There is something particularly fascinating about white. Maybe it is that we associate the absence of color with purity or maybe is just all the cultural meanings attached to it, but white, specially white birds are fascinating to watch. In one hand, we love colourful birds, like those found in the tropics, but on the other and entirely white plumage is as appealing as any amount of coloured feathers. Also white birds are not easy to photographed, To capture the purity of the plumage in the perfect exposure requires knowledge and experience, specially if the bird takes up a lot of space in the viewfinder. These are just some shots where white triumphs in the image. In many others I have failed to capture its essence, usually by underexposing it. When color is not the main attraction, composition and image quality become more important. Color, even though beautiful, can sometimes become a distraction, both for the viewer and the photographer. Decoration can opaque poor structure.
Few birds are as graceful and charming as flamingoes. Despite the harm done to their image by Florida’s horrifying plastic statues, these birds are gorgeous and stylish creatures. Their pink feathers and their unmistakable beak, along with their long legs, make the American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), one of the true wonders of nature.
Their habitat selection is pretty specific, so this is not a bird you run into, but a bird you have to seek. In the Dominican Republic we are lucky enough to have two or three sites where they nest or feed with certain regularity, so that november morning I set out to find them and hopefully get some nice images.
It was before dusk and I was driving in the main road towards Salinas, and right there, in the pond next to the road, their magic and long silhouettes appeared against the first pinkish light on the Caribbean winter.
Of course Flamingos are skittish birds and getting close to them is not easy, so I had to crawl among the bushes and the sand to get somewhat close. I recently read an Anselm Adam’s quote that when something like this: “good exposure does not make up for bad lighting”. I am sure I am getting it wrong, but that’s the idea. That morning the light was perfect though! So coming up with the right exposure was not as hard as making a great composition; every time I thought I had it the birds moved or flew away.
These are indeed the best shots of that morning. Not necessarily great, but good enough for transforming an ordinary morning into an extraordinary experience.
Thanks to Lyn Glass for such a fun and cool interview. 😉
¿Recuerdan cuándo les dije que les iba a presentar a personas que cambiaron de manera increíble el rumbo de sus vidas para hacer algo extraordinario? En esta primera versión de “Breaking the Glass”, quiero presentarles a un profesional, emprendedor, artista y maestro del lente: Mario Dávalos.
Amante de la naturaleza desde temprana edad, relaja con las historias de haber tenido un sin números de animales en la casa desde: serpientes, langostas, conejos, gallinas, perros, gatos, tortugas, halcones, cuyes, peces de todo tipo y de andar colgado como Tarzán en cuanto árbol mal parado encontrara.
Nacido en Santo Domingo, RD, obtuvo su licenciatura de Artes en la prestigiosa Parsons de NYC y convertido en pintor por 6 años, además como escritor (dentro de sus múltiples facetas), Dávalos se convierte en un empresario de la publicidad creando varias compañías en su país: Shampoo, District & Co., Capital DBG, entre otras.
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Lekking is no doubt one of the most fascinating behaviours on the bird world. Maybe because somehow we can relate quite a bit to it. Males competing for females attention is no completely unfamiliar to us know, is it?
I was lucky enough to visit the Black Grouse lekking site twice while in Finland. These beautiful birds tend to use the same site for over a decade and the opportunity to observe this experience is priceless. The birds dark plumage is very hard to photograph against the white snow, but once you get a good shot, every degree of cold is worth it. After 243 species, the Black Grouse remains on my personal top 5. I can’t wait to go back.
Special thanks to Finnature.