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Empty Handed.

By IanA  
This Parent bird has managed to bring up 4 youngsters, along with the aid of it's partner.

Today, having spent the best part of about 20 hrs this week in a hide watching the youngsters fledge, this hard working parent spotted some prey directly in front of the hide and dived on it. It was in some vegetation, so I couldn't see what, but the bird was down there long enough for the dive not to have been a miss.
But as soon as the bird went down into the undergrowth, some 'great wildlife photographer' marched past the hide straight towards where the bird had gone down, pointing a camera at the spot!

This obviously spooked the bird into making a getaway prior to completeing the kill to take to the four young birds waiting around the clifftop.

I hope that photographer is proud of himself, and I do hope he's not a member of ePz!



Tags: Sigma Nikon Flight Wild Bird Kestrel Avian Falco tinnunculus Wildlife and nature 150-500mm hsm os

Voters: clive burrow, andrewrit, Christopher_Malpas and 20 more

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great capture

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vandalp 12
13 Jul 2008 9:02PM
lovely shot. Vanda
Shroomer 13 14 167 England
13 Jul 2008 9:23PM
Spectacular shot Ian, I think I would have given him a piece of my mind and a lot more, probably a twitcher anyway.
challicew 12 1 1 South Africa
13 Jul 2008 9:25PM
Wow....great capture!
Overread 11 4.1k 19 England
13 Jul 2008 9:27PM
Wonderful shot with the details and capturing him in flight - brightness on the bird andexposure on him are great, but the background has overexposed quite a bit. Tinkering with the layermask, brightness and burn tool might restor some of the details in the rock, but I think that the worst points are beyond saving (awaits some photoshop wizkid to prove him wrong Wink)

A solution in the field would be to underexpose such a shot by one stop (exposure comensation -1). For when you have a darker area for the subject (like patchy shade) you can also also use the flash to fill in light if needed. That does have the downside of possibly spooking an subject though - so its a one shot must count idea.
Adding brightness in photoshop is easy with a slightly underexposed shot
bombebit 12 22 Denmark
13 Jul 2008 10:14PM
I really like it... well done
daffydill56 16 190 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2008 10:58PM
All those hours were worth this image Ian. It's such a shame that someone had to go and spoil things for you after all that time!!! There is always oneSad

Best wishes,

IanA 16 3.0k 12 England
14 Jul 2008 1:10PM
Thanks for thecomments folks, they're appreciated!

Alex, if this was a studio portrait with a plain white backdrop, you wouldn't be complaining that there is no detail in the background!

This image, however, was not shot in a studio, it was shot in the wild with a white cliff as a backdrop! Where the cliff-face is smooth, there is no detail worth mentioning.
If you look carefully at the large image, you will see that there is detail in the white areas and you will also see a catchlight in the bird's eye. That is not put there, it is a little spot of fairly strong light called the SUN! In other words the cliff face was in direct sunlight!

As for exposure, the image was shot at f/10 and -0.33EV, 1/640sec and ISO400. Any more than that and the bird would have been totally under exposed, and I for one am not going to start trying to correct images that much in any manipulation programme.

There is also the compression factor to take into consideration. The RAW file contains all of the detail in the cliff face, and so do the resultant .Tiff and .jpg files. However, once compressed to the size required for upload to a site like this, much of the minor detail, especially in a fairly uniform colour, is lost.
I was taking a photograph of the bird, and, IMHO, the bird is spot on. As I say, if it had been a studio shot with a white backdrop you would not have mentioned a thing!

dawnmichelle 12 12 United States
14 Jul 2008 2:17PM
Ian this is a awesome capture... so sad that it didn't get to feed the young at that given time... but you captured the shot perfect... would love to see them in the wild... they are amazing to see... we have a lot of hawks here and owls etc... and they are beautiful and to watch them is unreal.... never got a pic of one yet loll... but maybe one day if luck is with me...Smile
Overread 11 4.1k 19 England
14 Jul 2008 7:33PM
Ahh Ian I was not attacking you - my appoligies is you felt I was - further if you felt I was talking down to you, I have learnt that it is often better to provide more details upfront about an idea rather than assume a level of understanding on the part of the photographer (it also doubles with helping anyone else who happens to wander in).
I did not mean to imply that the bird was badly exposed at all, I only mentioned the cliff which is glaring at me a little - no so much lack of detail as very bright whites shining at me which made me comment as I did. That you were already exposing with the sun in mind must have made it a very bright day indeed.
And yes - as a fellow wildlife photographer (who has still to get any good) I do respect getting the animal perfect and sacrificing other areas to getting the focus right
Newtman 14 2 5
22 Jul 2008 3:32PM
I like the blurring on the wings, gives a great sense of movement. A shame about the thoughtless whatsit. Not so many years ago no photographer would have dreamed of stepping in front of a hide when it might have been occupied.
Grumpy old man, aka David
24 Jul 2008 8:19PM
Excellent capture, as always Ian. A continuing superb portfolio Regards... Geoff
25 Jul 2008 8:49AM
Great action shot Ian and info Ian, a little tip for future I always pack a large and heavy piece of wood in my camera bag to smack annoying people over the head!
Lovely work as always my ansum

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