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1/3200 sec    f/f.6    ISO 1600 

Pīwakawaka

         March 28th 2020

We are currently in our fourth day of 'lockdown' here in New Zealand - I really hope that everyone is doing OK wherever you are. Our plans may have been put on hold and our travel restricted although I encourage you to use this unique situation to explore the wildlife in your own backyard. I've often neglected the backyard birds in favour of the rare/exotic species; although photographing from home does have advantages - sleep-ins, photographing in your PJs, sipping on a cup of hot coffee and WIFI.

Fantails are New Zealand's aerial acrobats where they hover, hawk, glide, swoop, and dive with ease, catching small insects on the wing with astonishing agility. They use their dexterous 'tail fan' to stop or abruptly change direction in mid-flight. If you've been hiking through the bush you've probably noticed a group of these lovable birds closely following you in the hope of an easy meal. Fantails catch the small insects that we disturb as we walk. Do you think their 'eyebrows' and 'beard' make them look like grumpy old men?!

I chose to share the above image of a NZ fantail in flight as it's from my recent isolation sessions. I'm fortunate to have a family of fantails visit my garden in the early morning and late afternoon - and when you're in lockdown a friendly visitor is always welcome! 

 

For this particular photograph I positioned myself so I would be shooting back-lit against a dark shaded background in order to capture the light illuminating the wings.  I chose to use a fast shutter speed (1/3200 sec) to freeze the action. I chose an exposure that wouldn't clip any of the highlights (tail feathers and facial markings) in this high contrast scene. 

I've recently created a Facebook page where I will share these 'Photos In Focus'. Feel free to follow my page for updates, leave a comment or just say G'day! I think it's a great way to share new images with you . . .  I look forward to seeing you there! Feel free to share what you've been photographing during this lockdown period! 

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Jonathan Harrod is a marine scientist, avid conservationist and bird enthusiast and endeavours to convey his love for the natural world through his photographs. Jonathan's images have been published world wide & have been published in magazines such as National Geographic.

 

Like many wildlife photographers, he uses his photography as a tool to educate, inspire and instill in people a greater love and appreciation for the natural environment. 

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