African Skimmers


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A recent sighting of the near-threatened African Skimmers (Rynchops flavirostris) at Mana Pools was caused a little excitement for a few who attempted to capture on camera formations of up to three birds skimming across pans, with their mandibles dipped in the water, looking for prey. They feed mostly at dawn and dusk, giving photographers a few setting challenges. Skimmers are intra-African migrants moving into Southern Africa (mostly along the Zambezi and Caprivi Strip/northern Botswana) during the dry season.
(Canon EOS 5D Mk III/ EF100-400mm IS II USM; 1/350 sec; f/5.6; ISO 3200; 400mm)

Picture ©2016 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

A-Z of Photography

Image Stabilisation or Vibration Reduction, usually built into camera lenses (and some binoculars too) minimises the effect of camera shake, especially at slow shutter speeds. This is achieved by deploying fine sensors to detect camera motion and adjusting for this through movement of either lens or sensor (known as optical IS). Digital IS uses software to achieve the same result.

“A shutter working at a speed of one-fourth to one-twenty-fifth of a second will answer all purposes. A little blur in a moving subject will often aid to giving the impression of action and motion”

– Alfred Stieglitz

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4 thoughts on “African Skimmers

  1. Fantastic Andrew – way to go- you are very fortunate to be able spend so much time in the Valley and deliver such stunning photographs. You bring back scenes to us which we can no longer visit due to circumstances.

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