Monday, January 24, 2011

Kismet at Kumul

Monday, January 24, 2011
9 comments
My first image of the Kumul Lodge grounds, shot with flash.

Sometimes you take a photograph and think it's nothing special, only to discover later that you captured something surprising in it. On my trip last September to Papua New Guinea I had a bit of photographic serendipity one evening, though it would be weeks before I'd realize it.

Our group was staying at Kumul Lodge near Mt.Hagen, a very rustic destination famous among birders for its amazing feeding station which attracts tiger parrots, ribbon-tailed astrapias, and brown sicklebills, among other species. I plan to devote a blog post or two to the Kumul Lodge feeding station once I have a bit more time for writing. Just before dinner one evening, I thought to take a photo of the lodge's grounds and buildings. Standing near the main building I snapped a few images with my Canon G-11, switching settings between photos in an attempt to capture the mood of the scene in the fading daylight.

The first shot (top of this post) was taken on Auto, with the flash engaged. It washed out the beautiful cloudy sky and lit up the buildings.

My second shot of the grounds, without flash.

My second image was more moody, capturing the sky and silhouetted trees, and giving just a hint of the buildings. But something else in the center of the image caught my eye... it looked like a detached part of the tree.

A closer look—probably a mountain swiftlet.

A closer look revealed a bird swooping across the dusk-filled sky, captured kismetically in the image I shot. I'm guessing it's probably a mountain swiftlet because this species was ubiquitous at Kumul and elsewhere.

Kismet is a word of Turkish derivation meaning "destiny." I love thinking that my life and this swiftlet's life crossed for a millisecond, connected by a camera's lens, in the only moment it could have possibly happened, on the far side of the world.

9 comments:

On January 25, 2011 at 6:32 AM Steve Bennett said...

Thanks for the shots Bill, I remember Kumul fondly as the place I entered a bushwalker and left a birdwatcher.

On January 26, 2011 at 6:27 PM Anonymous said...

a lovely post... Bill, just last week I was going through my old BWD's, preparing for an upcoming visit to southeastern AZ. I ran across the article about your parents and the start-up of their magazine. Their lives have been full and blessed. My condolences on your Dad's passing...

On January 27, 2011 at 1:12 PM cindyzlogic said...

What a special moment, Bill! I'll be looking forward to future posts!

On January 28, 2011 at 12:33 AM Laraine said...

Yes, I love that experience of finding something unexpected when you finally get a view larger than your digital camera screen! In my world, it's often an insect I didn't notice when I do a macro shot of a flower.

On January 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM Birding is Fun! said...

Sorry to hear that your dad passed away and I'm grateful for the legacy he has left. Best wishes to the Thompson family.

On January 29, 2011 at 12:39 PM Anonymous said...

From the Jamestown Audubon Society and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute - our condolences on the loss of your Dad. What a legacy he has left - you and your wonderful family and a magazine loved and read by millions of nature lovers.

On January 29, 2011 at 6:32 PM dguzman said...

Anneliese and I were really sorry to hear about your father, Bill. We're thinking good thoughts for you.

On January 31, 2011 at 9:58 PM BirdingCristina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
On January 31, 2011 at 10:00 PM BirdingCristina said...

Oh, those little things in life that go unnoticed...
I am terribly saddened by your father's death, Bill. He must've certainly been a great man. You touched his life as he touched yours.
My condolences.


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