Sunday, June 02, 2013

Brown-bagging it

I just got my Canon 5D Mark III. I had been waiting to give it a field test asap but my wife and I needed some R & R after our trip to Puerto Princesa. For us R & R means Rest and Rest, basically staying at home, enjoying the airconditioning in our room, and napping most of the time.

Finally opportunity came when friends Charlie and Paula Fernandez needed some advice on birding in Los Banos. We told them that we would just join them there (perfect excuse, wasn't it?). I contacted another friend, Prof. Tirso Paris, and asked him if he would be available and if so if he could take us inside the IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) compound. Thankfully, he was.

Bright and early Saturday morning we were happily birding the now dry ricefields. That was the beginning of my getting-to-know my new camera experience. Interestingly, most of the birds we saw were plain brown jobs that blended so well in their surroundings. The challenge they presented got me excited and also a bit frustrated at times. I never realized how complicated the settings were of this equipment until I tried using them in the field. Whew!

Here are some of the brown birds I bagged with the 5DIII

Zitting Cisticola
Oriental Pratincole
Oriental Skylark
Later that morning we went to the Makiling Botanical Garden. There we met fellow bird photographer, Ramon Quisumbing. He was joined later by his brother JJ, Steve Albano and Paolo Dolina. The entirely different habitat presented even more challenge to my gear. Sunbirds that were always moving and most of the time staying in the dark resulted in images that I would be ashamed to post publicly.

I have to read the manual all over again.

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