Birds of River Suir

stonechat

Looking into the viewfinder I spotted a tiny bird flitting about in the waist-high vegetation before it landed on top of the cement pole.

stonechat

The bird looked like a young female, and later I learned it was a European stonechat. It was flipping from one pole to another, and finally settled so I could take these pictures. After about a minute of chirping there came a male stonechat.

stonechat

I don’t know if they were a couple; they rather looked like a dad and a teenage daughter.

stonechat stonechat

stonechat

Dad? Dad?????!!!!!

stonechat

Your pole looks nicer. Can I come over?

stonechat

No way. Stay where you are!

stonechat

Didn’t you hear me? Don’t even try!

But she already took off and landed almost on top of his head.

stonechat

Daddy! Wait!

I walked about a mile and sat on a bench to rest and enjoy the evening light. A Grey heron was standing in the middle of the river, quiet and patient skinny bird looking grave and funny at the same time. I thought I might stay and wait for him to catch a fish.

heron

No such luck. He changes position, striking at imaginary prey.

heron

heron

heron

heron

heron

heron

Maintaining his dignity he takes off and departs. So do I.

heron

heron

Another half an hour back to the parking lot. Stress management: accomplished 🙂

river suir

Photography tip of the day: There is a link to the page where professional photographers share their advice. I have noticed ( and not only in this article) that the younger photographers often use the word “confidence” . Their older colleagues don’t seem to care:)

inese_mj_photographyHave a great week!

35 comments

  1. Wonderful set of pics, dear Inese…

    The first one is my favorite.
    I wonder how did you do to catch that bird on motion, being that photograph so perfect…

    I also love the idea of adding “voices” to those birds… You turned the photos into memes somehow and that shows your versatility and creativity 🙂

    Best regards, Aquileana 😛

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  2. Inese, these images just make my day! They are so crisp and beautiful. Your narration is funny! 🙂

    How close were you with your prime lens to get these? Do you use a normal portrait focal length, like 85mm? I’m feeling inspired by your work to spend more time with the birds. 🙂

    I will check out that photography forum. Your observation that the younger photographers speak of confidence intrigues me. As I am becoming a more “seasoned” photographer, I care less for others opinions and enjoy more. 🙂

    Thanks for lovely images and thoughts!
    Best,
    Emily Grace

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! I had my usual 70-200 with me to take pictures of some herbs. There was a ditch between me and the birds, so I couldn’t come closer, and the birds are smaller than 2 inches. The images are well cropped 🙂
      I use this lens for portraits and small groups, and my primes (50,85) for single portraits, especially for babies. Sometimes I use my 35mm for street photography. I also have a 24-70, for interiors and anything else: street, groups, landscapes. But in general every lens is good if there is a great light and composition. Kit lenses are as good as any others. Snobbery isn’t my thing:)
      Your images are stunning. What lenses do you use?

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment. I know how busy you are.

      All the best!
      Inese

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      1. Hi Inese!

        It turns out we have almost the same lenses in our camera bags!! How wonderful! It encourages me to see your work and know I can do similar if I work on my technique.

        I have a 70-300mm f4-5.6, an 85mm f1.8 (my favorite lens), a 30mm f1.4 and a 24-70 f4-5.6 (or similar).

        I agree with you about snobbery. Photography is more about light and thought than glamourous equipment…thought I do like to play with a new lens now and then. 🙂

        I’m impressed with the sharpness you achieved with the 70-200. I have a hard time with sharpness. I admire the sharpness of images I take with the 85mm. My camera shop told me that was a trade off of the zoom – more reach but maybe less sharp. Obviously, that is not the case for you – it is zoomed and sharp. Did you use a tripod?

        Thanks for chatting about photography! I like to “talk shop” with photo friends.

        Best,
        eg

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        1. Oh with these lenses you can do just about anything.
          I didn’t use a tripod. When outdoors I use my tripod only for slow shutter speed or night photography. If I need sharpness, I use shutter speed 1250+ and wide open aperture, and boost up ISO as necessary. If I was supposed to print a poster, I would use my tripod for sure:) It makes a difference.
          My 70-200 is a 4.0, not a famous 2.8 – a thousand bucks cheaper, and still doing a good job. My 24-70 is 2.8, razor sharp. One of these two is always with me:)
          I guess most of your lovely bokeh images are taken with 85 1.8?

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        2. Indeed, the bokeh usually comes from the 1.8 usually, though the 70-300 does amazing close ups of flowers and such and the Pentax MX-1 is a favorite, too. But I drool over the 85mm’s results. 🙂

          Thanks for the shutter speed tip. I will try that.

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    1. Thank you Hattie! Just went for a walk Sunday. Have never seen that tiny stonechat before, and even if I did I thought it was a European robin. Heron is a different story, we have some 6-7 birds living around the town, so I know them well. Always want to give them a hug, they look so funny:)

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