It was a good prompt for me as I usually try to get to eye level with birds and mammals. This often involves lying on the ground behind the camera.
However, I quickly realised just how many photos I had to pick from. So initially I decided to limit myself to four photos. Then I decided to go with one photo from the past four decades, partly to make the selection easier.
1980s. A male Common Blackbird checking 1what the photographer is doing. I was in a ditch photovraphing something when I noticed this male spying on me. Photographed in an abandoned orchard at Faddiley near Nantwich in southern Cheshire, England.
1990s. A breeding plumage Horned Grebe on a cattle watering hole. I wanted to get as low a viewpoint as possible so had the legs of the tripod fully spread and then stomped them into a mixture of mud and cattle poop before lying behind the camera. Photographed near Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Canada.
2000s. A juvenile Red Knot resting on the Lake Huron shoreline during autumn migration. The shoreline was too rocky to lie down behind the camera so I was kneeling, trying to get as low a possible. I spent long enough with the birds that they fed, bathed and napped in front of me. Photographed on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada.
2010s. An American Red Squirrel in dappled sunlight. From the 52 week photo project I did in 2018 when I spent lots of time lying behind the camera photographing birds and mammals. Photographed on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.
This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New.
I thought it was an interesting prompt and had several ideas for a post. I had my first choice partly planned out in my head and then forgot about the plan and took the wrong lens when I went for a walk with the camera on Sunday morning.
Then on Sunday evening I set up a camera in the yard hoping for some colourful clouds at sunset. There wasn’t much colour at sunset but as I had the camera set up I started using the auto composite setting to record the clouds moving across the sky.
That’s when I started thinking about some of the old techniques for showing movement in a photograph. That led to me thinking about photographic techniques and how some are the same and how some have changed dramatically.
The late 1980s in Cheshire, England. A male Common Blackbird checking on the photographer lying in the grass.
30 years later I’m still lying in the grass and birds are still checking me out. A male Red-breasted Nuthatch on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.
The early 1980s and I’m on a roof in North London at dusk turning the lights of the city into streaks by zooming the lens during exposure.
Nearly 40 years later and the digital camera I am using has an auto composite setting. This photo was a base exposure of 1 second and a further 120 x 1 second exposures to show the movement of the clouds at dusk.
Edit: On Googling auto composite I discovered that Olympus call it live composite. Probably because you can watch the image building as the exposures continue.
I started thinking about some of the black and/or white species I have photographed over the years. Then, because I’ve been on a bit of a selective colour kick recently I considered monochrome species that have a splash of colour.
So here’s two different species in the spring, one in the U.K. and one in Canada.
Portrait of a male Common Blackbird photographed in Faddiley, Cheshire, England. I was photographing a plant in a ditch when I noticed the bird checking out what I was doing.
A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada in the spring.
A few minutes before Nancy posted this A Photo a Week Challenge: Eyes prompt I had been discussing eye colour in birds with someone on the comments section of one of my recent posts.
So it was almost ìnevitable that I would put together a post about birds eyes.
A North American Mourning Dove on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario.
The Common Wood Pigeon found across Europe and parts of western Asia. Photographed in England.
A North American Common Grackle on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario. A similar eye colour to the Common Wood Pigeon above although not in the same family of birds. The Common Grackle is related to the New World Blackbirds, Cowbirds and Orioles.
The Eurasian Collared Dove native to Europe and Asia and introduced to North America. Photographed in England, this species deep red eye is in contrast to both the Mourning Dove and the Common Wood Pigeon above. Three members of the Dove and Pigeon family and three different eye colours.
A male Common Blackbird found in Europe, Asia and North Africa. Photographed in England, the yellow-orange ring is bare skin around the eye and is only seen on the male. The Common Blackbird is a member of the Thrush family and is not related to the New World Blackbirds.