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on Jun 6, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

Bird Photography in Paradise

Giant Frigatebird
captured by D5 / 300PF

We jetted from Florida and Photoshop World directly to Kauai for a Pacific paradise birding adventure. We really love Kauai having come here many times but this is the first with the express purpose of photographing birds. We started off with birds I’d seen before but not spent time photographing, they are grouped under the big heading of pelagic birds. That’s a term used for a group of birds that spend their life at sea except for nesting season. Amazing flyers, watching them catch and soar in the trade winds is a thing of beauty. That’s what I wanted to bring to my photographs.

Red-tailed Tropicbird
captured by D5 / 300PF

The birds dart about in the winds as they perform courtship to aerial chases with incredible speed and ease. There was only one option as far as I was concerned for gear, the D5 / 300PF with the D5 set to Auto Area AF. I started with the TC-14eIII because of the old adage, “Go out with your longest lens or come back short,” but it was too long as the birds were WAY too close for that much lens.

Laysan Albatross
captured by D5 / 300PF

The biggie to making the photos was the background. For example, didn’t want gray skies in the background. With the intermediate rain showers, the can be a challange. Next was the horizon line, you need to be sensitive to where it is in the frame and how prominent. Then if shooting down on the waves, the amount of placement of white when the subject is a white bird. Then there is the gesture of the birds themselves in flight and the ease and elegance that they fly. We were there shooting until the wind burn on our faces drove away. But we’ll be back because there is simply nothing like photographing birds in paradise!

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