Portraits of Birds
By Richard Seah
23 May 2009
Bird photography is mostly done by bird enthusiasts - those who would sit out in the bushes and wait patiently, sometimes for hours, for a rare bird to appear.
I once read a newspaper report about one such photographer, a lady, who published a collection of her bird photographs. She related how, once, she spotted a rare bird across a stream. She waded over and, not surprisingly, the bird flew away. So she sat there, knowing it would come back. Six hours later, the bird returned and she got the shot she wanted.
I am NOT that sort of a bird photographer. I don't have the patience.
I went once to a wetlands reserve to try photograph birds and ended-up photographing more the spiders in the forests. LOL!
The birds were all so far away - and many of the other bird enthusiast photographers there had ginormous lens mounted on equally ginormous tripods. I wondered if the tripod itself might cost more than my entire camera system, or at least the camera body.
Sorry, I am not in that league. And I didn't find the birds at the wetlands reserve all that pretty anyway. Most were white and grey. Yawn!
So I am much happier at the Bird Park. For me, photography comes first before the bird. I don't really care if the bird is common or rare, as long as I can create a nice image.
Or what I would call a nice portrait. I much rather shoot birds as if I were shooting human portraits, focusing on the face, the pose and, if I am fortunate enough, the expression and the emotion.
This is an update of an earlier photo essay, Jurong Bird Park re-visitedwhich I posted about nine months ago. At that time, had visited the bird park three times and I thought I had enough good pictures to make an essay.
I have since been back another six times - making full use of my season ticket. So that's nine trips altogether.
Looking back, I would still keep five of the original seven images that I posted. They are still my personal favs in spite of having taken so many more images.
And my absolute favorite is still that Evil, ugly fella that sparked my interest in bird portraiture in the first place. So that fella, who arguably looks more dignified and powerful than evil and ugly, retains the "pole position" as the main image in this essay.
But hey, I think some of my new additions are pretty good too :-)
As always, I hope you enjoy this series. And if you think it worthy of publication, a "Yeah" vote would be much appreciated. And do leave your thoughts behind as well.