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Thread: Eurasian dotterel quickstep

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    Default Eurasian dotterel quickstep

    The Eurasian dotterel is an uncommon spring visitor to western Denmark. They have a number of fields marked where they rest for a few days before continuing North towards the breeding grounds, and once you know their fields, finding them isn't too hard.
    Most of the fields are already cultivated by the time they get here, but I was lucky to find one that was still completely unprocessed by the farmer, and had a flock in it. The birds aren't skittish as such, but do tend to move around much during the day, not least when a raptor comes past. So I took advantage of their unrest and went and sat in the middle of the field, flat on my bum, with the big gun (EOS 1D mkIV with EF 600 L IS) on the tripod in front of me, and waited until the birds came closer.
    It was a very windy day, so when one bird decided to exercise its wings a little it didn't actually move anywhere - you can see the same little stump of a grain stalk from last year, in the same location relative to the bird, in all the images. The stationary nature of the little dance also made the entire sequence sharp - if it had moved more, focus would have been much harder.
    So, aside from showing an attractive shorebird in a nice sequence I just wanted to remind all that a bit of luck (in this case the strong wind) often makes a difference to nature photography
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    The images are cropped a fair bit from the original but I think I am JUST getting away with it. EXIF is f5.6 at 1/1250, ISO 320. Minimal pp aside from the crop - changed the colour balance a tad before converting, and added a dollop of Smart Sharpen.

    Comments welcome

  2. #2
    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    First of all, a warm welcome to Story Sequences Forum, Mads

    Well seen and captured, you know a lot about the behaviour of the species and this knowledge served you well, love your patience in the field and determination to get the shots - it certainly paid off

    A very attractive little bird with so much character, love the "dance" and also the pose with legs off the ground! The little blur from the legs just shows how fast the movement is and I do like the effect you achieved, very much, I would also experiment with higher ISO values - given the chance - if only to obtain more clarity of those lovely wide-spread wings!

    Hope we get to see more from you in this Forum, and please forgive me for late comment - we have been recently experiencing something called "load shedding" in South Africa these days, no electricity for a few hours at a time and in the evenings this is usually my "BPN time". I really enjoyed viewing and hope you return with more images, thank you so much for sharing this with us

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Lifetime Member Marina Scarr's Avatar
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    What a lovely wing-flapping sequence you've shared here. My favorite thing to photograph besides besides chicks is bird behavior. Love seeing a new shorebird species too!
    Marina Scarr
    Florida Master Naturalist
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    Hi Gabriela and Marina, thanks for the kind words. I just can't work out why some of them look a lot less sharp here than on my screen or my own photoblog website?? When I saw them here I got real embarrassed for sharing such underwhelming work on this distinguished site :-) Thanks again!

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Dear Mads, they look sharp enough to me. Kindly send me a PM with a link to your photoblog, I will take a look and get back to you. Will forward you my email address if you wish to send me one of those images

    Have a super weekend,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Lifetime Member Andre Pretorius's Avatar
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    Love it, Mads!
    Can see you sitting on your butt in the field to get low POV trying to focus on the little dancing birds!
    I like plane 5 the most from a technical angle...
    Congrats!
    Regards

    Andre.

    www.gappimages.com

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    Lifetime Member Ákos Lumnitzer's Avatar
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    Great sequence Mads. Really windy by the look of it.
    Why would you not up the ISO to say 800 and get more shutter speed? I am quite curious.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful sequence.

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