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Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller
Quasimojo


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Birds II (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-30D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Location: London Zoo
Date: Jan 27, 2008
Aperture: f5.6
ISO: 250
Shutter: 1/800th
Date Uploaded: Jan 27, 2008

Shooting animals in the zoo seemed to me a bit like shooting fish in a barrel - cheap photography. However, it's January and I didn't want to shoot pigeons in the garden, and Trafalgar Square shots are probably way too cheesy.

So...I sold out and went to the zoo. This beauty, a Lilac-breasted Roller, really captured my eye with the colours, so I spent three days trying to get it right. Of about 200 shots over three days this was the best quality I could get under the lighting - 1/800th at f5.6 on the 100-400 at ISO 250(ironically this shot was taken just before sunset, hence the gold tones in the light). I needed it to be as pin sharp as humanly possible and flashing wasn't an option so bracketed ISO whenever I had the chance. I made sure that the eye was sharp and then hoped for similar DoF with the rest of the bird, and the profile shot suited it perfectly.

This is I think best view to show the amazing colours, although afterwards I looked up the bird on google images to see how the pros might have shot it and I prefer my pose (others don't show the rich royal blue feathers on the back).

PP: convert from RAW, contrast, vibrance, saturation, levels, resize, border, noise ninja, usm, save for web.

My last three entries have crashed and burned heavily so I'm hoping this will be a decent 6.

Post Challenge: My first 7! Shame not to ribbon but the standard was really high so it's all good.

Also massive thanks to ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' DrAchoo, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Dwterry and anyone else that helped me out in the 'Nature and camera mode' forum thread. I'd be stuck with an ISO 1600 image were it not for the forum help.

Statistics
Place: 4 out of 251
Avg (all users): 7.1896
Avg (commenters): 7.9615
Avg (participants): 7.1400
Avg (non-participants): 7.2342
Views since voting: 16738
Views during voting: 460
Votes: 211
Comments: 46
Favorites: 13 (view)


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AuthorThread
07/12/2008 10:25:15 AM
i usually dont care for photos of birds or nature that much, but this is real cool! never seen a bird like that.
05/25/2008 05:32:27 PM
Missed this one before.. what an amazing looking bird.. so close to that ribbon as well..

nice work. well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2008 07:18:39 PM
Sellout! Just kidding, what a great picture. I've never seen a bird with so many colors for its size. Well worth the trip. Congrats on the 7+
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2008 03:07:19 PM
Beautiful bird and an excellent shot of it. Your hard work payed off well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2008 12:25:32 PM
fantastic shot, congrats on the personal best here
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 04:22:28 PM
Ah, this one deserved the blue. Perfect balance of light and shadow: a pure delight!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 01:16:21 PM
He is to funny. He looks like he robbed some pretty birds feathers.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 01:06:44 PM
That is quite a colorful bird! Well captured.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 12:11:48 PM
I still believe this should have gotten a higher score - like we have never seen eagles eating fish (#3). Fantastic soft colors AND great detail!! Great job!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 10:50:43 AM
Well done! Congrats on the new PB!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 06:59:37 AM
Well done. Congrats on the new whopper of a PB and honorable mention.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 04:22:08 AM
stunning colours,well done/congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 03:50:49 AM
nice one quasi
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 03:17:36 AM
Congrats on a new PB and top 5, great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 02:59:28 AM
Excellent score and finish - and well-deserved! Won't be long before you ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 12:44:32 AM
I looked up Lilac-breasted Roller on Wikipedia (which I now see you did too), to 'double check' whether this bird was from Costa Rica - and to my surprise it is not:

"The Lilac-breasted Roller, Coracias caudata, is a member of the roller family of birds. It is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring open woodland and savanna; it is largely absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, frogs, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level. Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 24 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries. The sexes are alike in colouration."

Beautiful bird and image/profile of it - lucky for you you didn't have to go to Africa to capture it. Well done on your high placing. edit:typo

Message edited by author 2008-02-04 00:46:08.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 12:08:26 AM
Hey, congrats! His feathers are so fluffy I want to run my fingers through them.

Shooting fish in a barrel, eh? Did 3 days and more than 200 shots convince you otherwise? :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/03/2008 05:17:04 PM
what a strange little bird so full of colour and feathers ( I have never seen one like this ) beautiful work well taken 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2008 11:13:16 AM
One of my favourite birds, makes me long to be on safari this very minute. Amazingly sharp and wonderfully vibrant detail... lovely light, perfect DOF to create that wonderfully rich blurred backdrop. Love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2008 05:09:07 PM
8 - Gorgeous bird, has to be Costa Rica... Nature is amazing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2008 05:02:02 PM
Excellent! I love the color and the bird. Nice capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2008 01:07:30 PM
One aspect of photography is to show the viewer something he's never seen before -- and you've certainly done that! What an amazing creature. The photo is good and sharp and I like the background. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2008 03:05:17 AM
Awesome what great colors
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/01/2008 08:53:44 PM
That is one colorful bird.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/01/2008 11:59:34 AM
This bird gets my vote!! where his colours really like that? Perfect in all ways-great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2008 07:19:24 AM
Fovus is a little soft, doesn't quite POP. Composition is a little too far right, not leaving the subject any room to move into the frame, otherwisw very nice.
01/30/2008 09:42:27 PM
inneresting birdie!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 09:33:34 PM
wow.... beautiful colors!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 08:09:55 PM
Gorgeous colors and great feather detail. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 06:56:29 PM
A beautiful, colorful bird, expertly photographed! Plenty of Wow!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 08:56:26 AM
My first thought when I saw this was WOW! What beautiful colors and such expression in the bird's eye.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 01:37:47 AM
GORGEOUS colors! Looks like five different paint cans splashed on that bird!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 10:56:29 PM
He looks peeved. Also considerably more colorful than the last one I saw at the zoo, but that was a different time of year. This one is something like a feathered rainbow. Nice composition and detail.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 07:57:03 PM
Beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 05:42:14 PM
Good job, great color.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 03:52:34 PM
Never seen one, Awesome coloring.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 08:34:26 AM
What a colorful thing! I like how the feather are so "dressy" on the front. Nicely captured to show off this pretty bird.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 07:30:33 PM
Nicely captured. The lighting, color and composition all very good. Good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 06:44:27 PM
Just PERFECT !!!!! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 06:18:18 PM
That is one funky lookin bird. Cool branch, great colors, nice detail and nice bokeh. Bumping up 1.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 03:15:32 PM
wow he is spectacular, excellent colour capture, clean shot crisp in all teh righ tplaces, details pop 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 02:26:50 PM
What a beautiful bird!!!! Colours are just gorgeous.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 01:36:30 PM
he looks a little long in the tooth but even so a very colorful fellow indeed,well framed and composed-10! wish we had them here...very beautiful bird.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 02:45:45 AM
i've never seen such a beautiful bird. nice capture. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 02:07:04 AM
That is an awesome bird! very well photographed!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 01:35:39 AM
Wow... what a colorful bird!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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