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Hoopoe - at last !
Lens: DA*300 Camera: K5 Photo Location: Shanghai ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/350s Aperture: F4 
Posted By: Frogfish, 03-25-2011, 08:45 AM

Whilst for some these birds may be commonplace I haven't seen them for many years, and then I read on a bird blog that a pair had been spotted at Shanghai Zoo (this zoo is not your normal zoo - there are copses, ponds and huge tree lined fields and it's easy to walk around for an hour or so without even seeing an enclosure - hence heaven for much of the local and passerine birds). So off I went and after 3 hours of shooting other wild birds and some squirrels (and as most other people had left and the light was fading) I decided to call it a day. I was walking back through a field that earlier had been full of school children, and now not a soul, when suddenly from behind there was a whoosh and lo and behold the Hoopoe couple swooped past my head and landed not 20 yards (metres) in front of me - talk about luck !

K5 & DA*300. ISO 320 - 500 / F4 / 1/500











Unfortunately I had reduced the shutter speed to give me better ISO levels for the feeding shots and when they suddenly took off I could do nothing but snap away knowing they were going to be blurred. However it did show two things 1) how lovely these birds are in flight and 2) how good the K5 & DA*300 are at tracking BIF .... look at how far away and how small in the shot the Hoopoe is in the last of these 3 shots.





This is with the 300 so the bird must have been between 80 & 100 yds away by then, yet still in focus and tracking perfectly.




Last edited by Frogfish; 03-25-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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03-25-2011, 10:31 AM   #2
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Your patience sure paid off, never seen this bird before. Enjoyed your narrative and of course your photography. It looks like they were keeping an eye on you while you were taking photos. Thanks for the thread, Bob
03-25-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob ! Yes it's a very interesting bird, often seen in the UK I believe and so if in China must be quite widespread.
03-25-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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a very interesting looking bird. you captured his/her colors very well. enjoyed them all

03-25-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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WOW! I long to see a hoopoe, but not a chance in the US. It's a gorgeous bird and your photos are super. Congratulations!
03-25-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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Beautiful bird. I especialy like #1 & 2 but all are great. Thanks for posting.
03-25-2011, 09:47 PM   #7
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Thank you Scott - it is a very unusual bird to say the least !

Thanks Tamia ! I didn't know you don't have Hoopoes in the USA ?!

Thank you Oren - it is a very beautiful bird isn't it.
03-25-2011, 11:08 PM   #8
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Some wonderful shots of a bird that I had not even heard of, thanks for posting them.

03-25-2011, 11:13 PM   #9
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Just taking another look, the male showing its plumage in 2 is a wonderful capture. Bob
03-26-2011, 04:01 AM   #10
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Nice shots! The background bokeh is a bit odd. In the first one it looks like you might have blurred it in post processing, but the second has bokeh which looks almost like my mirror lens - not what I'd expect from the DA300? Yet the bokeh in the third one is ok...
03-26-2011, 07:17 AM   #11
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Love # 2 and 4. Looks like a rare and interesting bird. You shot this extremely well as I usually get so carried away, shooting so fast not to miss shots like this, that I miss the focus. Very interesting colors too. JIM
03-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #12
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Lovely bird. That crest is something else. Thanks for sharing these.
03-26-2011, 12:07 PM   #13
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Thank you Heinrich - you can read more about the Hoopoe here : Hoopoe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thank you again Bob ! That crest is wonderful isn't it.

Well spotted Rob ! Yes that is exactly what I've done - I'll often use the Blur tool instead of NR software. I can't explain that bokeh in #2 either - I've never seen it before, all I can think of is it was something to do with the low angle the sun (at 90 degrees to the birds & I) at that time (17.30).

Thank you Jim ! I almost always try to focus on the eye, if not possible the head if still not possible the body !

Thanks Susan !
03-26-2011, 03:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Well spotted Rob ! Yes that is exactly what I've done - I'll often use the Blur tool instead of NR software. I can't explain that bokeh in #2 either - I've never seen it before, all I can think of is it was something to do with the low angle the sun (at 90 degrees to the birds & I) at that time (17.30).
I'm surprised that you need to reduce the noise at only 400ISO on the K5? Anyway, interesting and they're still good photos.

QuoteQuote:
Thank you Jim ! I almost always try to focus on the eye, if not possible the head if still not possible the body!
This was something I discovered very early on when photographing animals - get the eye(s) in focus - the rest doesn't matter. Our instinct is to look an animal in the eyes, so if the eyes are out of focus, the photo will never look right.
03-27-2011, 02:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I'm surprised that you need to reduce the noise at only 400ISO on the K5? Anyway, interesting and they're still good photos.
.
Not for that particular shot Rob - I applied the Blur because I wasn't keen on the OOF.

With the K5 I rarely have to go to the Topaz NR I use at all ! Maybe in shots above 3,200 but ISO2,000 and under you are pushed to find any noise except maybe in high contrast shots so I don't bother unless I'm planning to print it.
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