Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 04/08/2011

I Just Can’t Do It!!!

I did try, Dear Reader, several times but each time just felt wrong as if I were lying to you, and I think more of you than that, so you’ve ended up with the photo straight from the camera (well, not quite – it was taken over a month ago (ONE MONTH, where on earth did those 4 weeks go!) when we first arrived at Lake Nakuru). I’ve tried a couple of software programs, playing with light levels, and noise reduction but I felt sullied.. so you’re seeing them warts and all.

We arrived at Lake Nakuru in dismal conditions, with a light rain having set in and dark clouds that required a high ISO before the camera would even venture out from the minibus (it is so sensitive, poor lamb) – so when I decided to try and photograph pelicans that were coming in to root I was fairly resigned that all images would be wiped before they were even uploaded to my netbook. O-H  H-O-W  W-R-O-N-G  I  W-A-S! I don’t know whether after 7 hours couped up in a minibus produced an adrenaline rush or whether I’d been blasted by high doses of gamma radiation from sun spots, a la Bruce Banner, but I some how managed to hand hold the 1D4 and 600mm to photograph these flying leviathans in very poor light conditions, the camera find focus and track as I panned across following them as the came in to land.

I still can’t believe I managed, for 20 to 30 minutes, to carry on taking photos of these birds as they came in. Of course they’re never going to win awards (as if my photos ever will! (actually they have so there!)), the light wasn’t great but I’m so pleased, knowing what the conditions were like, that I had to share them. It was dark…not quite Dark Knight.. but it was dark all the same (two super heroes in one blog – I feel the need to wear my pants over my pants in a tribute to all the Marvel/DC Comics Cape Crusaders – though I think I might get funny looks from the neighbours!).



  1. HOLY F STOPS FATMAN!…You are my hero, hand holding 600mm in darkness and panning AND, still getting a usable photo. And here is poor old me having trouble handholding 50mm in sunshine on the beach! Ah…but…no…but…I am 108 yeas old this year mind!!

    tehe tehe

    • I do think having been couped up in a minivan for 7 hours had something to do with it. Either that or lugging the 600 around for a few days had suddenly built up my muscles – perhaps that could be a new diet fad – the prime diet.

  2. Excellent idea. One could start slowly and build up, say start with 200mm then eventually up to a 1000mm.
    I’m too impatient for that though, I think I would just get 70-500mm Zoom and then choose the weight each day!
    Just think all that extra fat would just zoom off!!

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