Photo of the month / Eric Horan
October/ 2011 Lowcountry Calendar
Nemours Plantation: While driving the old rice dykes early one morning, last May, scanning left and right trying to identify the different species of shore and wading birds I was struck by the vast numbers of tree swallows on the wing, in a feeding frenzy feasting on airborne bugs. I stopped to watch their aerial acrobatics and to see if I could actually see them make a catch with the binoculars. This was a difficult challenge, maybe second only to capturing a good photograph of them on the wing. Then suddenly, as if a silent bell rang out announcing a naptime or declaring a rest period, they all landed on these dead cattails forty yards form where I had stopped the vehicle. As I scrambled to add a tele-convertor to my 500mm lens that was attached to a window mount, I noticed the beautiful iridescent blue-green plumage on their upperparts. I was able to fire only six shots before they, as if answering another bell, took off again.
They say so much of getting good wildlife photography is luck. Well if you define luck as “ that place where preparation meets opportunity” then I think what “they say” may be right. If we have done our homework and gotten ourselves in the right place at the right time with the right equipment then we should have some chances at least, to capture some of those special moments in nature’s ongoing ballet. I have learned to always expect the unexpected. This Tree-Swallow image was captured with a Canon 7D, 500mm F4 lens + 2x tele-convertor on a Kirk window mount.
To see more about Eric Horan, his images and his Lowcountry Wildlife Photo Safaris, please visit us at www.horanphoto.com.