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Birds of Zimbabwe

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grimelda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote grimelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Birds of Zimbabwe
    Posted: 05 September 2012 at 15:56
Hey there hi there ho there, dear Dyxumites!

This is no. 2 in my series about Zimbabwe, the country where I lived the first half of my life. In the ten years that I've been gone, the country has hardly made any progress; that is, it has started to recover from one of the worst financial crises the world has ever seen (I remember something around 2000000% inflation??).
Very tragic (and ironic) for a country that was once the most prosperous of africa, and whose currency is one of the few that can boast of once being more valuable than the British Pound Sterling. Thanks Bob Mugabe!


nex 7, rokkor 28/2.8, f4, 1/80, iso 200

Here you can see the most "valuable" zimbabwe dollar printed (1), the american dollar that was shortly after introduced (2) and how dirty those have become since april 2009 (3) since the american dollar was introduced, most of the country is back on track! Except ofcourse, the corrupt government of the dictator. At least you can get food and fuel, and everything is safe!

Sorry to bother you guys with this story, maybe some of you are interested in stories of a country far, far away!
Now here comes what you were promised by the title: BIRDS! I consider myself as a poor bird photoghrapher, because I dont prepare any shots, i dont know half the names of the birds I shoot, and I do it without a hide, monopod/tripod, etc. I simply just shoot some birds that i happen to encounter. Still im pretty proud of some of these:

1 & 2, a Sunbird checking out some tasty flowers

    
a200, minolta APO 100-300 @ 300mm, f8, 1/640, iso 200

3, a white LBJ all puffed up in the frosty morning
`
a200, minolta APO 100-300 @ 300mm, f8, 1/250, iso 400

4, a pied kindfisher was fishing all morning, very close to our tent. i sneaked up on it and took this picture:

a200, minolta APO 100-300 @ 300mm, f8, 1/1000, iso 400

5, a heron, ready to pounce. a few seconds before, a crocodile was perched just behind it (<2 metres away)

a200, minolta APO 100-300 @ 300mm, f7.1, 1/80, iso 400

6, the same heron, the next morning

a200, minolta APO 100-300 @ 300mm, f8, 1/2500, iso 400

7, a pearlspotted owlet perched in a tree, just 3 metres away from the dirt road. we had to double back to get this shot and luckily it just stayed there, and waited for me to take my picture

a200, minolta APO 100-300 @ 300mm, f7.1, 1/400, iso 200

8, unexpected visitors, these flamingos! They arent pink because they do not eat certain bacteria like their cousins in kenya. Pink isnt a flamingo's natural colour: they become pink because of abundance of carotene in their food.

a200, minolta APO 100-300 @ 300mm, f8, 1/1000, iso 200

edit: here is a link to my "Landscapes of Zimbabwe"

Edited by grimelda - 06 September 2012 at 18:09
 



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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2012 at 01:01
Excellent series with the second sunbird -- the silhouette -- being my favourite.
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homeranger View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote homeranger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2012 at 03:43
Very nice. I particularly like the pearl-spotted owlet. I appreciate the narrative just as much.
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grimelda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote grimelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2012 at 18:06
heh, i too prefer the silhouette of the sunbird! its just such a pity that you cant see its brilliant colours on that one. Thats why I included the other!

thanks for the positive reactions!
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ijsvogel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ijsvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2012 at 18:59
very nice picture`s , i see you dad a great time there

greetings
gustav
my picture`s

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Alex H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alex H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2012 at 11:13
Grimelda, "better beamer" or "flash extender" would help lighten up the sunbird on the second picture. It is an excellent shot.

It may also look nice if You turn it into "real" silhouette, with white sky and black bird+flower.

Alex
 



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grimelda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote grimelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2012 at 11:49
Alex- i liked your idea. here we go!





i think a white sky would be too harsh- id like to keep some contrast with the flowers (which are brigher than the sky.
on second thoughts, posting this, i think i might have crushed the shadows a bit too much... dont you think?
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grimelda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote grimelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2012 at 11:52
ohyeah, and that better beamer sounds like a real handy tool!
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Alex H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alex H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2012 at 12:38
Not what I envisioned, but the second (cropped) version is very much to my liking!!!

What I thought is to select all the sky and turn it white, and then invert the selection and turn everything else in black. Make it duo-tone picture. Try it and see if You like it.

The bird posture in this shot is so characteristic and so photogenic that it give ample opportunities for cropping and post-processing, even though the lighting in the original photo was challenging.
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