Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Digiscoped Birds Galleries

Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Keel-billed toucan photographed at Tikal, near Temple #4.

Web wizards Katherine Koch and Amy Wells, who keep the BWD website humming, are creating two new photo galleries on the site for my digiscoped bird images. They will feature images gathered from two recent birding trips, one to Guatemala and one to South Africa. In gathering the images together, I found out just how fast the learning curve can be for digiscoping. With digiscoping, just like regular photography, you learn by taking lots of really bad photographs.

When I was in South Africa in 2002, I digiscoped lots of birds, but few of the images came out. I didn't understand the basic field craft of digiscoping--and in some ways I still don't. But most of my 2002 South Africa images were out of focus and/or overexposed. I got excited with cooperative birds and zoomed my scope way up thinking I'd get larger birds in the frame. Instead all I got were blurry birds in the frame. I also didn't;t understand the advantages of stopping down the exposure setting using the Program (or "P") mode on my camera. Once I figured this out (thanks to some useful advice from fellow digiscoper Kevin McGowan on my recent trip to SA) I was much happier with my results shooting in South Africa's bright light.

Looking through my "best" Guatemala images I can see that this advice would have been useful back in March on that Central American trip. Once again most of my images were overexposed or slightly out of focus. Well, I'll just have to go back and re-shoot some of those cooperative Guatemalan birds.

Look for the new digiscoped birds galleries to appear on the BWD site in the near future. There will also be a new batch of images for the Swarovski Digiscoping Gallery coming soon.
And I promise to do a post tomorrow about my basic digiscoping rig.

Glossy starling taken at Mkuze Game Reserve.


On August 3, 2006 at 8:31 AM Rondeau Ric said...

Looking forward to the tips, the toucan is amazing.

On August 3, 2006 at 2:36 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

Commenting from the 15-inch MacBook Pro at the Apple Store.
It will be mine. Oh, yes. It will be mine.
Nice glossy starling, darling.

On August 3, 2006 at 3:08 PM KatDoc said...

Beautiful photos, especially the toucan. I love how the colors of the background are reflected in the bird's beak - the yellows and greens of the leaves, the blue of the sky, even the deep reddish shade in the horizontal branches are repeated in the toucan. Truly great camo! And look - a starling that doesn't make me hiss and boo ... a miracle.


On August 3, 2006 at 9:32 PM Susan Gets Native said...

Oh...that toucan's beak looks like it is made of candy.
I will own a scope someday...I will.

P.S. Buy your wife a MacBook Pro.

On August 3, 2006 at 10:20 PM Anonymous said...

That terrific tropical Tikal toucan looks like something made up by the Candy Man! Isn't he gorgeous!
I am even more envious of the birding trip my folks took to Guatemala than I was before.
Caroline in SD

On August 4, 2006 at 11:48 AM Rondeau Ric said...

Sell lots of books, BT3s broek from a certain birding trip.