Rainbow Lorikeet

For quite a while now, I have been photographing the rainbow lorikeets which visit our garden.

Our garden consists of mostly native Australian plants and trees, and the rainbow lorikeets particularly love to feed on the grevillea bushes we have.

We are fortunate to have these colourful birds visit our garden almost daily, and often, multiple times per day.

Particularly beneficial, from a photographer's viewpoint, is the fact that they like to visit during the warm light of late afternoon and early evening (in the summer).

I often keep my camera rig handy so that I can quickly head outside and shoot when both the conditions and opportunity align.

Finally, last week, I was able to capture an image of a rainbow lorikeet in the style I was seeking - a style very typical for me: clean, frame-filling and in good light.

This is it:

Image: Profile of a Rainbow Lorikeet

Profile of a Rainbow Lorikeet

As any bird photographer would know, photographing birds is very challenging, as these creatures are typically small, very skittish and very active, and they love to immerse themselves in sheltered environments such as dense foliage, which are not at all friendly to photographers.

To capture a pleasing image of a bird requires a long focal length, a fast shutter speed, a high ISO setting, being in the right place at the right time, an understanding the behaviour of the subject, and finally, a lot of patience and perseverance.

On this occasion, the rainbow lorikeets were feeding in the grevilleas as they typically do, but one bird flew from the grevillea to the top of the clothes line, where he perched for long enough for me to capture him out in the open, closer to where I was positioned, and with a relatively clean, uncluttered background a decent enough distance away.

The combination of the distance between the rainbow lorikeet and the camera, the distance between the subject and the background, and the 800mm focal length I was using, allowed me to isolate the subject and capture pleasing details of the bird.

I am not sure whether I will capture a better image of a rainbow lorikeet than this image, but I will most likely take advantage of opportunities when they arise, remembering that while it takes planning, it also takes a lot of luck; and on this occasion, luck was on my side.

Published on Tuesday, 26th January, 2021.