Brunei Darussalam

THE EARLY BIRDS

All the years of staring at birding threads on DPREVIEW.com forums puzzled as to why Americans are so fascinated with photography birds in flight, yep, it’s official—I’ve done it! No other birds dominate the Seria skyline as prominently as the Egret. This morning I got up at 5 am for a number of reasons, one of which I’m grateful wasn’t for a wedding shoot. My son has a school excursion and needs to be dropped off earlier than usual. What’s also unusual about the morning was the sudden downpour. Short but nonetheless enough to turn the ground mushy.

grasscutting-1.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

Driving around right after breakfast in town, I came across a scene that’s true to the phrase the early bird catches the worm. Nature has her ways and these birds instinctively know where to look for food. It’s interesting to watch them flock onto the freshly cut path. Sure enough, they found food I just wasn’t sure what some caught that were bigger than your average worms!

grasscutting-2.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

As soon as I appeared in their radar, some began to leave the area. Today I had the EOS 5D and 100-400mm lens on AI SERVO to track them in flight. The 5D is hardly the sort of camera you’d use for birds in flight photography but it can work!

flying-egret.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

The driver waved and from the looks of it, he enjoyed seeing the birds trailing behind him. Back in January, I published photos of a neighbouring vegetable farm in FARM FRESH GREENS. Today, I caught sight of a different farm owner doing some work in his garden and I couldn’t help taking this shot.

grasscutting-3.jpg gardener-1.jpg
© Jan Shim Photography

Around the same week I photographed the garden, I went out to a nearby nodding donkey where a large number of Egrets had gathered and captured the moment just as they took off sensing imminent threat!

12 thoughts on “THE EARLY BIRDS

  1. Coolness! I’ve been wondering what happened to these grass-cutting tractors cos I havent seen them in aaaages! I was telling da missus how these tractors used to be a regular feature on Seria roads esp Shell lorongs. I also recall them being used on the old Seria-BSB road as well. These days they seem to have been replaced by gangs of labourers armed with whipper-snappers which I like to refer to as “ghost-busters” heheh! I wonder why this is the case? More cost efficient?

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  2. Look at how free that bird is. I absolutely love that photo – I felt like I was flying.

    On another note, I have a fascination with reflections on bodies of water. Hint.

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  3. amazing that bird in flight , did so much for me mentally, its funny how something so simple can have such an impact. i for one though Jan, am not so familiar with camera types, all i know is that whenever you take shots they are perfect. i think u cud make photos from a disposable camera look great, nice work J.

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  4. I’ve been wondering what happened to these grass-cutting tractors cos I havent seen them in aaaages! I was telling da missus how these tractors used to be a regular feature on Seria roads esp Shell lorongs. I also recall them being used on the old Seria-BSB road as well. These days they seem to have been replaced by gangs of labourers armed with whipper-snappers which I like to refer to as “ghost-busters” heheh! I wonder why this is the case? More cost efficient?

    These days with stringent cost cutting across the board coupled with the increase of significantly more cars on the roads, it’s easy to understand why these tractors shouldn’t be part of the daily grind. Roadsides are paved with concrete walkways making them inaccessible by the tractors. You’re right in that they [tractors] were a part of the Belait landscape and it’s good to still be able to see them today.

    Look at how free that bird is. I absolutely love that photo – I felt like I was flying. On another note, I have a fascination with reflections on bodies of water. Hint.

    I have a few of those I think but one of those you may have seen is the Lumut Beach shot that appeared recently on the EASI Pre-Paid Cards.

    I for one though Jan, am not so familiar with camera types, all i know is that whenever you take shots they are perfect. i think u cud make photos from a disposable camera look great, nice work J.

    I sometimes shoot with my Canon IXUS 700 compact digital and get great results from it. As for disposable cameras, I’ve never shot with one so it remains to be seen! I doubt I could.

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  5. You keep telling us that we wouldn’t learn anything from you if we were to study photography with you, but I doubt it, I’m sure after a short session with you, I’ll probably come out a better photographer. And these photographs proves that.

    And you son’s excursion, is it a school trip to the ICC for the book fair ? Because I was working there today and I thought I saw your son ( I recognised him from the many photographs you have of your son) 😀 And the Chung Ching school uniforms gave me a clue, too. Heheh 😀

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  6. You don’t give up, do you? Tenacity is a good trait of true photojournalists (at the same time, can also get you in a lot of trouble)! I suspect and it’s highly likely that if and when we sit down for coffee, the discussion would quickly sway away from photography—it’s not that interesting a topic that gets me all fired up as Liza would attest to. She thinks I’m a great coffee buddy so maybe she’s on to something but it’s definitely not photography! 🙂

    Having said what I said and maintaining my stand that the best way to learn photography is to shoot, make mistakes and learn—the way I acquired my own skill—I can appreciate the fascination to want to learn from someone after a contact in USA had this to say.

    I am torn giving an answer. I see the wisdom in your (and many other masters’) teachings ~ basically, go out and shoot! A lot!!! But, as a total beginner, I must also admit that it’s fascinating and EASIER to just learn from someone (instead of pouring over books and pictures like I do). It’s a lot of work!

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  7. Hi Jan, amidst your busy schedule and assignment, you still take time off to stop by along the way to `smell the flowers’!

    My hubby and I have always been fascinated by the sight of the egrets trailing behind the tractor hunting for their breakfast at the padang across our house. I am inhibited by my EF zoom and could never get good shots of the scene. Well done and it’s always a pleasure reading your blog 🙂

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  8. Great thanks that you had took a great and adorable pic of my grandpa,the farm owner doing some work in his garden. He would be really happy if he knows that our farm are being captured and published in your site.
    Thanks

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