14 November 2007

Bird photography

I'm doing all sorts of experiments with my camera, now that its memory card is working fine. Having a 15× zoom has opened up my field of possibilities. Following the principle that if you paid a lot for it you should use it a lot, I'm taking the camera with me every day and trying to get pictures of things I couldn't picture before, such as birds perched in high branches or just looking around for bugs in the ground.

Pájaro en el jacarandá

I'm not a bird fan, really; I can't relate to those little, expressionless beings like I can with mammals. But they do make for good photos, when they stop moving. (This city is just a big little town and people in the street eventually get to know you, and I fear that soon they'll recognize me at once as the guy who walks stealthily and mutters "why can't you stand still, you damn bird!" every time his prey suddenly decides to move.)

Since the only alternative would be shooting stuffed birds in a natural history museum, I can live with those little feathered devils. And they do sometimes manage to be expressive in ways that resemble us higher lifeforms.


Sparrows, doves, ovenbirds and kiskadees make up the bulk of urban species here. I haven't been able to go on a field trip looking out for birds and other wild animals, so mine are all urban specimens. Some (like sparrows) are clearly accustomed to human presence. Others (like kiskadees) seem to flee as soon as they have you in their line of sight, unless you're very far away. These take a lot of zooming power to get a decent picture.


I may have a chance to picture a wider variety of wild birds soon, as we're going on a photo safari to a woods next weekend.

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