Hawkeye

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Photo copyright Bob Krist

Just back in Lima after a week on the Amazon and its tributaries aboard the ship Amatista. What an amazing voyage through the rainforest!

First I’d like to thank you guys, Brenda Tharp and everybody else, for the comments that came in while I was gone.

Seems like the TSA has been losing a lot of locks lately, Nikon Capture DX has some very devoted fans (watch out Adobe!), and also that the readers of this blog are extremely  well read and well versed in the cinema and simply defy all notions about us photographers being semi-literate. (I think that’s just a rumor spread by writers who are jealous of our protection of our rights and rates:-)).

I don’t pretend to be a wildlife shooter (geez, how do you guys do it when you can’t talk to your subjects?!), but we had a lot of looks at incredible wildlife this past week. Much of it defied the magnification of 300 and 400 mm lenses, but occasionally, we got an upclose and personal  look at nature “red in tooth and claw.”

(Okay, if you get that reference without Googling, you should be reading a blog for English majors and not photographers!).  To get the scoop on this shot of a black collared hawk taking out a piranha, hit the jump.

This photo opportunity came after we went fishing for piranha….yes, you read it right, we fished for piranha for our lunch one day! (our naturalist explained that in some sections of the Amazon, the piranha eat people, but where we were, the people eat piranha!).

Our boat caught a goodly number of the voracious little buggers, but some were “below the limit,” so to speak, so we threw them back. When we  tossed one of the little runts back, a nearby black collared hawk took advantage of the situation, and snatched him up!

So we tossed a few more of the undersized man-eaters back under the nose of the pair of hawks and watched them carefully. When one made his move, I tracked him with a 70-300mm VR lens on a D300s and managed to get a couple of decent snatches, with this one being my favorite.

At first I tried pre-focusing on the stunned piranha, but the hawks move so fast you have no chance to catch them if you wait for them at their “destination.”  So focus tracking on the swooping bird was the way to go.

By the way, piranha are delicious….they taste nothing like chicken,and they have  a lot more bones!

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Photo copyright Bob Krist

This entry was posted in Destinations, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Travel.

16 Comments

  1. Dan Creighton November 14, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    That first image is perfection Bob. Those trailing water droplets really seal the deal. What a beautiful bird of prey with it’s rust body and black wings.

    • Bob November 15, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

      Thanks Dan. Without those droplets, it would have just been a missed moment:-)! Bob

  2. Jim November 14, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    Moose Peterson..Beware

    • Bob November 15, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

      Moose has nothing to fear from me. That’s about the only decent shot I got of birds the whole week! Bob

  3. mk November 15, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Are the extra bones theirs or the bones of certain consumed creatures? Har-har…

    Nice to see you’re back “on the grid.”

    Cheers.

    • Bob November 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

      We tried not to think about what they ate before we ate them….doesn’t pay to think to far back on the foodchain if you want to hold down your lunch! BK

  4. Zach VanDeHey November 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    Just found your blog a few days ago and I must say that I have been reading ever since. I have followed your photographs for years and its cool to have such a personal site for people to interact with you, I love it. sounds like you had a great time on your last trip! And great shots!

    • Bob November 16, 2009 at 4:36 am #

      Thanks Zach, welcome aboard. Bob

  5. iheartfilm November 16, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    Really nice action work.

    • Bob November 16, 2009 at 4:36 am #

      Sometimes it’s good to be lucky! Bob

  6. Mark Olwick November 16, 2009 at 6:20 am #

    Nice shots, Bob. Love that first one especially.
    On a side note, I was able to score a vintage Bob Krist Travel Vest on eBay last week. Mint condition. Why the heck did they ever stop making these? Great vest!

    Mark

    • Bob November 16, 2009 at 9:09 am #

      Mark: I’m getting a lot of requests to bring it back, and LLBean recently released the ownership of the design back to me, so I may be able to shop it around. But it’s about 100th on my to do list….I’ve got a gazillion GBs of Raw files to process first….should take me about the rest of my life to get around to! Bob

  7. Arun Paul November 16, 2009 at 7:31 am #

    The droplet “catch” is fantastic. Nice work Bob.
    I would love to sample some of that piranha !! Sounds good.

    • Bob November 16, 2009 at 9:07 am #

      Arun: The bones are annoying, but the flesh is great. Probably the same way the piranhas feel about us as food! Bob

      • Dave Hutchinson November 18, 2009 at 9:52 am #

        Bob, piranha has gotta be better than Guinea Pig.

        • Bob November 18, 2009 at 10:32 am #

          Yes, less gamey to taste, but more dangerous to eat! Bob

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