Picture Postcards: Egret Veil Ballet

10 November 2017

 

Whether it is a movie, a painting, a symphony, or a ballet, 

it’s always insightful and inspiring to see someone 

express themselves through the arts.

Justen Eason

 

A few pictures on the blog, will in no way express the rich time that I spent with this bird.

For its own reasons, it began its morning cleaning session.  I was able to move around its isolated position to keep the light right and the backdrop just a hint.  The superb elegance of the shaping, caressing and supple body movement kept me enthralled for around 30 minutes or so.  Enough to make over 6o super images, all of which has a subtlety of finesse that its impossible to bring it all together in just a few special images.

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Picture Postcards: A new direction 2 November 2017

I have an emotional connection to every subject
I photograph. You have to love your subject
before others love your photos. 
Art Wolfe.

You are Welcome here

I was chatting with my mate Len from BirdLife Werribee (formerly Werribee Wagtails), conservation warrior and dedicated blog-follower.  Among other things we talked about blog content and agreed that just following one bird or species made an interesting blog that was self-contained.  The other thing I’ve been pondering is that my body of work is overwhelming me to the point that much of it never gets to see the light beyond the harddrive storage.

Add to that I’ve been following David DuChemin’s blog/facebook/instagram of late and have been forced back to the roots of our craft. Images that have a connection, as Art Wolfe says, “To Create Visual Connections”.

Among David D’s prolific output is an occasional short blog post he entitles “Postcards from …name of place.”

So I’ve considered it might be better rather than lamenting my lack of drive to edit the best photos from a day out, and then let them languish for lack of words, that I might publish them as a blog here, and let the mood, emotion, interest and poetry of the visuals carry the bulk of the work of reaching out to the reader.  After all someone said “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and millions of words have been written about it. 🙂

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Sacred Time

Sacred Kingfishers on the Werribee River Park. 12 October 2017

There are billions of photographs out there. The world in no way 
needs more mediocre images. 
What the world does need is more passionate photographs, 
images that begin life conceived by the eyes, 
but expressed through the lens by the heart. 
If you are going to create better photographs, 
begin with things you care about deeply. : David DuChemin
You are Welcome Here.

“It’s a Sacred Kingfisher,” Mr An Onymous called. To no one in particular, and those around him just looked and nodded hoping that was the end of the outburst.

“Pee-p, Pee-p, Pee-p, Pee-p”.  It is a Sacred Kingfisher says Mr A.  But quietly, to himself.

He dropped me a note and I was glad of the info.  We’d been talking of their return the past few weeks.

I told EE.  She put on her skates and was ready to go.   Those who follow her Flickr posts will be well aware of the time, energy and effort that she put into the pair the past season. It is, “Something she cares deeply about”. And being passionate, as David DuChemin is wont to remind, “Photographing those things you are passionate about tells me several things. It shows me more of you. It shows me more of the thing you love. And it makes better photographs.”

So we went.  Now the access road to the “Office”—Werribee River Park— for new readers, has been closed these last six weeks or so.  The road was ripped up by hoons and 4wds when it was wet, and the road had become nigh on impassable for normal vehicles.  Think Sir Perceval—i20— for new readers. But a check the day before had shown Parks Vic had sent in the heavy duty toys and the road had been re-graded, and surfaced and was a version of Dorothy’s Yellow Brick Road, for all the Wizard of Oz fans. So donning our “Ruby Slippers” —or Silver ones if you’ve read the book— we set off in search of Oz, or Sacred Kingfishers if they turned up first.

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Enjoying the Freedom of Flight

Black-shouldered Kites Growing up. October 10, 2017

Waiting is not Patience. Patience is about the moment,
 an intersection of the strongest story with the right light,
 the best timing and an awareness of the around.
 Waiting makes us pay attention. David Duchemin

You’re Welcome Here.

We’ve been tracking a clutch of Black-shouldered Kites down on the 29 Mile Road at the Western Treatment Plant.  The young have been on the wing now for over two months, and are now the expert hunters.  They are just moulting out the last of their juvenile ginger and grey feathers and the eye is taking on the rich ruby colour of adult-hood.

The best perches in the area are along the roadside, the few trees and fenceposts and man-made solar panels and the like.  And because of their consummate skill in the air, and the vast quantity of mice in the area, the young kites seem quite oblivious to human presence.

So sometimes it’s possible to get right into the world of the hunting birds—not as a long distance observer—in a hurry—but to take the time the learn about the birds, their preferences for hunting areas and their choice of spots to enjoy their successes.

I’ve been reading and following photographer David DuChemin and his approach to teaching a photographic vision.  He has a series called Vision is Better.  He talks about patience, waiting, the involvement in the around and being able to identify with the subject to really tell their story.  On one such video he travels to  British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest to photograph the Spirit Bears – a white variation of the black bear.  His video is shot from a short kayak trip, and I think its possible to really get both his excitement of the area, and his immersion in the moment, (if you will allow the pun).

Here’s the link if you’ve got 10 minutes.  https://craftandvision.com/blogs/all/vision-is-better-ep-20

 

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Eynesbury bi-Monthly Walks: Onya Chris.

One of the areas that we really enjoy working and walking in is a strand of Grey-box forest at Eynesbury.  I’ve written of my joys of Grey-box a number of times and the area is primarily flat, open and easy to negotiate. Apart from the usual fire access track, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo mobs that roam the area have left some very useful pad tracks that make getting around the area simple.

Eynesbury village has among other things—well apart from the golf course—a connection with the forest and locals are quite proud of the beautiful area. One of the locals, Chris Lunardi, is committed to helping people understand the environment, and the challenges of returning the forest to a pristine state.

To that end, one of his activities is a bi-monthly bird walk through the forest.  From humble beginnings this has grown to a well patronised activity, and something, EE, Mr An Onymous and I try to get to each session.

To add to that, Chris has been awarded the 2017 Dame Phyllis Frost award at the Keep Victoria Beautiful, Sustainable Cities
“This is a very prestigious award and is a just award for such a passionate environmentalist.”

This is a video link to Facebook for receiving the award.  Well done Chris, the hard work has been worth it.

The Eynesbury Environment Group also received a “Highly Commended” runner up award under the Protection of the Environment banner. This also is great achievement for such a young group and congratulations to all those involved.

Chris and part of a morning group

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