Monday, November 28, 2005

Manic Mandarin

This Mandarin Duck was taken at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park at the Lake Gardens. Shooting animals and birds, you're lucky if you come back with one nice shot, since they are so unpredictable. The real trick is to be patient and take a picture of the animal/bird doing something interesting, otherwise your shots will just look like run-of-the-mill record shots you find in reference books.

This is what I always strive for when taking pictures of animals. I learned this from Thom Hogan, who took one of the most amazing pictures of a capuchin monkey at the zoo that I'd ever seen.

I sat watching this duck grooming itself for a while before I got what I wanted. Since it was busily grooming itself over and over again, I could take my time to shoot and refine the framing with each subsequent shot until it was just right and the duck got into just the right position.
Nikon D70, AF Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 Posted by Picasa


SC said...

great shot! :D

BR said...

Goodness. Did you have to wait long?

I tried shooting a peacock at a winery in Australia when I was there. Of course I tried a few times and kept missing it in all its splendour. So all I got was this thin bird... no feathers on show. :(

Tan Kit Hoong said...

yes I waited about 15minutes or so. You just have to wait and shoot. The cool thing about digital is that you don't hhave to be afraid to shoot as many shots as you want. However, just because you can wantonly shoot, doesn't guarantee that you'll get the shot -- I've been on photo outings with people where they shoot tons of photos of the exact same thing but never get the money shot. The real trick is patience, timing and an understanding of the animal or at least its habits. The DSLR also helps a little bit as the response is virtually instgantaneous, but you can take a shot like this with a compact digicam as well, but it requires you to be able to anticipate the animal's movements ahead of time to compensate for the lag time of the camera.

SC said...

btw, did u digitally alter the image in any way? The colors are so vibrant :D

Tan Kit Hoong said...

Nope, this is straight out of the camera abd resized by Picasa. I didn't even bother to rename the photograph as you can see.