Wildlife studies in the garden

Wildlife studies in the garden

As pensioners living in a retirement village with limited space, my wife and I share the same study/art workshop. This serves as my dry lab where my editing is done. A while ago I was doing some editing on sport images and noticed the busy bird life in the bottlebrush just outside my garden on the pavement. I thought this might be an opportunity for me, despite my limited equipment, to take some ‘wild’ garden bird photos.

First I had to make some preparations. In the wild, these birds flock together at natural feeding spots such as grasslands or where there is fresh water. If I was going to photograph the ones that came to my vicinity, I needed to line up what I called the ‘landing space’, with my hide (my study) where the camera would be. I had to create an acceptable background as well.

For the landing space, I fixed a thick branch to my portable braai near the grass on the pavement, with fresh water about a metre away. Much to my delight, this piece of wood did eventually become the landing spot and point of departure for many birds. Against the opposite wall I fixed a grey backdrop which was in line with this landing spot and the camera. Of course, there was a lot of action which took place outside the coverage area but I was still fortunate enough to enjoy many pleasant moments, both observing and capturing images.

 


I found, somewhat to my surprise, that the birds displayed wild bird characteristics, perhaps because many of these birds began to assert ownership of the landing spot...read more in Photo Tales.

Photo Tale by Tom Prins.

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