Wednesday, 26 March 2008

my bad bird photography

Today there was a fire nearby that was quelled quickly, but enough to make the setting sun a great orangey light. And as I took a photo of the smokey sky, a little bird flew into the frame to make the boring suburban sillouette a bit more cuter. Reminded me to mention a new fantastic photography blog I've been visiting almost daily, to see what new bird Nickolay Tilcheff has put up. Nickolay was the Head of character design for Pixel Pinkie, And someone I've had the priviledge of knowing and working near. Not only was Nickolay's character drawings amazing, but he is a very talented animator also, and also amazing wildlife photographer. One would never guess, seeing Nickolay who is this 7 foot tall guy, rugged whiskers, logger's checkered jacket and scandanavian punk jeans.
His wildlife photography and observation and annecdotes are worth a look at everyday. Makes me cringe at these crude bird photos I took on MEGA-ZOOM with my digital camera. I love to capture wild birds when I see them, but unfortunately don't have the equipment or skills to do so with quality! (see Nickolay's blog).
by the way, these two photos are from when Tim and I visited Port Arthur. I found the birds a lot more interesting than the tourist park of Port Arthur.


tilcheff said...

I'm smashed, Rosey! Never heard so many compliments in my whole life :D

Just saw your note that you intended to put up a bird pic and dropped by to see if you did and what I find :O Thank you for all the nice words and the blog promotion too.

After so many years in the animation industry I still like the process and enjoy drawing and animating, but as many others before me have found, I realized that I have no control over the final result and somehow learned to live with it. But the trade off was that I don't care much about the final result either. It's always someone else's show and I'm only helping them do what they think that they want to do. Many times 'they' don't really know what they want to do...
Ironically, as my real passion about animation was decreasing, the results were getting better with experience. It's a draining industry.

Wildlife photography, something I was dreaming to do when I was a kid, became kind of affordable and exciting new thing to do. I still love much more the process. I'm very critical about my photos, but I'm trying to improve. There's a lot to learn both about photography and the animals.

Unfortunately the good equipment is expensive. But it is not impossible to get it. I used to save about two years to get my current camera and lenses.
Birds are not an easy target. Especially in-flight shots. I had a good compact Fuji FinePix S5500 10x optical zoom, and learned a lot by using it, but it could never catch a bird in flight. So I started to get frustrated and realized I needed better equipment.

If you're keen on taking better bird photos, a DSLR camera is the only way to go. You can start with an entry-level body + a decent telephoto zoom lens (like mine) and then gradually get better lenses as your skills improve and you feel the need. For a girl I think the only suitable models will be Canon 400D or Nikon D40. (The higher class bodies are soo heavy) Pentax and Olympus are also available options, but the choice of lenses for them is much more limited.
The other thing is that DSLRs give you a lot of control and the only way to get good photos it to shoot manual or semi-auto. The fully automatic modes are fully automatic and produce results similar to compact cameras. Well... probably crisper.

So if at any point you decide that you would like to go the DSLR way, I'll be glad to send you links to online info/reviews and share my knowledge (which is not very big anyway).

You have awesome sky and landscape photos published here and it is a proof that the frustrating results with birds are only due to equipment limitations.

Best regards
:) N

Timothy Merks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Timothy said...

Hey Bean! Wow that's a nice long comment. Almost a post in a post.

It's always sad to see a creative person getting turned off drawing. Especially the mighty talented Nickolay.

I really like that first image with the sunset and the bird. I like how it is all framed and put together.

BlackCrow said...

wow, and Nickolay can write too!
Scandanavian punk jeans, really I didn't know that he wore them?
I like the first image too with the sunset and bird, its well framed.
I went and took photo's of chooks at a poultry show the other weekend.
I had some good results until a man asked me to take photo's of his ducks..of course they where black and in a dark corner..needless to say even with a flash the images came out crap.