Sunday, May 18, 2008

Roger Featherer

You Calling Me A Birdbrain?

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I took this shot about five weeks ago, just after I had taken delivery of my new 300mm Sigma lens. I was in the city and the sun was just starting to come up when I decided to walk towards Princes Bridge to test the reach of the lens. I had the camera around my neck and I had just taken some shots looking right across the river, when I turned my attention to the footpath in front of me.

About fifty metres in front of me and slightly to my left were three gulls sitting on a railing and looking towards the Arts Centre. Gulls are fairly savvy birds, I’ve noticed. They allow you to get fairly close to them, probably because they reckon there’s a fair chance you’ll toss some bread crumbs their way. But point something at them and, I tell ya, they get fairly skittish.

So I slowed down a bit and pointed the long lens at them, hoping they would take fright and fly away. The one on the left was keeping me in his field of vision, the one in the middle didn’t really give a toss (nice tennis reference, that!) and the one furthest away couldn’t have cared less. So I drew a bead on the middle one and fired off just one quick frame.

Only when I got home that night did I look closely at the photo and realise that the reflection of a riverside light on the dark surface of the Yarra River has produced a yellow shimmery patch that looks for all the world like a speeding tennis ball above the birds. Once I realised that, I couldn’t resist giving this post the title Roger Featherer.

Like all good tennis writers (when I first started covering Wimbledon, they were still using white Slazenger balls, not yellow) I guess I’m always looking for a good return of swerve.


Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

25 comments:

Texas Travelers said...

That title is too funny. I always love to see what you will do next, serious or funny.

Nice photo. Looks like you are really close. ;o)

Come visit my critters,
Troy

ratmammy said...

i was wondering what that yellow thing was!!

fishing guy said...

Hi David: Very nicely done. The ball made another interesting thing in the picture.

CrazyCath said...

David I am so jealous! I have been trying to get shots of birds for weeks but alas and alack, I need a 300mm sigma zoom lens! lol

So I settled for something else that flies - come check it out. My critter is up.

This is a fabulous shot and it may look like a tennis ball to you, but it could also be a very yellow moon. Either way, it is fantastic.

I am glad they refused to fly for you on demand too. Makes me feel better! (Sorry!) And the smaller birds I want to stand still, fly! Murphy's law I guess.

Tammy said...

Every time I see sea gulls I think of the movie Finding Nemo.

Sandi McBride said...

You collect cameras and lenses for them like I collect...well, I don't really collect anything anymore but one time I collected bells...I had quite a gaggle of bells, but I'd bet you have more cameras and paraphenalia for them than I ever had bells...I wanted to say congrats on the Big E from San...it was a beautiful post about a really admirable man...
Sandi

i beati said...

I thought you were going to tell us they left you a gift in flight ??

Me & my puppies said...

gulls can be quite crafty, we have plenty here at the shore

Texas Travelers said...

Thanks for the visit.
There was a beetles concert that night after the Rugby match.

Troy

archiearchive said...

I can't fault this one - great shot. :)

Corey~living and loving said...

you crack me up David. :) love the shot of the birds. fun depth of field. :)
hope your weekend is going well.

Vic Grace said...

Three stooges.

Anna said...

I really like this. I like that shimmery yellow spot, too, though I don't know I would have thought of a tennis ball when I saw it.

juliana rw said...

love ur shots. they are all beautiful

Hope you visit mine too Thanks

Picturing of Life said...

Great shot.

Will you visit mine Thanks

Misty Dawn said...

You NEVER fail to put a smile on my face David! You certainly ought to know that by now ;-) I'm one of your greatest (I can't say biggest, cuz I'm a pretty little gal) fans.

Carletta said...

I always come here knowing it will be good - nice shot - humorous telling of the story - leaving happy as always!!

Sharon said...

Nice picture. It is always fun to get the pictures home and find a little something unexpected in them.

Skittles said...

The one in the middle has a scary look in its eyes. :)

Daryl said...

I had no ides Prince had a bridge .. is it Purple? I love those gulls .. I bet they are wondering what gossip sheet they'll be gracing.

:-Daryl

Lilli & Nevada said...

Great shot at first when i saw the yellow dot it was a very strange looking moon, glad you cleared that up

Rhea said...

I was wondering if the yellow orb was the moon...but it seemed unlikely.

Great picture! I like how you bribed the models to stay there by lobbing bread at them. lol

AppleDebbie said...

Love the seagull... Roger Featherer indeed! Lol!

starnitesky said...

Brilliant depth of field and the reflection, well - just perfect.

D... said...

What a crisp shot!

I, too, think of Finding Nemo. "Mine, Mine, Mine"