A cut-throat business

Cut-throat business

Ok, so this blog isn’t about the ruthless business of photography. It’s an attempt to illustrate how to you can take a photograph at eye level with your subject. In this case, my subject was the wonderfully named cut-throat Finch.

In hundreds of ‘how to’ photographic books and thousands of blogs, you will read that you need to get on the same level with your subject to get a more intimate photograph. I could have used two methods to get this intimate shot of the Finch.

The first option would be to get down in the dust on your stomach and crawl closer to the Finch. This works in most cases as you’d lose the distinct human shape as you approached. As long as you don’t make any sudden movements, you could get close. I prefer this method because even though you can get dirty, stung and occasionally bitten by crawling creatures, your elbows tend to act as great stabilisers for the camera and lens. However, I was just outside the Satara Rest camp in the Kruger National Park and had no intention of crawling around and being a snack for a passing Lion.

The other method is to use a long lens. By resting my 500mm and 1.4x converter on a bean bag on the car window, I could position myself a lot further away from the Finch to get the same shot. This cut down the angle to the Finch from the height I was shooting from. By doing this, it gives the appearance that I’m shooting from a much lower angle. Along with an aperture of 5.6 enough blur is created in front of the bird to render the photograph even more intimate.

The Finch

"Getting down low with a Cut-throat Finch - Wayne Marinovich Photography"

Cut-throat finch; Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 500mm+1.4x conv, 1/500sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

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