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Something Exquisite

Something Exquisite
Photo Information
Copyright: Callie de Wet (Callie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 120-300 F2.8
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): 40 points or more - 40 puntos o más, SA Kingfishers, Kingfishers [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-10-08 13:50
Viewed: 11691
Favorites: 6 [view]
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
To me, this little kingfisher is one of the most beautiful creatures upon the earth. The Malachite Kingfisher, Alcedo cristata is at 13-14 cm ,the second smallest of our 10 SA kingfishers. Kingfishers belong to the Alcedindae Family with 93 species worldwide. Africa is home to 19 species. These are small to medium sized hole-nesting birds, with heavy, often brightly coloured bills. The are either aquatic or frequent forested and wooded habitats, feeding on fish, insects, and small land vertebrates. This picture was taken @ 09h10 in the morning at Lake Panic Bird in the KNP. No kidding, this is the name of the hide. As we got out of the car, which you do at your own risk, we saw some elephants feeding right on the edge of the clearance, about 12 m from us. Well, it was too late to panic, so we just walked to the gate, the ellies giving us the cold shoulder. And so it could have been some predators. Once, some years ago, we saw 5 lion coming to dink at the hide. Leopard has been sighted from this hide as well. That morning, before our arrival, a croc caught a buck right in front of the hide. I got some pictures later in the afternoon when we returned. But I get sidetracked, the exquisite little birdie has been on my wishlist for years to nail properly. I have posted some pictures on TE last year, but this is a fully matured bird in all his splendour, on a clean BG. I took maybe 100 pictures of him that morning, from far away to 2.5 m. The nearest he was perched was about 6 feet or 1,8 m from me, right below the opening in the hide. The ultimate is still to nail him with a prey item in the bill, but beggars cannot be choosers, so I shot what was available. I will post more info later, with other posts. Meanwhile, this is one of my wishes came true pictures. II trust you will enjoy Mr Exquisite with me.
ISO 250 & -0,7 EV
Nikon D70
Sigma 120-300 F2.8 lens & 2X converter
Focal length - 600 mm
Exposure mode - Aperture Priority - 1/500 @ F8
Flash – Balanced i-TTL off camera SB800
Metering Mode – Muti Pattern
Resting on two off beanbags
Bit of cropping on top, this was full frame, he was THAT near; levels; hue/ saturation; No USM, I just sharpened the edges after reducing the size; reduced to Site size.

carper, ellis49, RAP, Crypton, Robbrown, CaptiveLight, AdrianW, extramundi, AndyB, gerhardt, TAZ, Lourens, japie, milloup, Luc, Bernard, mrower, JeanMichel, keerthik, mlines, elan2004 has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To AdrianW: ThanksCallie 2 10-09 15:47
To AndyB: ThanksCallie 1 10-09 11:06
To ellis49: Playing in PSCallie 2 10-08 15:20
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2004-10-08 13:58]
  • [3]

Wauw Callie een ijsvogeltje,
Man als jij eens wist hoe vaak die vogels voorbij vliegen. Hoe veel keer ik er achter aan ben gegaan. Niet normaal. En die maakt gewoon even een shot van een ijsvogel. prachtige compositie, goede kleuren, erg goed werk

Great Callie.
Is this real or have you played to much in PS ;-).
Very colourful, great composition and good details.
Great note like always.
Good job.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-10-08 14:39]
  • [3]

Mr Exquisite it is. I love the colours and composition and I am so pleased that you managed to get this nailed. Well done.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-10-08 15:17]
  • [3]

Una pequeña belleza Callie.... verdaderamente.
El colorido de este diminuto pescador es maravilloso.
Excelente composicion, por la agudeza del ave, por el perfecto DOF y un encuadre muy atinado.

A small beauty Callie... truely.
The colorful one of this tiny fisherman is wonderful.
Excellent composition, by the sharpness of the bird, the perfect DOF and a very accurate frame.

l'intensité du bleu est vraiment etonnant, on diranit de la peinture !
tres beau clichet ;)

well callie superb picture is keeping me entertained here on the return leg from holland. the colours are just superb, and the BG is spot on OOF. Nice one.

Beatiful colour and detail Callie.

