Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken Run

Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl, Sinharaja Biosphere Reserve

No, this is not a chicken, although you can be forgiven for thinking
 it looks like one. In fact, it is a wild Sri Lanka Junglefowl, a close
 relative of the Indian bird that was domesticated into the Colonel 
Sanders variety thousands of years ago.  These bizarre, familiar 
birds are common in the forests of Sri Lanka – and face it, if they 
didn’t look like chickens, we’d think they were among the most 
spectacular birds in the world. Sadly, it is their fate to be ignored.
The Jungle Fowl is not a rare bird; to be honest, it is probably the
 most obvious and ever-present bird in the forests here. But I was
 lucky to find one that allowed me to get close, making possible this
 motion-portrait of him racing through the rainforest.  It is a classic 
blur pan situation, with a long exposure and and fill-flash combination 
that lets the background blur, but stops the action of the subject. 
To make it work, I had to lay on the ground and shoot a mess of 
seat-of-the-pants exposures trying to get what I wanted. Many were 
out of focus, or missing the bird itself, but in the end I got a handful 
which capture the extravagant colors, and motion, of this wild-looking 
bird. What the picture doesn’t show is the host of leeches that took 
advantage of my prone position to crawl up my body and feast on 
my blood. I was pinching them off of me for hours after this little 
More soon; I'm still on my way home. 
Serious editing starts tomorrow.

Nikon D3, 17-35mm lens

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