Watch your background

The scene is set. At last the bird you have waited for, for so long is right there in front of you. You have waited an eternity for this opportunity and clickerty click, click goes the hard working camera.

Zoned out and seeing long

When that opportunity comes and that bird is right in front of us, our focus tends to be locked on to that bird and our world is reduced to that distance between us and our prize. Our attention to detail is trapped in the zone between us and our subject and we don’t notice things outside of that zone and beyond. Sometimes we are guilty of missing some small out of focus object between us and our subject as we tend to see past/through things, but equally important is what is beyond our subject.
Seeing long, seeing beyond our subject is a skill that needs to be developed as a failure to do so can cause us to miss elements that rob the image of its potential emotional impact.

Firstly the most important person you need to impress with your image is YOU. All the others that ooh & ahh over your image are meaningless if all you can see is a great big blooper staring back at you and if only you could go back in time and reposition your self so that the background of your image did not detract from your image.

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kōtare the Sacred Kingfisher

The Sacred Kingfisher or kōtare in Māori inhabits much of our coastal areas here in New Zealand during the winter and invades the interior during the summer to nest and raise young.

Closely related genetically to the Australian Kookaburra, both are classified as Kingfishers and both wield a disproportionately hefty bill to body size.

All the images in this essay are available for sale as prints, to learn more about an image click on the image itself.

Meet some of the characters.

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Mackenzie Magic

 Mackenzie Basin Magic –  The Great Southern Rock Wren Trip – part 7

In my last post, we had just passed through the Danseys Pass, the weather was cold, wet and the Pass itself seemed a very desolate place. However the further nor-west we headed towards the Mackenzie country, the brighter the sky became.
The Mackenzie marks the southernmost boundary between the South Canterbury Region and Otago and has to be my most favourite part of the South Island.
There is a very good reason for this, the Mackenzie has something special going for it no matter which season or weather conditions.

Summer 

Summer in the Mackenzie has a hot dry heat that does not seem to soak up your energy, unlike more humid places. This lady is enjoying her biking across the Mackenzie basin on a beautiful and very hot summers day.

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Falconing around in Central Otago

Falconing around in Central Otago The Great Southern Rock Wren Trip –  part 6

After our exciting trip through the Nevis valley with the sun beating down on us the day before, it was quite a shock to wake to a very cold and bleak day the next morning.
Today we had plans to hunt for a pair of famous kārearea or the New Zealand bush falcons that frequent the Poolburn area. The first and only time I had been up there previously the road had been closed because of snow, so was unable to reach the top, but I saw 3 kārearea from the wagon that day lower down.

This time, my second attempt to get to the dam up the top there was no snow, so up the wagon climbed to the top of the hills we went, looking for bush falcons except there was no bush and no Falcons.
These birds live completely out in the open in central Otago region which was very novel for us as our North Island birds never seem to stray far from the bush. As we climbed higher up the road the temperature plummeted.

We scanned the large rock formations each side of the road searching for the classic and distinctive telltale silhouette of the kārearea against the steel grey sky.

A perfect rock for a karearea to sit atop on the lookout for prey except there weren’t no kārearea. There is something starwarsy about this rock.

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The nervous Nevis

The Nervous Nevis The Great Southern Rock Wren Trip – part 5

Our last instalment left our heroes staring somewhat nervously at the gate to the Nevis track. All over that gate and posts surrounding that gate were a plethora of warnings about the tracks ruthlessness during the winter months.
While this was mid-autumn, it had been a very wet autumn.

However, there was no turning back so up the track we went gaining height rapidly trying to ignore that nagging apprehension deep in my Tummy. This is a long track and a long walk out if we got stuck.

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