mandag 19. april 2021

ARCTIC WINTER DUCKS AT BÅTSFJORD

Male King Eider shot in the morning twilight with the reflections from a harbour light

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 2800

Its been a dream for some time to go to photograph arctic ducks in the sheltered harbour of Båtsfjord, a small fisherman's village on the rough Varanger coast on the northern tip of Norway. With initiative and great company from / with photographer colleague Bjørn Erik Hellang we went there in second half of March 2020. The trick with the birds is to feed the local Sea Urchins (kråkeboller) with fish leftovers, the urchins come in big numbers and cover the bottom ... and arctic ducks like King Eiders (Prakærfugl), Longtailed Ducks (Havelle) and Stellers Eider (Stellerand) + Common Eiders come in big numbers in early mornings to revel on the urchins. Best time of year to go there for this purpose is February & March ... after the mid winter permanent darkness is gone and before the birds go to their arctic breeding grounds in (mainly) russian Sibiria .... A great photographic experience !! ... and the new manager has creative ideas for next years shooting !!! 

Accommodation, food & service : First Class !!! 

All bookings of hide & accommodation is done through Båtsfjord Hotel (post@baatsfjord.com)

A winterly visit to Båtsfjord can easily be combined with artic seabirds colonies at Hornøya nearby the city of Vardø and with possible owls, Willow Grouse & the Pine Grosbeak feeding place in Pasvik. (Pine Grosbeak contact : Ben-Arne Sotkajærvi).

TEST : Reflections in the waves from a "planted light" on the nearby harbours edge gave ideas for King Eider photography in the morning twilight.

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 1000


Male King Eider shot in the morning twilight with the reflections from a harbour light

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 2000

            Male King Eider shot in the morning twilight with the reflections from a harbour light

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 2800

Male King Eider shot in the morning twilight with the reflections from a harbour light

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 2800

Male King Eider shot in the morning twilight with the reflections from a permanent harbour light

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 5600

Male King Eider shot in the morning twilight with the reflections from a nearby red building .... highlighted by a red fender hanging on the pier`s edge

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 2800

Portrait of male King Eider

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/2500, ISO 5600

Male King Eider

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/1600, ISO 640

Male King Eider

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/1600, ISO 640

Sunrise with male King Eider

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/3200, ISO 1000

Male King Eider

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/2500, ISO 1400

"Gull blandt gråstein" ? Male King Eider swimming with Common Eiders

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/2500, ISO 5600

Male Longtailed Duck / Havelle

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 200

Male Longtailed Duck / Havelle in reflected colours of a harbour building 

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/1600, ISO 640

Portrait of male Longtailed Duck / Havelle

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/1600, ISO 500

Touchdown ! Female Longtailed Duck / Havelle

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/3200, ISO 1100

Male Stellers Eider / Stellerand

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1600, ISO 1600

The floating hide for arctic ducks inside Båtsfjord`s sheltered harbour

iPhone


Inside the floating hide for arctic ducks in Båtsfjord. Each blue XPS plate is a optional shooting opening with possible low angle with both backlight and frontlight. 

iPhone


onsdag 7. april 2021

EARLY SPRING CAPERCAILLIE

Heavy snow I

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/640, ISO 2200

As photographer the Pandemic Life has been a bit difficult for me ... as I miss Africa, I miss tropical snakes, Spanish raptors & my good friends in Finland. It`s not always so easy to create new, interesting projects locally where I live ... but I have been so incredibly lucky to get to know this local capercaillie. He really saved my "photographic winter." This bird is a bit crazy as his hormones are going bananas with him. I have paid him many visits through February & March 2021, I`ve had him in low backlight, soft whiteout winter days, deep cold, rain, light snow and super heavy snow. Sometimes he was simply not at home. I have been careful not to disturb him or push him too much through short visits & keeping my distance with the the use of longer lenses ... but still I've had to "run for my life" a couple of times to get away from his sharp beak & powerful wing knockles ! I've tasted them, I know what they feel like.

I have a great feeling for this bird. Hope he makes it through the summer & autumn and that he stays away from people ... in general !!  

Heavy snow II

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/640, ISO 1800

Heavy snow III

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/640, ISO 2200

Heavy snow IV

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/640, ISO 1800

Heavy snow V

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/640, ISO 1800

Morning backlight I

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/1600, ISO 280

Morning backlight II. The blue is snow in deep shadow

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/1600, ISO 320

Morning backlight III ...  on a very cold day

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/1600, ISO 1250


Morning backlight IV

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/1600, ISO 800



Morning backlight V ... with snow in deep shadow

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/1600, ISO 320

Feeding on pine needles mid winter I

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/800, ISO 1100


Feeding on pine needles mid winter II

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/800, ISO 1100

Feeding on pine needles mid winter III

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/640, ISO 2500

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,2, 1/640, ISO 200

Whiteout I

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,2, 1/640, ISO 560

Whiteout II

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/1600, ISO 1400


Attack position !!

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,2, 1/500, ISO 640

fredag 26. februar 2021

3 DAYS IN A WINTERLY HIDE WITH EAGLES & GOSHAWK




Golden Eagle. A heavy snow shower is a blessing for any photographer

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 5000

My friend Leiv Arne Åkset runs a commercial photo-hide up in Marnardal in southern Norway. His place is well known for amazing sparrow-hawk photography in the autumn and as well as for winterly action with golden eagles and goshawk. I spent 3 days in his hide in mid February and tried to time it with white winter and snowy weather. One interesting option in his (comfortable) hide is the low camera openings from floor level. This can, if coordinated with vegetation and the level of snow on the outside and as well combined with big aperture / little depth of field in camera, provide nicely blurred foregrounds and soft backgrounds with few disturbing elements.

All pics are shot February 15-17 2021. Hope you like them.



Golden Eagle chasing away annoying magpies
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 5600


A beautifully coloured Golden Eagle displaying "Main Tools" : beak & claws !
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/320, ISO 3600


Golden Eagle 

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1250, ISO 2000


Golden Eagle

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 3200



Closeup on Golden Eagle

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv. = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 5000



Golden Eagle

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 5600



A young Golden Eagle in flight

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 4000



Goshawk

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv. = 850 mm, f/6,3, 1/500, ISO 1800



Goshawk on "The Magic Perch"

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/400, ISO 2200



                                                                      Goshawk
                                 Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/4,5, 1/1000, ISO 1250

 


Portrait of feeding Goshawk

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv. = 850 mm, f/6,3, 1/500, ISO 2200


Goshawk pulling the carcasse apart !

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv. = 850 mm, f/6,3, 1/500, ISO 1250



Have you ever seen a Goshawk from underneath ? Check that beautiful pyjamas pattern on the lower side !

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 1100



Goshawk in late afternoon "Blue Hour" !

Nikon D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/50, ISO 2200



Common Jay on "The Magic Perch"

Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 3600



Magpie on "The Magic Perch". The low angle with the blurred snow up front and biggest aperture with little depth of field gives a soft, faded impression ...                                                                                                                      .... and the motive is perfectly matching The Golden Ratio principals ! (Det Gyldne Snitt)

                                        Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 2200


 A contemplative Magpie on "The Magic Perch"
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600, f/4,0, 1/500, ISO 4000