Excellent shot, as usual! The fact you've captured it at all is amazing, Kingfishers are tricky at the best of times. The saturation looks almost unnatural, but I know just how vivid our Kingfishers can be... My only thought is that I'd like a little low radius USM applied to him to make the feather detail really pop - but I think I like my image sharper than you like yours, so that's a matter of taste more than anything. DOF looks spot on, and you've engineered a really nice catchlight in his eye too. I may be tempted to crop a little off the top of the image, but again that's a personal preference more than anything else. Thankyou for the interesting note, glad you survived! Wonderful capture :-D

Amazing picture. I like everything but the colours need special mention! Lighting is very good. The pose gives a lot of personality to this bird. Wood work.

This is a fine shot, I'm particularly impressed with clean background, so difficult to get in the wild. There's not much one can say, its just beautiful.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-10-08 18:58]
  • [3] [+]

A beautiful capture.
Great composition and DoF,lovely vivid colours.
A great note,very well done indeed.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-10-08 22:06]
  • [2]

Five words: I like it.

Callie, I know you had this one on top of the wishlist. Congatulations on this superb capture. I have never seen one in the wild. After seeing it in your photo it gained some point on my wishlist. Great work. Masterpiece.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2004-10-09 2:56]
  • [3]

Callie, ik denk dat u de taal van de vogels begrijpt, want die blijven voor u allemaal stil zitten, en voor mij en blijkbaar ook voor Jaap vliegen deze altijd weg, deze foto is erg knap gedaan, scherp, en de kleuren zijn werkelijk fantasties. Mooi werk opnieuw. De nota verzorgd zoals altijd.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2004-10-09 11:15]
  • [3]

Waouh ! Le bleu de ce magnifique oiseau est très bien restitué par cet photo de qualité !
Well done !

  • Great 
  • Lourens Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 186 W: 0 N: 321] (1223)
  • [2004-10-09 11:17]
  • [3]

Uitstekende foto Callie!! Ek los dit net daar - geen verdere kommentaar nie!! Perfek.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-10-09 15:12]
  • [3]

Hierdie is ongelooflik mooi. This shot is shot is the benchmark I am aiming for, and you shot is remiding me how far I have to go. This is going to my favourites!

This is a beautiful photo. I really like this one. Good job.

  • Great 
  • milloup Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 482 W: 40 N: 619] (1716)
  • [2004-10-09 17:37]
  • [3]

Oh yes, he really *is* exquisite ;-)) My favourite colour of blue, to boot. Congrats on nailing this one, and against a clean bg no less ;-)

  • Great 
  • cecile Silver Star Critiquer [C: 43 W: 0 N: 7] (1060)
  • [2004-10-10 12:38]
  • [3]

magnifique posture et couleur.. bravo

  • Great 
  • artikos Silver Star Critiquer [C: 29 W: 0 N: 0] (1175)
  • [2004-10-18 11:07]
  • [3]

Very good colours, and nice composition.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • willie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
  • [2004-10-22 14:26]
  • [2]

Colours are spectacular. Just a beuatiful shot. Good Job

  • Great 
  • papkin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 78 W: 0 N: 96] (1580)
  • [2004-11-27 21:09]

Fantastic colors,beautiful bird.

Congratulations on capturing this bird in such an impressive way Callie. Excellent detail.

What a great shot. The detail in the birds feathers and the bark of the log on which it sits are truly beautiful.
This sounds like an interesting spot to photograph wildlife and you were really lucky to see a bird you had been longing to photograph and have it stay there so you could take so many shots. Congratulations

I agree! this little bird is the eternal 'miss universe' among birds

Brilliant colors, specially enhanced on such a BG. Pose is cute and this beautiful kingfisher looks quiet and tame (I know they are difficult to shoot!). Great shot, Callie!


Well its been my dream to capture a kingfisher so near and clear, but have still not been succesful.
Great shot and good note too

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-06-20 1:22]

Beautiful pose,i have to get this Kingfisher yet.Nice compostion,lovely colour.

Hi there,

I really like this photo. My favourite aspect is he little twinkle that is apparent in this beautiful kingfisher's eye that adds life and perhaps even a sense of mischief to the bird!

Great shot.


  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2007-11-05 16:53]

Hi Callie. A perfect title for this very attractive bird. Well positioned and perfect colours. I love to see kingfishers. TFS. Murray.

Hi Callie, wonderful capture, great colours !
John Greene

Totally agree with you for this colorful and cute Kingfisher.
I did not know the SB800 can be so powerful to reach 600mm.

nice shot
love it

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