipment, and I won’t be getting it, I don’t really know birds except for the obvious, it was nice to do it once, and maybe every now and then, but that is it.

      October 8, 2012
  3. As Andrew said “Welcome to the Bird Photography Club” Unless you photography captured Birds (sorry Andrew) even a 400 mm will not be enough I have a 500 mm and it still isn’t big enough! Image stablizing lense are a must unless you are very very very good 😉 Good Quality Glass is also extremely important ( and of course expensive) But the results are worth it in the long run and so is the chase to get “That One Shot” best of luck on your new adventure 😉

    October 4, 2012
    • Thanks Rick, but I won’t be pursuing bird photography, it was fun, and I enjoyed it, but I won’t to pursue other photography, plus I could never afford the right equipment. Nice idea. 🙂 Ted, who took me out had a 150 to 500mm lens, I haven’t seen the photos he got, so I have no idea how he went.

      October 8, 2012
  4. I like that first photo quite a lot. That bird and the tree favor your unique editing.

    October 4, 2012
    • Thank you Paul, I did my best to make the bird stand out more, it really does blend in with the tree.

      October 8, 2012
  5. Oh, cool! Now I get to see some of *your* critters! 😀

    October 4, 2012
    • Thanks Marie, we don’t get to see many of them, most of ours are nocturnal. 🙂 You definitely won’t be seeing any snakes, I see them and I don’t stick around for a photo.

      October 8, 2012
  6. It’s wonderful how photography is not just about the pictures, but about the experience of seeing new things and exploring. I love the last one!

    October 4, 2012
    • Yes, that is so true and it can be a great experience. I love trying new things, always a challenge. Thank you Dieu.

      October 8, 2012
  7. Jennay #

    I love owls….never captured one though!! Very pretty!!

    October 5, 2012
    • This was my first Jennay, they are beautiful. Thank you.

      October 8, 2012
  8. How fun! You do have an interesting life! I have tried to photograph birds with that same lens with exactly the same result! What lens should you use?

    October 5, 2012
    • It was fun Marsha, I think to do birds seriously you would need a 600mm or an 800mm, they cost thousands and thousands, I am not into it enough, beyond a passing bit of fun. There are some people who love doing it though. I don’t think my life is that interesting, I just take lots and lots of photos. I wish I could travel more. It would be nice to make money from this, then I could do all that. Thanks Marsha.

      October 8, 2012
  9. The owl picture was lovely Leanne and I agree with another blogger here — nature photography should be persued! I love it and the more of us out there taking these pictures, the more awareness we put out in the collective about how precious nature is. How protecting it, respecting it and being good stewards is more important than ever! I’d love to see more wildlife from your neck of the woods.

    October 5, 2012
    • I like the idea of pursuing the nature aspect, but not the birds so much. The area up there is so different to most parts of Australia, and I wonder if I shouldn’t do a whole series on it, of course the hard part is getting access to it. I don’t have a 4WD, What you say is so right.
      I would love to photograph our unique wildlife, but most of it sleeps during the day and it is too hard to get them. Though if I see them, I photograph them.

      October 8, 2012
  10. These images are truly fine, Leanne, poor lens and all! The landscape with the nest is so very intriguing, and love your processing on that one. If that’s what the Mallee looks like, gosh, would I love to have the $$$ to visit! Have a great time, and take lots!

    October 5, 2012
    • Thank you 1000, the lens is a cheap and nasty one, so it was good to get some nice shots. That is what the Mallee looks like pretty much. I am trying to get a heap of photos, more of what the place is like, the landscape rather than just abandoned buildings. Would love to take you up one day.

      October 8, 2012
      • Another Thousand Words #

        Would love to be there with you and thanks so much for the invitation…but I am not allowed to travel, or do anything that requires too much sitting. I have even been doing exercise when I watch a favorite program!

        October 9, 2012
      • That is such a shame. I don’t travel because I can’t afford to do it. I hope you will enjoy my country through my photos.

        October 9, 2012
  11. Thanks for this post, Leanne. When I started blogging it was the writing I was interested in and photography was something I didn’t expect to enjoy. Having visited so many wonderful photography blogs that is changing. First of all I just visited to enjoy the photographs but now I am really interested to read how you capture the images and use techniques to enhance them.

