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Posts Tagged tui

The Birds of Spring Brendan Moyle Oct 08

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It's been a tough few weeks for photography as work pressure and turbulent weather has got in the way of employing the camera. I recently got a Sony 2x Teleconverter (off Trademe) and have been hoping to test it out. I've been happy with the 1.4x TC for a while but appreciate that image quality does take a small hit with a TC. On the other hand, my longest lens is a 300mm G prime. While this has superb image quality it isn't always long enough for nature photography. The 1.4x TC extends it to a useful 420mm focal length. The 2x takes it out to 600mm.

Once you start shooting at these kind of focal lengths (my rule of thumb, 500mm or more) stability is an issue. This is why tripods are normally used as an adjunct for the big lenses.

I didn't really have time to pack and setup a tripod however on Sunday, so I did it the hard way with a handheld shot. I'm usually pretty steady with a camera and lens (which helps with a lot of the macro shots I do), but cranked the shutter speed up to 1/1000 sec and ensured the camera stabiliser was working. This should buy me a few extra stops of stability.

Tuis are starting to increase in abundance our way, so I went out for some snapshots. Lighting conditions weren't ideal. I like to have a bit of directional light with our native birds, especially as they often have a metallic sheen to them when the sun hits them at certain angles.

Anyway, this is my hand-held, manual focus shot of a local tui.



Trying for that elusive tui photo Brendan Moyle Sep 13

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The Spring weather has brought tuis to our local garden in some force, and they're flying around on nectar highs (mixed it seems, with a heady blend of sex-pheremones as the young birds interact).

The Acrobat


What does that white tube do?


I think I can see my nest from here


I love to sing

Spring in NZ means Tuis Brendan Moyle Sep 05

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September is supposed to be the start of spring in NZ. And one of the symptoms of that is the appearance of tuis, a native nectivorous bird. These have a very conspicuous song.

Now that the warmer weather is starting to cause some trees to blossom, the tuis are off foraging.

While the birds are quite common in places, they're still a bit tricky to photograph. They hop rapidly between flowers, often behind a mesh of branches and twigs. They're easily skylined with their dark feathers so it's easy to lose detail if your photographing them against the sky.

Anyway, here's the result of my first venture this weekend. The beak of this bird is covered in pollen.


Link to larger image

With the number of intervening branches, I just focused on part of the bird for this shot. A touch of flash was added to highlight the detail and prevent the bird being 'silhouetted' against the sky.

A new tui photo Brendan Moyle Jan 16

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I got back from my break on Waiheke Island a couple of days ago. We were based at the ARC camp ground, so lacked for electricity and cellphone coverage. I came prepared with three charged batteries for my camera (and used up 2, those big telephoto lenses suck up the juice).



I liked this photo of a tui, as the light was able to catch the full range of colours on the body. The background provides little in the way of distraction. This time of year is better to attempt tui photos, as they are down from the tree canopy and feeding on flax flowers. A good photo of a tui in a forest has so far, eluded me.





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