Sunday, October 09, 2005

Autumn in High Park

A maple leaf

To continue with the whole park theme and because I couldn't really think of anything else to do low key this Thanksgiving day weekend I went off to the other side of town to High Park. I'm not really sure I know why. The changing of the leaves, the clean air, being surrounded by nature, the ability to take pictures in a different location. Yes, probably the later.

I've now had the 105mm lens for two days and felt that I haven't gotten my $26.00 worth yet (the rental fee). When I started out today I really didn't have a theme I was going for. I just wanted to see if I could take some pictures. What, who, where, when... none of that really mattered.

European Starling sits on a branch at Peace Garden, City Hall

Before I actually managed to get to High Park I ended up at the Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips square (new city hall) where I shot this European Starling. At least I think that's what the bird was referring to my Toronto bird book ("Pocket Guide to Toronto Birds" by Jeffrey C. Domm ISBN 1-55028-772-9). As informative as the book is, it only shows the colors of the bird during summer and they're drawings/paintings. Basically you have to rifle though the entire book and see which picture looks most like the bird you're trying to reference.

Not knowing a lot about birds I have come to the realization that the bird will not only change colors for the winter but over time as it gets older. The ring billed gull (for example) has black eyes when it's young. As it gets older the eyes become yellow while it's feathers become more white. See image below.

Birds eye view (as usual click picture to enlarge)

I believe the picture of the European Starling is showing the bird in it's winter configuration. The beak is black. In summer it's supposed to be yellow. As a novice birder it can be a tad frustrating not knowing what it is you're shooting.

Originally I bought the book to help me identify some pictures I took over the year so that I could submit them to a bird photo contest. The International Wildbird Photographers Competition 2005 to be exact. I found it in the brit magazine "Practical Photography Film and Digital", September 2005. Since buying the book I've been looking up the various critters to see what they are.

One of the problems (as a canadian) you encounter when you buy a british magazine is that all the contest deadlines are over almost on the day you purchase it. This is because we usually get the magazines here on our continent about a mounth late.

To enter the IWP contest I had to fedex my submission. It cost me just over $50 CAN and another 10 pounds to do this. I almost didn't enter as the deadline was the day following the purcahse date of the magazine. While on the web however I found that the date, as luck would have it, is extended by a week for us international types. Although it would be nice to win something I'm more interested in seeing how well my photos do against the professional photographers in their exotic locations. Who knows if I'm actually good at this maybe I'll get some work down the line.

We're to find out the results of the contest in December so keep your fingers crossed.

Back to some pictures taken today in high park. As a reader I'd like to ask for you to take some time to comment on these. A) to see what people think out there. B) just to see how many people read this blog.

Dead Tree in High Park

Ring Billed Gull in flight

Mallard Duck

Squirrel at rest

Thanks for stopping by. More images to come tomorrow. I haven't figured out where I'll be going yet.


Anonymous said...

I've been looking at your site for a while now. Nice pictures. From time to time I even find your text entries humourous.

Anonymous said...

Your pictures is lovely. You've really been working on it, and it's exciting to see your interest in it. (I do miss the good old 35mm days. I only met one other 35mm guy this Summer. We met on a bridge in a park and chatted for a long time.)

Good luck in the contest! I like to see the pictures you've taken. (But it does make me jealous - I wish I had the time and money to work on my own photography!! Where do you find the time!?)

BagelHot said...

When you don't have full time work finding time is pretty easy. Add in weird sleeping hours and you're good to go.

The difficult part is finding places to shoot when you're not swimming in cash. Hence the parks, the beach, and what not.