Experiments with Light – Birds

I happened to visit the Jurong Bird Park last Sunday (February 8, 2009) with a group of photographers. What follows is a short account of the day’s happenings.

We started the day at the African Wetlands Exhibit shooting a few ducks, cranes, shoebills and what not. Picture below shows an African Crown Crane.

African Crown Crane

Following this, we went to see the flamingoes and the macaws. The flamingoes were mostly in the shadows and couldn’t get a good shot with my Sigma 70-300 lens. An accidental shot that happened near the macaws.I noticed it only after I shot and tried for a better angle but couldn’t get any.

Eyes

Next stop was the African Waterfall Aviary, where bird feeding was going on. The birds were a bit fast and the lens was slow. Here I got to try the 200mm f2.0 on the Nikon D3 brought by the organiser of the outing. The lens was humongous but fortunately the high ISO performance of the camera helped use high shutter speeds. Managed to catch a few starlings and carmine bee-eaters. Below shot is a Starling taken near the waterfall

Starling

Preceding the feeding show, we visited the SE Asian aviary, where the birds were in enclosures and with low light. My old lens was not upto the task and most of the pictures were ruined. From the Waterfall Aviary we went to the Lory Loft housing several kinds of Lorikeets. Very colourful birds, and very active too. It was almost midday when we reached there and the birds were getting fed by the visitors to the park.

Lorikeet

By the time we were through with the lorikeets, everyone were tired and we had to adjourn for lunch. Post lunch, we were on the way to the Birds of Prey enclosure and the bird shows at the amphitheatre when we met a celebrity who became an instant hit with all the photographers!

Penguin Paparazzi

It was a tropical penguin, yes a penguin that lives in the tropics! It was slowly walking out of the enclosure when we spotted it. The penguin gladly posed for us and seemed to enjoy all the attention. We had some time to spare before the shows started and so visited some swans and ducks at the Riverine enclosure.

Preening Swan

Duck

All in all, a very satisfying day of shooting the birds, and the first time visiting the bird park. More photos here.