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/

Friday, December 14, 2012

Photographing Pied Avocets at Mai Po WWF refuge, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Mai Po and Pied Avocets
The birds of Hong Kong
Since arriving back from London it has been a few days of pasting my butt to the chair, glueing my eyes to screens and beginning work catch up on filing images, posting to my website, filing, captioning and all that fun stuff that we thought would be easier with digital images - which of course, it is not.
However, the filing brought me back to some Hong Kong images I worked with a few weeks ago. Mai Po was a fantastic day of birding with John Holmes of Walk Hong Kong. If you want a birding guide you could find none better. He led us to 74 new species! Mai Po WWF reserve will be the subject of a longer blog.

While going through some of the 800 images I took at Mai Po reserve, now edited down to about 550, I noticed a motor-drive sequence I had taken of a Pied Avocet, one of the waders frequently seen on the extensive tidal flats, and photographed from one of the Mai Po blinds.
About a year ago I purchased a copy of DoubleTake, a panorama stitching program for Mac OS X, echoone.com/doubletake/ , for $24.95.
I wondered what would happen if I stitched together several inflight shots like the one below.

So, I took four images and dragged them into the DoubleTake screen. The blending of each image was fairly intuitive. The exposure of each image was slightly variable but DoubleTake allows you to select each blended image on its own and adjust basic curves.

So, I balanced the curves, cropped and came up with this composite image.

Now, it is no secret to anyone who has been to Hong Kong and most of China that the pollution there is remarkable.  Trying to shoot skylines in Hong Kong is frustrating unless there is a typhoon force wind blowing China's lung-searing smoke out to sea, or back to China. It affects every frame you take and many from Mai Po looked muddy. So, I made a shift in color temperature and saturation to bring the image to what we would have liked it to be, resulting in this image.

One bird, in sequence. All photos taken with a Nikon D7000, 200-400mm f4 Nikkor,
(effective focal length being 600mm), f5.6, 1/500th sec, auto white balance.

Unfortunately this blog format is not the best way to display the image. Eventually it will be on my website where the larger format will show it off a little better.  The point is it was only a couple of hours work to come up with this interesting image - and shows some other possibilities for further in flight shots.

DoubleTake does offer a trail version as well.

All photos copyright Richard T. Wright 2012

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks heavens for Photoshop for allowing some of the gloom the be "tuned out"..