    I see another wonderful hobby in the making.

    Thanks again

    Corinne at soulsnet

    October 5, 2012
    • Thank you Corinne, it is very addictive, I love my photography, in case you hadn’t worked that out :). I really enjoy doing the blog as well. It is always wonderful to hear from people who also enjoy what I do. Thank you do much.

      October 8, 2012
  12. Love the photo of the owl. It’s really nice of the man to take you out scouting. Sometimes, all you really need is connection. Great job.

    October 5, 2012
    • Yes, connections have been wonderful and they have allowed me access to places I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I think people up there are very keen for my trips to work and really want to help me get them going. I think they feel it would be good for them as well, I would hope so. Thank you.

      October 8, 2012
  13. That first shot is amazing. Not that the others aren’t good as well, but that first one of the owl up in the tree really captures attention. Great work!

    October 5, 2012
    • Thank you, I was worried people would think the Owl didn’t stand out enough. It is a funny bird and it made it hard to photograph. Thank you.

      October 8, 2012
  14. I like the photo of the owl!
    Looking forward to follow your next experiences from Mallee 🙂

    October 5, 2012
    • Thank you Truels, I hope you have enjoyed what I have done so far.

      October 8, 2012
  15. Love tawny frogmouths.

    October 5, 2012
    • Thank you, they are quite amazing.

      October 8, 2012
  16. Lovely shots here Leanne. Totally agree with Andrew, it’s highly addictive; a few weeks ago I went to my local park to see if I could find any Dragonflies, saw a blue Heron (one of a pair it turns out!) & fell totally in love. I’ve been to the park every day since trying to capture that “one shot” of them in flight.

    October 5, 2012
    • I hope you have managed to capture it. I don’t know about doing anymore. It isn’t something I’ve ever been interested in, there was an opportunity to take some shots and I took them, but I wouldn’t go looking for them. But I do understand the obsession, I feel that way about other types of photography. Thank you.

      October 8, 2012
  17. Nice change and a very good start Leanne! 🙂 I’ve seen some birds around the cattle that I’ve been wanting to take pics of, and I’m sure taking pictures of birds are not as easy as it sounds, so we’ll see how it goes for me once I get around to it. 🙂

    October 5, 2012
    • Thank you Zelmare, You should have a go, it is hard, they fly around so much. I think the worst part is that you need really good telephoto lens. I had up to 300mm which was too small, especially for the Eagle. Though I wouldn’t go out and buy expensive lenses for doing bird photography, I’m not interested enough. 🙂

      October 8, 2012
  18. Good on you for going with new ideas. I really like the Tawny Frogmouth image, it seems you’ve captured the spirit of it was well. The eagle nest is also very good.

    October 6, 2012
    • Thank you EllaDee, I don’t know if I would have done it if Keith wasn’t so passionate about showing it to us. An opportunity arose and I took it. I love the nest as well. I can’t believe how big it is.

      October 8, 2012
  19. Well I think each of those shots is quite nice, but the last of the bunch with the eagle nest that could eat the sheep below is fabulous. I guess we won’t be seeing any Mallee snake photos…

    October 6, 2012
    • Thank you Sid, I quite like that one as well. Oh no, no, no no photos of the Mallee snakes, when you see snakes you don’t hang around to photograph them. Especially tiger snakes, they like to attack. I am so pleased I didn’t see any.

      October 8, 2012
  20. The Tawny Frogmouth is the most fascinating, unreal looking bird I ever saw. I would love to see one in person. Strange birds from “another time”. 🙂

    October 7, 2012
    • It is a funny looking bird, it even has whiskers. I suppose we are used to seeing funny creatures, nearly all our wildlife is a bit strange. I hope you get a chance to see one one day. 🙂 Thank you George.

      October 8, 2012
      • Me too! I’ve only seen ONE roadrunner since I’ve lived in Texas. My chances of seeing a Tawny Frogmouth are fairly remote! 😦

        October 8, 2012
      • YOu never know George, maybe you will come here one day and I will show you one, 🙂

        October 9, 2012
  21. So beautiful and peaceful 🙂

    October 16, 2012
    • Thank you Amanda, it was. 🙂

      October 17, 2012

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