Nature Study Group #1: Jon C. Allanson
Goal: To photograph the darter
Source: Pentax K5 with Sigma 135-400mm lens. Exposure 1/500 sec at f8, ISO 400 at 400mm length.
Technique: In Yala National Park, Sri Lanka, having watched the darter fishing I took a number of images of it in the water but wanted to show the whole bird rather than jts its neck. When it approached the shore I saw the opportunity to photograph it as it climbed out of the water.
Processing: Cropping, the bird sharpened with High Pass and curves/levels adjustments made.
Study Group Comments and Scores (N, T, P, E, Total)
Posted by sharonp on Mar 6th, 2013This is certainly an unusual bird, and one I am not familiar with. I wish there was something in the frame that would give me a clue as ot its size. You must have had a great deal of patience to wait for it to climb out of the water. The bird's pose gives me a sense of its forward motion. The light is harsh and the breast is in dark shadow. Adjusting highlights and shadows might bring out more detail in the feathers. Personally, I would consider cropping a bit more off the bottom - perhaps back to that first row of grass. I don't think that would eliminate any important information about the environment.
N = 2 T = 2 P = 2 T= 6
Posted by gautamb on Mar 17th, 2013I have found it always very difficult to compose this bird in the frame, primarily for its long neck and very small eyes. In India they call it the darter or the snake bird. As you rightly point out, in water most of its body remains submerged on the neck is out. This bird after coming out from water spreads its wings to dry them and preens itself, a good time to make some images.
The lighting in the image is a bit harsh leading to very dark, almost black belly.
N=2, T=2, P=2, Total=6
Posted by danc on Mar 29th, 2013You accomplished your goal but need to expand your goal beyond photographing a record of the bird. You did catch some story in this shot but I do not feel you caught the strongest possible story. If it had not been for the glistening of the water on the feathers, even that story would be gone. The Darter is the old world counterpart of our American Anhinga and can provide many similar story opportunities. Both are in the Genus Anhinga. The next step here would be opening her wings to start the drying process. Unlike ducks, Darters do not have waterproofing oils on their feathers which is why you frequently see them in an open wing pose to dry them out before their next dive.
N2, T2, P2 = 6
You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »
I am retired after 29 years primary school teaching and eight years working part time for a major photographic retailer. My main interest at present other than photography is travelling and I undertake 3 or 4 trips abroad every year plus visits to parts of the UK.
I became involved in club photography in 1985 when I joined the North Cheshire Photographic Society and have held a number of positions within the society over the years. More recently I become more involved in the Royal Photographic Society where I was the regional secretary for a number of years. I am a member of the executive of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union – the umbrella organisation for photographic clubs in the region - where I am responsible for the production and circulation of folios of images around the clubs. I lecture on digital and travel photography and judge at clubs around the region.
Since the early 80s I have used Pentax equipment. I first started with digital in 1996 using PhotoDelux. I currently use CS3 and Lightroom 3 outputting to a Canon 9100 or an Epson R2400 printer.
I achieved my LRPS in 1998 with a panel of digital images and the award of CPAGB in 1999 with traditional colour and mono prints. I regularly enter PDIs in both national and international exhibitions in the UK and have had over 180 acceptances including 92 in the BPE exhibitions gaining me the BPE2* award, nearly half of these acceptances were for nature images.