tobago

10 Images that Fail at Instagram

Having poked around within the social media platform that forms the title of this blog post, I've learned a few things. One of the most important lessons that's been gifted to me is that some images, no matter how much I love them, are just not going to fly well on the platform. So thus I bring you these images, which I have very low expectations for to be honest. After all, I enjoy them, and art being the subjective beast as it is, does not force any one being to feel a certain way about anything. Perhaps you'd see a commonality among this set of ten. 1. This immature Tufted Coquette posed...

Read more...

Studying Birds: Ruby Topaz

It's been many years since I was first blown away by the brilliance of a male Ruby Topaz, that flash of bright red and gold while feeding an early morning in one of Trinidad's southern wetlands back in 2011. Coming from such a dull, dark brown bird it was (and still is) nothing short of plain amazing. But for most of that time, I haven't had much good luck with this bird, only securing one or two decent shots over the years. After photographing it at its most resplendent (see here) I realized that the most interesting aspect of this transformation is not the end product, but the journey itself...

Read more...

A Little Heavy On The Cute

There are many descriptive words used to portray birds as we see them, however simplistic or fanciful we perceive them to be. Few words are as over-used as "cute", though. And for good reason, as birds are covered in well, something terribly soft and delicate that they can make even fluffier than usual at will. Chilly weather encourages this behaviour, as the extra air within the feathers acts as an insulator. This Black-faced Grassquit was feeling mighty chilled on an unusually biting morning at Cuffie River, halfway up to Main Ridge Forest Reserve. After having clear weather for a few days,...

Read more...

2017′s 1-17

As we sit on the cusp of another new year, another notch in the bark, another eye over the shoulder that makes all of us ponder our existence for a brief moment - it's that customary time of sharing "best of", or as social media would have it called "most popular". Because popularity is a thing that we use to measure ourselves, for reasons that are understood but yet make little sense. It's that time of year when we all try to make our existence seem as grand as humanly (or inhumanly) possible. Only for prying eyes, of course. Because that's what matters. As photographers, we're lucky that a camera...

Read more...

Parasitic

Some of you may have realized the increasing level of infrequency these posts have managed to rack up over the past few weeks. As they say, sometimes life gets in the way? At least in my case it's all been enjoyable, and even though I haven't been writing much here, I still penned a couple articles for the Tobago Newsday within the last month - one on shorebirds (my loves) and the other on Frigatebirds (my first loves, adapted from an article I first posted here) - so the engine is still relatively warm. And since I managed to land my paws on a new phone that has the memory capacity to run Instagram,...

Read more...

What Makes the Magic?

I remember reading a photography blog many moons ago (Wild Eye - can't locate the exact post though) and there was a debate as to which element within an image makes the bigger difference. Is it the subject or is it the setting? Far too often we're preoccupied about one and forget the other. The trouble is, we can't have the subject without the setting. In practical terms, if there is no habitat there will be no bird. Which is a big reason why I tend to include lots of habitat in my images. It's just as important, and perhaps more important than the bird itself. Simply speaking, if you plant...

Read more...

Oh Frigates

With the recent obliteration of Barbuda (and other nearby islands, but I'm specifically targeting Barbuda here) as a result of Hurricane Irma, there is a major concern (apart from the obvious humanitarian issue) about the fate of the island's bird population. Many migratory birds such as sparrows and shorebirds can sense differences in barometric pressure - and either change their migratory route or delay/expedite their travels to suit. Some others may skirt around the edge of the storms, and a few intrepid individuals decide to brave the storm itself. In fact, there is a well-known record of a GPS-enabled...

Read more...

Girls, Girls, Girls

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone made that joke about the kinds of birds I go looking for. It's one of those jokes that probably was funny under a certain circumstance, once, eons ago. It's not offensive or anything (to me at least, I can't speak for any avian glares that may ensue), but it's like that Hispanic buddy named Jesus who's constantly given bottles of water with the expectation that they'd suddenly change chemical composition. Anyway, in writing yesterday's post I realized how many female hummingbirds I ended up photographing. Today I'm still stuck on females - but we're...

Read more...

Staples

It seems as if it's been forever since I've written a blog post. Things have been more than a bit hectic over the past week or so, and as such I have been somewhat absent from the internet recently. Nowhere near my last hiatus which lasted for about two years, but still too long to be away for! Sharing some more Tobagonian images here - it's difficult to not shoot when I'm across there. Tame birdlife just presents endless opportunities. In Trinidad you'd be a lucky bastard to even hear a Trinidad Motmot call, in Tobago they're literally begging you to click the shutter. I maintain, they...

Read more...

The Vireo, The Greenlet

When I finally got my paws on a copy of the Field Guide to Birds of Trinidad and Tobago, I was excited to identify species that I had previously seen, as well as those that I wanted to see. I remember pausing at Plate 85: Vireos and Greenlets. The page was overflowing with different shades of olive green, yellow and a touch of red. I had never before seen any of these birds - but was fascinated nonetheless as I had already been birding for some time. How could these birds listed as "common" still escape my prying eyes? Fast forward a few years, and this section of the field guide still holds...

Read more...