Saturday, November 05, 2011

Interesting change in Falconry Photographs

Over the last couple years while Stephen was dragging me kicking and screaming into supporting him in his falconry adventures I have obsessively photographed his Redtails every time I get a chance. Last weekend We drove to Bartlesville, OK to take some senior portraits of the son of a friend. At the end of the day I got my first glimpse of a Falcon training. It all happened so quickly that I didn't think much about the situation or the bird really.  Today however we went to Ft. Worth so that Stephen could go hunting with a friend of his (Mario Nickerson) Now once again I am not a Falconer and only have a very dubious  connection to Falconry because Stephen is a Falconer, so mind you I may have terms incorrect.  I do believe that the above bird is a Harris Hawk???  anyway I found photographing him amazing and a bit different than my past experiences. First of all the above hawk (Jimmy) does not wear bells, in the last couple of years I have became accustom to following Stephen's hawks with my camera, partly relying on the bells to help me keep up with them. Because Jimmy has no bells I struggle to figure out where he was, where he was going or when he was moving. At the end of the day I was thinking "omg I now have to dig deeper into falconry to understand Harris Hawks if I want to anticipate possible moves and maybe get any shots!" How the heck it is that my complete delusions of   not supporting Stephen's ventures into the world of Falconry have evolved into me needing to know more I simply can't even begin to think about.  ( read my older blogs to understand my reasoning for outright hatred for Stephen's desire to become a Falconer and you will see I never had a chance here) It never fails Stephen gets a hobby and I get sucked in, that is just how it works.I need to find a really feminine hobby if I ever want to repay him for sucking me in all the time!

Any way, Mario's hawk was pretty quick and extremely quiet! I have to say I was super impressed at the end of Jimmy's hunt when we headed back to the car.  First of all this was our first face to face with Mario, and we all hopped into my car to head to the hunting area. So imagine my surprise when Mario said "30 second warning in a minute Jimmy will fly ahead of us and  back to the car" That comment wasn't the surprise, the surprise came when Jimmy flew back to our car! If we had of been in Mario's car then ok but this was  as strange car that Jimmy knew he came there in!  Even better was when Mario made Jimmy work for his treats and started throwing the bits in the air for Jimmy to go after. That few moments of tricks and bits gave me a chance to anticipate the hawk a bit better and resulted in the few good shots that I got for the day.  I have to say it was impressive and a huge Thanks to Mario!!

Now along the way I grabbed a couple shots of the scenery and a couple abstract shots where I purposely slowed the camera down to beyond slow and captured some weeds blowing in the wind. Not that you can tell what the subject is, but a slow shutter speed, bright yellow weeds and a hard wind makes an interesting abstract shot!!

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