Arc of the Kingfisher

--->, Uncategorized--->Arc of the Kingfisher

Arc of the Kingfisher

2012-04-10T13:13:04+00:00April 10th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|8 Comments

I have a few terabytes of backlogged photos I’ve never posted — many of which should probably stay archived. But, I thought for sure I’d published this one. When I searched my blog archives, it appears this image never touched the pages of The Quark.

This is a banner I created last year of a Belted Kingfisher in flight (Ceryle alcyon). I shot these frames off Elliott Bay in Seattle, and layered them in Photoshop to create the composite. In my experience Belted Kingfishers are shy of the lens, so I don’t bother them too often with my camera. This particular kingfisher male was dipping repeatedly for fish, right where I was sitting and photographing the Caspian Terns last summer.

Individual kingfisher images photographed with my Olympus E-3 and Zuiko 70-300mm lens (f4.0-5.6) at 300mm — 600mm equivalent (35mm)

Belted Kingfisher in Flight Composite

Click for Larger Image - ©ingridtaylar


  1. Mia McPherson April 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Very nice Ingrid, Belted Kingfishers are a nemesis bird for me, I don’t have a single image of them that I am happy with. I love the composite!

    • ingrid @thefreequark April 11, 2012 at 12:28 am - Reply

      Hmmm … I’d be interested in any Mia kingfisher shots, even the ones that don’t pass muster. Why do I have a sense they would meet my specs?

      As far as nemesis birds, I have quite a few, mostly small BIFs. I love my little gear package, but the down side is that my lens loves to hunt ineffectually. So, when I manage a shot of a small bird like a kingfisher in flight, I usually buy myself a bottle of wine. And then drink it while making composites in Photoshop.

  2. Glenn Nevill April 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    I love composites too. Always a fun challange to put them together. Thanks for posting it.

  3. Ron Dudley April 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Ingrid – a really neat series, all in one image! I especially like the variety of wing positions. Yes, these birds really are “shy of the lens” and catching them in flight is particularly difficult. You did well here.

    • ingrid @thefreequark April 11, 2012 at 12:21 am - Reply

      Thanks so much, Ron. And you’re right about those clever kingfishers. Oh, btw, thanks to Mia, I spent an evening browsing photo critiques at bird and will now forever be reticent to post any bird photos publicly … particularly if the wing position is 15 degrees off and the under-wing shadow is too pronounced.

      Nah. Just kidding. That won’t stop me from posting … humble though many pics may be. d:-)

  4. Jim Maloney May 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Ingrid – I just saw this composite and think it’s a great example of the positive use of multiple images in photography to portray something otherwise lost to the imagination. The “purists” (single image zealots in my book), may be critical but I think you created a fine image, with help from the Kingfisher of course.

    • Ingrid May 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Jim. I tend to be a purist about field ethics and methodologies, so I have my own form of zealotry, you could say. 🙂 I do understand the single-frame school of thought. I don’t share the perspective because I think it tends to limit one’s creative options and photography, like any art form, is individual experimentation … with the exception of areas like photojournalism. That being said, I appreciate it when people acknowledge that they’ve altered a photo outside the realm of journalistic ethics. Sometimes it’s obvious (as in this case), sometimes it’s not. But I do my best to not mislead about how an image was acquired.

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