The Secret Life of a Little Aussie Grebe

If you are to do the work of your heart, then your heart—not your head—must master your technique.
David Bayles

I suppose that many of us have at one time or another tried to photograph a diving water bird.  If for no other reason than the challenge.  The problem is they don’t wave flags, or seem to indicate that they are about to dive.  Like Pooh bear, they just do.

I was sitting watch a pair at the Werribee Mansion Ornamental Lake the other evening and again the need to try to catch one on plunge overwhelmed me and I started out trying to get that moment.  30 frames later, it was obvious, well at least to me, that said Grebe was pretty slick at getting underwater.

But, the more I watched, the more interesting it all became.

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You Yangs Interlude: Some Days are Diamonds

“You go by circumstances and listen to your own intuition”
The Tao of Pooh, B Hoff

Been a bit frantic with a number of projects the past week or so, and have a bit more to add to Studio Werkz.
EE suggested a bit of a break from serious bird photography, and an early morning at the You Yangs Park sounded about right.

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Studio Werkz

Abstract cleverness of mind only seperates the thinker from the world of reality…
The Tao of Pooh, B. Hoff

When I was a mere broth of a photographer, and just learning the craft, almost all weddings, portraits and product and advertising photography was done in the Studio. Photographers like D’acre Stubbs specialised in getting just the right light on a product, and Wolfgang Sievers made wonderful detailed industrial photos with dramatic lighting.
And I traded my poor old Super Baldar, 120 folding camera for the chance to learn the craft as a trainee.

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Swamp Harriers at Play

Mostly we think of Swamp Harriers as pretty serious birds, going about their serious business and always on the look out for the next meal.
So we were a bit taken back to find a couple of Swamp Harriers, engaged, in what can only be described as games.

It’s often seen among the Whistling Kites and Black-shouldered Kites, but Swamp Harriers seem to be very much the solo bird.
These two took it seemed great delight in working the air, and making passes at one another.  They remained at it for at least 10 minutes, and stayed around the river edges, so we were able to follow them along for much of the time.  In the end, both swept away, to see what they could find among the ducks now congregating along the ponds.

See photos on the next page.
Continue reading “Swamp Harriers at Play”