Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Of cameras and birds.

This post is about two things - the camera and the birds.
First the camera. As I said on this blog last year I bought a new camera - a Pentax K200. Previously I had been using a Canon S2 and the Pentax was so much better that I only had to use presets. I am totally fascinated by birds - not cameras! - so why bother to learn more about the camera settings if automatic settings were already taking much better photos than I had taken before. Since then I have gradually started modifying some of the presets and even discarding them as inadequate in a few cases. However, over the last month or so it has been extremely frustrating to learn the inadequacies of the lens - a Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 DG Macro. Don't misunderstand - this is an excellent lens considering what I paid for it! BUT --
Now for the birds! Back in June I went for a walk in the rainforest and saw some very tiny birds on the ground hunting around among the fallen leaves. They were small - at a distance I didn't even see them as birds but as creatures not much bigger than a mouse! (I still have a lot to learn about bush birds!) I saw a similar bird out at Inskip hunting around in the leaf litter and got some very dark photos - but enough to get an ID of a White-browed Scrub Wren. So now I knew what they were and where to find them. Then the frustration with the camera really began. I could not get more than a blurred photo of the bird! I really should have spent more time learning about the camera and how to make use of all the settings but I guess it's been better late than never! Yesterday I finally did enough things right to get some OK photos. Not great photos, I know, and I know what to do better next time I see these little fellows scratching around in the leaf litter. Of course, I do wish they would sit still and not decide to suddenly hop up into a really dense shrub. In case I don't see these little birds again for a while (after all I'd rather be out on the kayak!) here are yesterday's photos!


  1. Tell them to get out into the light and to sit still. Works for me. Not!

  2. Thanks Tony for a great suggestion! I am also trying to learn some of your excellent post processing technique - but that is also coming very slowly :-(

  3. G'day Mick,
    Lookout, the 'bush bird bug' is beginning to bite.
    Any image of a 'scrubbie' is a success I reckon, well done.

  4. Thanks Gouldiae. LBJ's are certainly fascinating - but nothing beats being out in the kayak and watching the shorebirds.