Selection of November 2020: Flamingos by Jiri Hrebicek

Flamingos by Jiri Hrebicek

The photo Flamingos is a part of my new project Nature Impressions, in which I try to explore various intentional camera movements (ICM techniques, but not only horizontal or vertical panning) in wildlife and nature photography. All this is to express my own impressions and moods and to capture something like the essence of birds or animals - something that the human eye cannot see.

I always capture my photos as single exposures in the camera (no double/multi-exposures). I usually experiment with various movements during long exposures in order to create an impressionistic painting-like effect in my photos. The exposure time of this particular photo is 4 seconds, which provided me with enough time for multiple movements during the exposure (I kept my camera still during the first part of the exposure and then I moved the camera in various directions during the second half of the exposure). It helped me to capture a dreamy atmosphere of the flock of beautiful and noble flamingos. The main challenge using such techniques is to estimate how much time the camera should focus on animals to capture them relatively sharp and how much time should be left for additional movements to create extra effects or textures. Another challenge for this particular photo was that I wanted to capture one flamingo standing still which would be in the contrast of remaining flamingos which were moving during the long exposure - something like an island of stability and peace in a constantly changing and chaotic world. EXIF: f8, 4s, ISO 50, -1 1/3 EV.

Only minor adjustments (crop, contrast, highlights, shadows) were made using Lightroom and Nik collection plugins. Contrast has been adjusted using curves in Photoshop. I always aim to visualize my ideas directly in the camera (if possible) so I don't have to make substantial software adjustments afterwards.  

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