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!