We hope you enjoy following our journeys around the world through the lenses of our cameras.
How cute are these Tawnys? It is unusual for Tawny Frogmouths to raise three chicks to fledging stage. The parents have been kept very busy keeping their bellies full! I posted this image on social media and got some great responses from Instagram and the Facebook page; Australian Nocturnal Birds run by Matt Wright I: [email protected] Matt is a very ethical bird photographer and has some great tips on interacting with our birds of the night. Infrared torches are the best to use whilst spotlighting birds and animals of the night and I use and recommend the Wolf Eyes XBeam Red LED Torch as it allows your camera to Autofocus without disturbing the wildlife.
Also, limit your use of flash to one or two images of each bird so as not to disturb them too much. If you see any signs of aggression or distress to the birds, walk away and leave them in peace.
Two artists have contacted me wanting to use this image to paint them. The most exciting of all was a message from Liam Carroll , creator of "The Tawny Frogmouth " magazine to be launched to households on the northern beaches of Sydney on the 22nd November, 2020. Liam expressed an interest in using this image in his magazine. The birds represent very strong family values and ties and also environmental awareness that can be a lesson to us humans to preserve their habitat, even in the suburbs.
Apologies for the absence of anything new for a while. Lynn and I have been on an awesome photography tour of India with Wild Walk Tours, focusing on birds, tigers and of course the obligatory Taj Mahal. More to come on this later.
My Northern Territory Tour to Darwin, Kakadu and Katherine is getting closer, as August is not far around the corner. To get an idea on what you would be doing if you choose to join me on this tour, is best said by reading the follow article that I have just had published in the Australian Photographic Society's Digital Division Online Magazine. Also visit our Tours and Retreats page for the full itinerary for the August 2017 trip.
Click on the link below to read the article on Page 10:
I look forward to meeting you there.
Can a computer identify bird species in photos? Researchers at Cornell Tech and Caltech have partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to train Merlin Bird Photo ID to recognize 650 of North America’s most common bird species based on images.
Sometimes Merlin gets it right, just like magic. Other times, Merlin gets it wrong–sometimes way wrong. What’s going on behind the scenes–and how can you help us keep improving Merlin’s accuracy?
The challenge: Asking computers to identify bird species is a challenge not only because some species look so alike, but also because their shape varies from moment to moment. On top of that, photographs of birds often include complex backgrounds, and the birds may be far away or blurry.
The solution: Computer vision researchers create “convolutional network” systems that use patterns in data to train the computer and improve its performance. These systems require massive numbers of images as well as accurate image labels such the type of object, and where the object is in the image. Fortunately, bird watchers are renowned for taking lots of photos and for contributing millions of observations in citizen-science projects. Thousands of people have contributed photos and tagged them to teach Merlin to recognize birds."
Happy Birding and Photographing ,
A quick blog today as a follow up to yesterdays. We have just had an article published in the Great Lakes Manning Area's Focus Magazine on Pages 16-17. Check it out as the interview covers some of the aspects talked about in yesterday's blog:
Squatter Pigeon approached slowly and keeping low. Eastern Reef Egret shot into the sun early afternoon in Darwin.
This is the first in a series of blogs I am going to write in order to share the ways in which I approach my wildlife ( particularly birds) photography. I will cover a series of topics, the first of which is on the way I approach wildlife with my camera in hand and also some links to some ethical considerations, which I strongly believe are necessary to protect the welfare of the birds and animals that we are photographing. By adopting these guidelines and approaches we can share the experience with others with minimal disturbance and impact on our subjects.
BUSHCRAFT SKILLS AND ETHICS- 10 TIPS
1. Wear neutral clothing, you don't have to make a fashion statement!
2. Keep as quiet as you can, patience is a virtue.
3. Move slowly, observing the bird as you go, backing off if it looks agitated.
4. Take some initial shots, adjust your settings and improve as you get closer.
5. Assess backgrounds, if looking too busy, move until you get a cleaner background.
6. Check the light, preferably it is behind you or side on. Move if you have to. Shooting into the light can also be good if you are wanting to create a silhouette effect.
7. The best time for wildlife is early morning, up to 2-3 hours post dawn. Most birds and animals have to feed first up after the night before. Late evening is second best, 1-2 hours before dusk. Overcast or misty days are next best and can also help to create some nice images.
8. Try to get eye level with the subject – go low, go slow if they are on the ground or water.
9. Walk away and look for another shot if it is not working.
10. Approach nesting birds with care- see APS and Birdlife Code of Ethics.