I've often seen this and been arrested by something about it — something I can't quite put my finger on; some particular, ineffable quality. This, it seems to me, is one of those scenes that hints at far more than the simple facts of its existence; something for which mere "truth" and explanation are beside the point. I suppose this sounds terribly post-modern (whatever that is), but let me put it another way: eventually, someone will decide to "tidy it up" and the erasure beneath a coat of gleaming new paint will seem, to me, like vandalism.
[21 August 2010; Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 24 mm, ISO 200, 1/400 at f8]
This is more like the glimpses I had of this korimako a few weeks ago. I've cropped the photo deliberately to try to convey the impression of the moment (and the bird's head was obscured anyway). I'm sure it's not to everyone's taste — this kind of cropping tends to polarise attitudes — but I like this technique, provided it's used appropriately and not excessively.
Sorry, I have a vicious dose of 'flu — probably swine 'flu, which I trust not too many people will think is appropriate. Not enough energy to work up photos. Life is down to the absolute necessities. All going well, I'll be back in a few days.
[14 August 2010; Laptop, fingers, semi-functional brain.]
I leaned over the railing of the bridge and looked down at the swift, rushing Tokeawa Stream. While I don't share Heraclitus' reputed contempt for humankind, nor his apparent fixation on dualism, I do think his famous aphorism about rivers (mouse-over the photo), despite being an oversimplification of what he actually said, expresses a universal truth.
[7 August 2010, Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L IS, ISO 100, 1/25 at f6.3]
If I were still using film, I doubt I'd even attempt a photograph like this — the proportion of failures (out of focus, blurred, the bee in the wrong position or even gone, and so on) is simply too high, and the cost would be prohibitive for me. Now it's mostly just a matter of patience and persistence.
[30 July 2010, Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L IS*, ISO 400, 1/1600 at f5.6] * I realise I've been omitting the "IS" from the lens specification. Yes, it is indeed image stabilised (IS).
One of the big problems of photographing tauhou (Zosterops lateralis) is their propensity for feeding among dense foliage. The only solution is persistence — eventually, one will pause in the right position in the right light for just long enough, as this one did in the Massey University grounds on Saturday morning.
This I'd consider a fairly standard bird portrait; for a different approach, you might like to view the photo on my latest Pohanginapete post: Being a bird.
[31 July 2010; Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L, ISO 400, 1/800 at f5.6]