Photo course with Tom Schandy and Bård Næss

May 09, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Østensjøvannet near Oslo is a fantastic playground for practising bird photography skills. Today, I had signed up for a short course in bird photography with well-known Norwegian nature photographers Bård Næss and Tom Schandy (Natur & Foto, http://www.naturogfoto.no/).

The light was less than ideal today, with heavy clouds above. Our big hope was to see the great crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) mating, as they had done the day before. But although one of them put a little bit more grass on the platform, they just stayed out on the water. The tufted ducks were quite fun to watch and photograph, and we practised catching their dives. Or should I say we practised photographing water drops...

A mute swan came rather too close for comfort and I regretted not bringing the 7-14 mm for some fun, as it kept getting in the way of other subjects. "Take my picture!"

Finally, the grebes came back to the platform, and we all got ready in eager anticipation. At first the female climbed up and got into a rather compromising position. The male was - to our great disappointment - not game. She sat there for a long time, but he was uninterested, and finally they left for open water again. We gave up more or less, and stood there talking mostly, as it was getting rather dark.

Then - the pair carried out their courtship ritual for a while, and then came back. The female climbed back on and the show began.

My poor sensor was pushed to its limits as I set the ISO to 2500. I've never used that before. At f/2.8 I got 1/320 second shutter speeds... And grain worthy of a field of wheat...

The slide show has the best of the evening's efforts. I have better images of birds in other folders here, but it was a special evening all the same. Thanks to Bård and Tom for a great evening.

 


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