Earlier this week I made a quick visit to Bird Kingdom as part of some photography coaching I did with one of our readers. As always, Bird Kingdom was a fun experience, and even though I didn’t capture very many images I did end up with a few to share with you.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
We started out in the Explorer Base Camp section where a number of reptiles, macaws and parrots can be found. The image above is a typical capture. To make things a bit more challenging I shot it at 1/25th of a second, timing the movement of the Green Winged Macaw.
As the bird had just brought its foot up to its beak I tried to time my capture at the moment the bird appeared motionless.
I increased my shutter speed to 1/160 to try to avoid blurring of the bird’s tongue.
The image of the Blue and Gold Macaw above is another slow shutter speed test photograph captured at 1/25th of a second. While getting usable images using this slow shutter speed technique is more challenging it does help to keep ISO’s relatively low as you can see with the EXIF data below the photograph.
Tortoises and turtles are often very static subjects and I seldom hesitate to capture images at fairly slow shutter speeds, using 1/50th of a second with my CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 fully extended for the above image.
The light was more challenging for this ‘nose first’ image and even shooting at 1/60th resulted in me having to use ISO-3200.
Spending a few minutes in the Small Bird Aviary resulted in a couple of usable image captures, including the Green Singing Finch above, and the D’Arnaud’s Barbet below.
We paused for a few minutes in the Night Jungle. Given the tiny 1″ CX sensor in my Nkon 1 V2 getting usable images in this room has always been a challenge for me as I usually shoot at ISO-6400.
Shooting hand-held at 1/10th of a second with the 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 yielded the Egyptian Fruit Bat image above. Not great by any means, but a tad better than my usual attempts by being able to keep ISO at 3200 with a slower shutter speed.
We spent the balance of our limited time at Bird Kingdom in the Main Aviary where I was able to capture the above image of a Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill, and a couple of photographs of some Scarlett Ibis nesting…
One of my favourite birds at Bird Kingdom is the Blue-Breasted Kingfisher. I was finally able to get a decent photograph of one during my recent visit.
Using the dark shadows of its nesting box as a frame added some dramatic contrast to the following image of a Blue and Gold Macaw.
As you’ll see in the EXIF data, I’ve been continuing to experiment with slower shutter speed captures. The image above was taken at 1/40th with my CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 fully extended.
The pair of Sun Conure were preening each other, necessitating a faster shutter speed of 1/250.
No trip to Bird Kingdom, regardless of how long the visit, would be complete without images of a Guinea Turaco, or a Green Iguana.
All images were captured hand-held in available light using a Nikon 1 V2 and 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 and 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lenses. All images were processed from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 10 Elite, CS6 and Nik Suite.
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