Last summer I challenged myself to get a good photo of a kingfisher that passed by the RV many times every day.
In years past the kingfisher has always eluded me as it wizzes by at record speed, coming to a sudden halt and hovering for quick second (never long enough to find it in my frame), then doing a high-speed dive into the water. It took hundreds of tries, but eventually I succeeded.
I’ll share my secret. I got ready when I heard it coming! I discovered that I could often hear the kingfisher as it approached giving me enough time to get in front of my camera and point it in the general direction I thought it would go.
Now that I have the kingfisher shot, I decided to make a digital art piece out of a progression of images I made at continuous high shutter speed.
In this video I take you through my entire editing process from putting the three kingfisher images together, extracting them from the background, then combining textures and brush strokes to make the final piece. I used all of my own textures and brush sets!
Gail Cabana-Coldwell says
Thanks for this video; I enjoyed watching it, even though this level of editing is way beyond my amateur photo status!
I’ve followed your photo travels and work,for,the past few years; thanks for,sharing.
Birds and waterfowl are so tough to shoot. No doubt that it took you hours of waiting to get a good shot! In a bird workshop once – I thought it was more about photographing birds than it turned out to be – my takeaway nugget from the instructor was that a still bird always takes off/flies in the direction its beak is pointed. So get your camera ready, adjusted, in that direction, for when the bird takes flight. It does work.
Anyway, thanks again for sharing your talent and tips.
Michael ”Dutch” Dyer says
We have a kingfisher at Smith Lake that’s also a speed demon. Your article inspired me to capture images of him this summer. Persistence!
Thanks for all you do and share. You’re an inspiration to photographers everywhere.
Anne McKinnell says
Wonderful! I’m glad you have taken up the challenge. What I have learned so far is to train myself to crank up the shutter speed as soon as I hear the kingfisher (which is usually long before I see it). It took me all summer last year to start getting clear shots, but this year I have clear shots already! None as good as last year’s photos yet though. It’s great if you can get them in that moment they hover before the dive. Good luck! And thanks for your comments.
We saw a utub video about high speed trains, with an engineer from the original Japanese high speed train design group who said he was inspired to design the long pointed 1st train car snout, from watching the aerodynamic Kingfisher plunge smoothly into water.
Anne McKinnell says
Hi Jim. Funny, I just learned that in an ornithology course I am taking. Birds are so interesting! I also found out that they are studying woodpeckers in order to design better motorcycle helmets. Makes sense! Thanks for your visit and comments.