Shooting Birds

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

The weather’s been amazingly nice these days. It seems the winter has truly passed and spring has made its claim on our temperatures. On the glorious Saturday we had yesterday with clear blue skies, no cold breeze and a crisp 12-degree temperature, I decided to visit my favourite park in the city - The Brickworks. It’s my “peaceful place” in the city where I get an instant cure from stress, anxiety and moodiness. When Spring arrives and along with the endless chirping of birds the park becomes the kind of therapeutic place I crave for.

I have never been into wildlife photography baring the few pictures I have taken of the ducks and geese by the lake. The animal and avian world have been just way too fast for me, not to forget it takes a great amount of understanding of their behaviour and patience to capture some beautiful moments of their lives. I take pleasure in seeing squirrels running about in the park and hearing the birds chirping, but I have never bothered to invest more time in their lives. I decided to make a start. I picked up my camera to shoot ( read photograph lol ) some birds.

As expected the park had its winged visitors who were probably scouting for places to build their nests. Strangely, the flock had confined themselves to one corner of the park. I am not sure why. Probably because there was more vegetation around, the water bodies were just a few feet away or maybe these species of birds ( I have no idea what these birds are called ) like to build their colony around one or two trees. Nevertheless, I felt it made my work easier. The flooded pathways also meant there were fewer people coming to that side of the park, giving me the much-needed alone time with my subjects. I was excited! I spent some time looking at the birds, observing them and trying to put a pattern to their behaviour. I failed at deciphering anything. Nine out of ten shots had no birds in them. The tenth shot has a blurry impression of that tiny bird mocking at my futile attempts. I was obviously doing something wrong and I was definitely losing interest in my photo subjects. One thing I did right though was to keep my distance from their territory lest I set an alarm and ward off the entire population to fly off only to return when I had left. That would have been unfortunate for me and the better-than-me bird photographers who frequent the park.

I spent a little more than an hour in the park trying my best to get some good pictures of birds. I must say I failed technically but had a good day experience-wise. I did manage to take pictures of the geese and the trees who were more cooperative than the tiny birds. If it’s any consolation, after cropping off 90% of some images, bumping up the exposure and reducing the shadows to extremes, I did end up with some pictures of the un-cooperative birds.

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