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Watchful at Dawn

Watchful at Dawn
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-08
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/2000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-05-09 23:00
Viewed: 3039
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
If during the first half of May you have the opportunity to visit an area rich in wildlife at sun-rise then do it! This applies, of course to those living the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.

Though most of the insects have not become active yet, the birds are very intense with their song and search for food so that they can get on with bringing up their next generation.

But most of all at sunrise it is the light that is so marvellous for photography!

This shot of a Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) was taken about an hour after sunrise. It is slightly underexposed to cope with the whites.

This is male, trying to lead me away from the camouflaged female who is standing near her nest, hidden somewhere among the gravel on the ground. See WORKSHOP.

This little Plover is distinguished from the Ringed Plover not only by its slightly smaller size (about the same size as a House Sparrow), but by the striking yellow eye-ring. It is not common, nesting in N. Europe, having over-wintered in the tropics.

I took this image in an area used by the Swedish defence for army manoeuvres. Though most of this area is grazed by sheep and ripped by tanks and heavy vehicles, the ministry of defence allow visitors at certain times and have even prepared dams and left bushes and trees to create refuges for birds, dragonflies, rare amphibians, flowers and butterflies. This pair of plovers happens to be nesting only a few meters from a picnic table.

This was taken at a distance of about 12 meters with the camera hand-held. After fairly heavy cropping and size reduction it was selectively sharpened.

I did not try to come closer to minimise disturbance of this nesting pair, but I am pleased with the result

Royaldevon, maurydv, pekkavalo1, mariki, gerbilratz, cloud, eng55, matatur, haraprasan, Amadeo, darwin, jaycee, eqshannon, nglen, Jamesp, rousettus, marhowie, Luis52, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Ivan,

I find this to be a really sharp and detailed shot. I love the alertness in the bird's eye. (Obviously far more awake than I would have been at that time!)
You have shown with the colours just how well camourflaged this little bird is! Nice composition.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Bellissimo corriere grosso, ottimo POV, molto bella la composizione con una limitata e perfetta zona di messa a fuoco, ottima nitidezza e splendidi i particolari dell'occhio e del becco, molto belli i colori e BG. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-05-10 0:38]

Hi Ivan, I recognise this as a Plover, as we have similar birds here. That eye-make-up gives them away! Sweet little fellow, and it's a good composed shot with great details and colours.
Well done

Hi Ivan,

Excellent capture of Little Ringed Plover which I have not managed to shoot yet but go out and try today... Very good pose, eye contact, sharpness of details, low POV and natural colours.



Hello Ivan,

Very beautiful sharp picture of this little plover. Very good exposure. Superb colours.

hello Ivan impeccable, a wonderful shot, the lighting is excellent, details and colours first class, natural and clear. The catchlight is also excellent. best regards h

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-05-10 2:10]

hi Ivan,
splendide image d'une superbe clareté, pov parfait, couleurs et netteté somptueuses.


  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-05-10 3:57]

Hello Ivan,
Very interesting note about photography and photo is very nice, POV, sharpness are right.
Regards, Pawel

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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-05-10 4:04]

Hi Ivan,
Very nice capture.I liked low level POV,eye contact and details very much.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Ivan,
A nice capture of this beautiful and cute looking plover bird. Excellent composition and sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

The shallow DOF isolated the plover from its immediate environment nicely Ivan, the sharpened image looks so good from such a far away vantage point, a masterly achievement my friend.
Cordially yours,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-10 6:21]

Very fine capture of this cute little Plover!
The composition is excellent!
Sharp with lots of detail.
Brilliant low-down POV.
I got up very early and went down to my local lake a couple of days ago... I didn't see many birds but the light was incredible!

Very well done, Ivan!


Hola Ivan, buena fotografia, bien compuesta y muy buna luz. Un saludo

Hi Ivan
Excellent capture with striking clarity around the eye
Nice natural color and detail in the feathers
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-05-10 7:44]

hello Ivan
good capture of this cute plover
i like POV, colours, details of eye and beak and sharpness

Hi Ivan, elegant bird in nice pose, fine details, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-10 8:32]

Hi Ivan,

You show this Little Ringed Plover in perfect detail and wonderful colors. The yellow eye ring is just amazing and jumps out from the black face. He is very well groomed with every feather in place. I don't look like that just after sunrise. A wonderful pose and a beautiful natural setting.


Very nice use of depth of field Ivan. When I saw it first in thumb I thought perhaps it was a Kildeer...but Plover is fine...which is readily apparent upon opening to full sized...There is something "structured" about the design of this species...almost as though it is a part of elite class of birds, which you have portrayed well.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-05-10 9:08]

Hello Ivan,
Of course you are pleased with this result. Wonderful photo with the light exactly on the right place. The colours are perfectly clear and the sharpness excellent. Beautiful low POV.

Hello Ivan
From your note I totally agree about the early mornings..I unfortunatley travel to work at his time and miss the opportunity for pictures but I do witness many lovely sights that are saved the memory card called the brain!
You have managed the exposure perfectly as the whites can really blow early am...This has still produced a fantastically sharp picture of this lovely Little Ringed Plover.
Excellent note encouraging people to enjoy the finest time of the day!!
Best Regards

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-10 13:04]

Hi Ivan. Well worth getting up early for. As you say the light was just spot on. giving good natural colours. i like your low POV in ths one you must have been on the ground. sharp focusinf and detail. well done TFS.

You and Ulla have a nice Sunday.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-10 14:33]

Hi Ivan

Lovely shot - great low POV with very good isolation from the BG. The pose of the head is especially good.


merhaba Ivan
Great capture of this Plover with yellow ringed eyes. Great focus, POV and composition. Great also your behaviour for protecting their nests. Thanks for sharing and have a nice Sunday to you and Ulla, friends

Hello Ivan,
I find the early light is best also, and this one proves it :)
Very nice details, color, DOF, POV, and of course, light.
Your smart looking bird stands out well in the frame as well.

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-05-10 19:05]

Hola Sr Ivan.
Muy nitida foto, con un punto de vista al raz del suelo lo que la hace ser todavia mejor. Finos detalles en su plumaje y el anillo amarillo al derredor de sus ojos color negro.
Interesante la nota.
Saludos. Un abrazo.

Hello Ivan,
A lovely little bird, and I'm impressed by the fine details in the plumage!
The level point of view works well, and the subject stands out well thanks to the accurate DoF...
A fine composition with a good sense of spring!
Pablo -

hello Ivan

very beautiful image of this Plover with fine POV, DOF and framing,
i love your low POV at the level of the bird, excellent sharpness
and details, that little catch-light at the eye it change alot
the image in improving it, great eye-contact of the bird with you,



  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-05-12 20:08]

Hello, Ivan.
Beautiful, beautiful colors on this image.
Wonderful portrait of this plover.
The yellow rim around the eye really anchors this shot.
Great use of DOF.
Very sharpdetails.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-10-26 18:37]

Hello Ivan,
what a superbs image.Excellent clarity with
wonderful details well seen and observed.
Beautiful bird with pretty yello eye rings.
Really brilliant shot.


NB: To me bird photography is very very difficult. I wish to have some good shot also, as it is now it is easier to shoot the berries :)

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