torsdag 21. mai 2015

NIGHT OTTERS / OTER

Lake Csaj, Hungary, January & May 2015 :

MAY 2015 :



By autumn 2014 my friend Bence Matè set up an infrared camera to monitor the pond by one of his heron-hides at night-time, and to his surprise this revealed an unexpected visitor : a family of local otters had found the "underwater-boxes with heron food" and was feeding regularly every night on the fish from the boxes. I had the pleasure to shoot these magnificent animals for the first time in January 2015, and as I returned to Hungary in May this year I had the chance to do them again. The normal procedure would be that the bigger male would arrive first and feed alone and then later the female with 3 cubs would arrive, more or less together. When I was there in January the cubs had already reached adult size, and by May they were still hanging around with "Mom". Altogether I spent 4 full nights with the otters ….. and I really had a great time with them !!

Since otters are strictly nocturnal the shooting inevitably involves the use of flash (which is not my favorite gadget !!) … and like many other wild (and even shy !) animals the otters did not react upon repeated flashing. However the action was hard to shoot because they were always, constantly & continuously in rapid movement … and the focus light was poor.

The pictures from January are shot with 2 flashes from up front, while the shooting in May was done with 3 flashes, 2 from up front and 1 from behind as a backlight flash. All pictures are shot with Nikon D4 /D4s, Nikkor 70-200 2,8, f/2,8, 1/250, ISO 500-800 and with Nikon SB 900 flashes. 
Ok, it`s 20 pictures looking much the same, but still : Hope you like `em !!

A warm thank you to Csaba Olasz, Krisztian "Koko" Kovacs & Bence Matè !


A heavy rainstorm is washing the pool with backlight flashing


Still raining ...
















….of some reason : my favorite !








JANUARY 2015 :


The temperature is below freezing and the warm breath can be seen above the water






Mom & one of the playful cubs


mandag 18. mai 2015

BLACKWINGED KITE / SVARTVINGEGLENTE


D4s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1600, ISO 900

I am not the one to fall in love with glossy photographs of "divas & popstars" in fancy books and magazines …. but this time it was different !! Ever since I saw the picture of the "Goth Lady" for the first time … with the slim, clean look, the pale powdered face and the big, bottomless, brown eyes with excessive makeup inspired by Cleopatra and Siouxie & the Banshees (80`ies rock band) … I simply could not get this stunning appearance out of my mind. I was seriously "bewitched, bothered & bewildered" (Doris Day 60`ies song). After this overwhelming experience  I have spent time and used my network to figure out how I could possibly obtain an audience with the "devine lady", and this has been a true challenge due to the fact that she`s simply not very "available" …. but then all of a sudden : hard work and coincidence comes together and give me my desired opportunity for a date with :

The "Cult Queen".

The black winged kite (Elanus caerulens) has relatively recently (in ecological terms of time) spread into Europe from Africa and is now breeding in very few numbers on locations in Spain & Portugal +  Morocco, Algerie, Tunisia & Egypt. There is also recorded breedings in Southern France. 

The pictures are shot in Spain early May. The situation was the location of a nest, but since I don`t do nest photography, we were lucky to have the bird`s favorite perch where the male used to deliver food to the female to bring to the nest, where he used to enjoy his own meals and where he regularly did his "plumage makeover". As you can see all pictures are from this perch. I spent 12 hours in a nearby "hay-ball" with camera in quiet mode shooting only one-by-one shots (no rapid series exposures !) and with a fleece jacket wrapped around the camera to reduce camera noise. I did not dare to move my lens so flight shots were impossible.

A warm thank you to Dario Mesonero-Romanos & Jose David Gomez !


The female arrives to the perch to collect a mouse from the male
D4s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 800 


D4s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 800


D4s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1250, ISO 1250


D4s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 450


D4s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1600, ISO 1000


D4s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1600, ISO 1000


D4s, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/400, ISO 640


D4s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1600, ISO 1250


D4s, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/400, ISO 720


D4s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 800


D4s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 900

lørdag 4. april 2015

HIGHLIGHTS (??) 2014

OK, it may be a silly thing to do : making "highlights blog", but I`ve been doing this regularly for many years and it`s a good opportunity to recall the "near past" ! 
The challenge is : 2 pics pr month. 
I hope you like them. 

JANUARY


Snowy owl, Ontario Canada (snøugle)


Sunset snowy owl in 30 degrees cold. Ontario Canada (snøugle)

FEBRUARY


Goshawk in snowy weather, Nesodden Norway (hønsehauk)


Goshawk portrait, Nesodden Norway (hønsehauk)

MARCH


Angry African Rock Python, South Africa (klippepyton)


Forest cobra, South Africa (skogkobra)

APRIL


Male adders fighting over a female in mating season, Vestfold Norway (huggorm)


Male adders fighting over a female in mating season, Vestfold Norway (huggorm)

MAY


Male sparrow hawk, Kiskunsagi, Hungary (spurvehauk)  


Little owls mating, Kiskunsagi Hungary (kirkeugle)

JUNE


Gyr falcon, Norway (jaktfalk)


Gyrfalcon, Norway (jaktfalk)

JULY


Great grey owl, Finland (lappugle)


Blackthroated divers, Finland (storlom)

AUGUST


Blacktailed rattlesnake, Arizona USA (svarthaleklapperslange)


Western diamondback rattlesnake, Arizona USA (diamantryggklapperslange)

SEPTEMBER


Reindeers mating, Forollhogna Norway (reinsdyr)


Smoothsnake biting, Frogn Norway (slettsnok)

OKTOBER


Whitetailed eagle & full moon, Flatanger Norway (havørn)


Black grouse, Flatanger Norway (orrhane)

NOVEMBER


Bonellis eagle, Extremadura Spain (haukørn)


Iberian imperial eagle, Extremadura Spain (Iberiaørn)

DECEMBER


Green iguana, Costa Rica


Royal tern, Miami USA