About Me

Wells, BC, Canada
Richard is a working photographer and writer in B.C. His camera focuses on natural history. archeology, travel, and documentary photography. His photography blog may be found at: http://richardtwright.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Barkerville book, Hong Kong birds and rugby in London.

Writing about Barkerville, bird photography in Hong Kong 
and rugby pitches in London

This week I have been working through a variety of images from the past few months. With my new book on Barkerville Historic Town at the publisher there is a little less stress. I had forgotten just how much time it was taking to finish that project. The cover is complete and the catalogue copy set.

For more information of ordering contact Heritage House Publishing Co. http://www.heritagehouse.ca/

I still have hundreds of Hong Kong photos from our 6 week visit last winter but I am gradually wading through them, attaching keywords and captions, and posting to my website.
Yesterday I was working on this one, actually one of my favorites as crows and ravens seem to be difficult subjects.  They are often hard to light properly, some becoming black blobs, and they are skittish and wise.  My Dad used to tell us that when he was shooting crows on a farm in Alberta, Canada, they would jump up and let his .22 bullet pass beneath them.
Large-billed or Jungle Crow feeding on a Cotton tree blossom.
Nikon D7000, 200-400mm f4 (effective 600mm), cloudy light, f4, 1/320th sec.
This one was taken from my favorite blind - my son's dining room overlooking the jungle of Clearwater Bay near Hong Kong.  I could stand or sit at a window looking directly at the Cotton tree, with a coffee by my side and warm breezes wafting in the window. In fact the crow was serendipity - I was waiting for our resident Black Kite to roost. I shot the kite for 6 weeks, but as we were about to leave the Cotton tree burst into bloom offering much more interesting shots and more visitors.  One day this crow swooped in to feed on the blossoms and stayed for a few minutes. I took about 20 shots and in only one did it lift its head enough to get a bit of a catch light in the eye.

And on a personal note:
For most of us photographers we get two highs - one when we get that money shot or the one we have been planning and anticipating for days or years; and two, when the photo is used and a cheque arrives in the mail.
I had a personal high this week.  While in Hong Kong or London our Saturdays were mostly devoted to trekking to the nearby Rugby pitch to watch my grandson excel at his favorite game - rugby.  He is a fierce player, and more importantly, a team player.

A tradition - Richard ties Olly's shoes and carefully tucks the laces.
Olly says it makes him play better.

For my son and I it is chance to chat, more or less without interruption, and to try out various lenses and cameras and see what we can shoot. It is a great opportunity to practice follow focus and isolation. I now have literally hundreds of rugby shots of the Wasps in London and more from Hong Kong.
On this last visit we followed our pattern. But on my last Saturday the pitch was frozen, it was a practice session with few players showing up and my grandson Olly had a chance to just play with the ball for a bit. I did not have to worry about isolating him. The shots weren't great, but they were fun and I posted a couple to the family, titling them "Kicka da ball".
Then the highlight. This week I got an email from my grandson. He's 12.

Hey Gramps,
Could you sent me the HD picture of 'Kick da Ball' 
I am setting the picture as my desktop back-ground.

Now that is cool! I sent Olly these photos to choose from.
What other reason do we need to take photos?

All photos: D800, 70-200mm f2.8, f9, 1/320th sec.,
using a Manfrotto Monopod with a ball and socket head.
For the next series I went to D800 Manual settings rather than P, setting the lens at f2.8
and gaining a higher shutter speed. Richard Wright photos.
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