Saturday, December 18, 2010

How My Canon Shot A Dove

To snap this photo I stood on a higher ground at The Farm. You
can see the top of a durian tree. This is when the afternoon sun
shines the forest and hills on the eastern side of The Farm.

I continue to explore possibilities with my Canon 550D.

Here I want to share with you some photos of birds that I have taken on The Farm recently. My narration will be completely in layman's terms. No technical or professional photography jargon will be used, only because I don't know any of them (well actually I know aperture and shutter speed, but that's about all, and they are hardly technical).

I really believe in experience being the best teacher. I find that as I continue to use my camera I learn more and more on how to take better photos. I'm talking here about taking photos with my basic camera, not after spending a fortune to buy attachments which would make your camera look like one of those used by the paparazis. After all I am a farmer, not a professional photographer.

Using a basic camera will force you to be more creative too. For example I have to stalk and move stealthily around so that the birds will not know of my presence and will stay long enough for me to take the shots.

I'm also thinking of getting a pair of army uniform. If I wear them and cover myself all over with leaves the birds might think I am a durian tree.

Oh dear..this always happens to me: all I wanted to do was show a couple of pictures of doves I shot. But I rambled on and on first. I hope I am not turning readers away by doing this. Now you know why I cannot be a micro-fiction writer like Akelamalu. Or write a drabble of exactly 100 words like Rayna M. Iyer does.

Without further ado here are the photos...

This was the easy one

The first shot from behind a tree 30 feet away
Here's the more challenging and interesting one: I had followed this one from tree to tree using the stalking method described above, when she finally landed on this branch.

I actually hid behind another tree 30 feet away and - this is the clever part - through the branches and twigs and leaves of this tree I was able to create a telescopic path and took a shot up the other tree. How cool is that?

2nd Shot
Next, I moved closer to about twenty feet away to get a closer shot, and hoping of course she won't fly away.

She's twenty feet up the tree. Can you help me to calculate the straight line distance between me and the bird? (assuming the path from where I was crouching to the tree is straight and level, and the tree trunk is completely straight and rises perpendicular to the ground - which they were more or less).

Please provide answers with your comments. Thanks.

Hint: you either do it the hard way by using the longest tape measure you have, go out to your front yard, ask your hubby or boyfriend to climb a tree or pole 20 feet high, and measure the distance between him and you, who should be crouching 20 feet away;

Or you can consult Mr Pythagoras for help (recall your fifth grade or ninth grade - depending where you are - algebra).

3rd shot

4th shot

The last shot as she flew away


Su said...

Unfortunately, I went to school in the US. We didn't get algebra until 9th grade. And even then, I've always been more of a word girl. So I got 800 ft. Sure hope it's correct or I'm demanding a refund. :)

Loved the pics! And the rambling was good, too; you don't have to apologize for it!

NancyDe said...

Well, if you are standing 20 feet away, and the bird is 20 feet up the tree - that would form the two sides of a right triangle. a2 x b2 20x 20=400, and again = 800. The square root of 800 is roughly 28.25. So you got the shot over a distance of 28.25 ft. Not bad.....

Rachael Harrie said...

Great shots Grandpa, the title had me a bit worried for a minute ;)

My husband's a massive camera nut, and he LOVES taking photos of birds as well. Can't wait to see more pikkies as you take them :)


Ohiofarmgirl said...

i LOVE the idea of you stalking around in the jungle, Grandpa! but sadly.. ha ha.. I am a victim of the "new math" they had here in the states. in "addition" (ha! a pun!) to not being able to skin a pig... i couldnt calculate my way out of a wet paper bag. in fact, at the mere mention of "calculate" i kind of flop over in a heap and sort of mutter to myself. yikes... here i go!
*flop, mutter mutter mutter*

with warmest regards,

Faith said...

Quizzes are fun ways to spend winter hours. :o)

I found and was doing some really fun quizzes online earlier this morning.

As I'm sure most of your commenters are saying, the Pythagorean Theorem is a2 + b2 = c2

So 20 (your distance from the tree) squared plus 20 (bird's height up the tree) squared equals your questioned distance squared.

400 plus 400 equals 800, and you have to find the square root of 800.

That would be approximately 28 feet and 4 inches.

I love photography. I finally got my camera in the mail yesterday and I'm really excited to hopefully have it back very soon, and working again.


Rayna M. Iyer said...

Somewhere between 28 and 29 feet, and closer to 28 would be my estimation, but I am doing it without a calculator or pen and paper, so cannot be sure of the accuracy at all.

Those are fantastic shots. I've found birds some of the hardest things to photograph- they are so unpredictable, aren't they? And not having fancy stuff forces you to invest more effort into each photograph- I like.

AND, thank you for the mention.

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

Sorry, Grandpa, readying myself for my move, I’ve packed my calculator, tape measure and trees.

Nevertheless, these are very nice shots.

secret agent woman said...

I had dozens of doves (mourning doves) grazing in my yard this morning. They are one of my favorite birds.

Mary Mary said...

Love the title of this post! I totally thought I was going to get something else. Way to stalk those doves!

klahanie said...

Howdy Grandpa,
Now then, I'm lazy and I hope the previous comments had the correct answer.
So, being real lazy, I just want to say that I liked looking at your photographs and it has given me some photo-shooting ideas.
Speaking of 'Canon'. I used to own a Canon AE1 Program. My ex-wife liked the camera so much that somehow she ended up with it during the divorce settlement. I mean, have the house, but take my Canon. Yikes! :-)
Have a peaceful weekend.
Kind wishes, Gary.

Happy Frog and I said...

Glad you are getting out there and taking photos for us to enjoy. I don't know the technical stuff either, but I do like taking photos.

Wan Sharif said...

Mr Pythogaras has help 2 earlier readers to get the exact answer and one reader ..a correct estimate.. Although I sensed that canon is a brand of camera ..I more or less hope it is a real canon.. Ha..ha
Have a good stalking days ahead..

John Saunders said...

Hi Grandpa.
I have always been rubbish at maths, much to my mum`s annoyance, so I got a bit confused about how to work out distances!
I have, however got a bit of fieldcraft for you, in order for you to get a bit closer!
Always walk in diagonal lines, never straight towards the bird and change direction quite often. It will take you longer to get within photo distance, but is worth it. Also, wear something on your head, a hat is a good idea! This breaks your silhouette up, so you don`t look so human! It takes a lot of patience and sometimes standing still for hours to get the right shot, but in the area where you are, at least you won`t get frost bite!

Grandpa said...

Hey everyone, thanks for reading my story. And for attempting to get me the distance - some complete with the workings, very impressive!

And thanks John for the fieldcraft. I'll certainly bear them in mind from now on.