Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Silvereyes Bonanza - An Afternoon Feast

This afternoon, I had an absolute blast capturing a bunch of shots I'm quite pleased with. It was slightly overcast, a "conveniently located" branch of the bottlebrush was starting to go into full bloom, and I still had my camera in 8fps AF drive from yesterday's bread-feeding frenzy...

These are just some of favourites from the set.. More are included down below

Usually I stick with the slower 3/4 fps mode, since that's usually sufficient without creating too many near-duplicates to sort through, but when then again, the silvereyes are quite fast moving. This proved to be a wise move, as I ended up with quite a few neat shots this way, as the shot rate ticked over quickly enough to catch some great inbetween moments.

That said, even with this setup, I still ended up only snapping bursts of 2-3 shots at a time. While I could theoretically do more, experience has taught me that usually, I take the first shot 90% of the time, the second one about half the time (mostly if the first shot was OOF, but occasionally, if it stands up on its own merits), and hardly anything beyond that ever. Besides, that "spray and pray" mentality just seems very crude/unskillful. There's also the fact that when you've got a camera clacking away at those kinds of high speeds, it's kindof rather conspicuous... it makes quite a loud and angry sound, which really isn't something you really want when within 2 meters of your targets (who can and do take flight at the slightest provocation - it literally only takes a slight finger-twitch to send them fleeing at times).


The resulting photos in this set are some of the best shots I've gotten of the silvereyes in the years I've been photographing them coming to my window. Especially when you consider that in all of these, you can see the feather detail, catchlights in the eyes for most shots, there's a relatively clear background and heaps of blooming flowers in frame. Oh, and the colours of the birds are as rich and clear as they appear in real life.

The only slight downside I guess were the white-ish reflections on parts of the glass, which made things a bit less ideal (damned reflections! I'm not sure exactly what was causing them, but I've found that using a polariser doesn't actually block these specific types of reflections as much as many tutorials would have you think, while having the negative side effect of generally decreasing the exposure by between 2/3-1 stop + a bit more at random times).

Welcome to Paradise

Enjoying the View

 A Bit of Funky Business...

Changing Places

A Visitor/Mate Arrives...
*Cue Jaws music*  Duuh... Duh!

... Duuh Duh! Duuh Duh! Dah Dah! ...

The Feast Continues... Until the Human is Spotted...




 (Just act normal...)

(Just act normal...)

Birdie in Flight!



(I really love those little white tufts of fluff just under the wings)

Business as Usual

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