1663882215 Photographing the Ubiquitous Urban Wildlife
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Photographing the Ubiquitous Urban Wildlife

There’s one large hyperlink between rats and pigeons. Although the species are separated by way of hundreds of thousands of years genetically, they’re drawn in combination via their shared affinity for people. Most people, by way of comparability, have little or no affinity for both species! But as a biologist and photographer, I’m all the time all in favour of how their lives are intertwined with ours – and, in fact, if it’s conceivable to take just right footage of those ubiquitous animals. So, sign up for me as I inform a tale of city flora and fauna pictures, with pigeons and rats as the topics.

Neither rats nor pigeons co-evolved with people, however over the years, they’ve found out that we people don’t seem to be such unhealthy partners – or assets of meals and refuge. The result’s that the Domestic Rat (Ratus norvegicus) and the Feral Pigeon (Columba livia “domestica”) have grow to be a few of the maximum a success species on the planet.

NIKON D500 + 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 500mm, ISO 1100, 1/2000, f/5.6

I went to the town middle of Prague one morning to {photograph} the town’s birds with my buddy Tomas Grim, a scientist and birder who belongs to the elite team of the 3% maximum cited scientists in the global. As a part of accumulating photographs for his drawing close guide, we deliberate to {photograph} birds in opposition to a artifical backdrop – to search out the connection between the human and fowl worlds.

It wasn’t simply pigeons that we had in thoughts – simply any connection between birds and people. For instance, it generally is a blackbird nested in the palms of a Czech nationwide hero (a statue of him, no less than). Or a heron fishing in conjunction with other folks sharing the identical boat.

We warmed up somewhat by way of photographing a dummy owl that we spotted on a kindergarten development. These pretend owls are supposed to discourage woodpeckers from digging their cavities into the comfortable polystyrene of the facade. (A most commonly futile effort, by way of the means. Birds aren’t so silly that they fall for this reasonable trick.)

Owl and magpies
NIKON D500 + Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR @ 390mm, ISO 250, 1/500, f/10.0

Next, we headed to Vyšehrad, a spot with citadel ruins and rat burrows. A brief distance from the ruins, any individual had dumped a complete pile of bread. It was once an be offering that was once merely impossible to resist to the native flora and fauna. Some of it disappeared into the stomachs of pigeons, magpies and nutria, however maximum of it went underground, into the rat burrows.

All I needed to do to get footage at rat’s-eye stage was once climb over one gate, lie down close to the burrows, and wait till they authorised my presence. It didn’t take lengthy for the rats to convey extra slices of bread to their burrows. As they carried the cumbersome meals of their mouths, they jumped nearly like kangaroos – an absolute flora and fauna enjoy in nearly the middle of Prague.

NIKON D500 + 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 480mm, ISO 1800, 1/3200, f/5.6

Then we went to some other Prague landmark, the Charles Bridge. At this level, pigeons perched on the surrounding statues stuck our consideration. The statues gave the impression to keep up a correspondence immediately with the pigeons. From the expression in their bronze eyes, I were given the feeling that they weren’t relatively overjoyed by way of the presence of the feathered creatures.

NIKON D500 + Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR @ 200mm, ISO 2000, 1/800, f/7.1

Here, too, the interaction of other folks and flora and fauna was once unmistakable. The pigeons stayed static, resistant to the other folks strolling by way of, till youngsters would run round and scare them into flight. When they flew, the surrounding setting informed some other tale, some other layer, like in the symbol under with the Ukrainian flag and the phrases “Hands off Ukraine, Putin.” It’s a photograph that would no longer were taken and not using a assembly of worlds: pigeon and other folks, other folks and warfare.

Hands off Ukraine
NIKON D500 + Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR @ 200mm, ISO 800, 1/800, f/7.1

We in reality immersed ourselves in the photoshoot, and it took us some time to comprehend that we had grow to be somewhat of an enchantment ourselves. People had been taking footage of our efforts and having a laugh at our expense. And why shouldn’t they? We had been two camouflaged weirdos with large cameras rolling round on the floor – tiptoeing round, and crouching at the back of a hedge (or in a single).

Tomas Grim_Charles Bridge
Mi Note 10 Pro @ 2.35mm, ISO 100, 1/505, f/2.2

One international vacationer even introduced an quick camera and took a Polaroid folks in motion. And now the symbol under may be very meta.

  • I took a photograph of:
    • A photographer conserving a photograph of:
      • A photographer taking a photograph of:
        • Another photographer taking a photograph of:
Tomas Grim_Charles Bridge_04
Mi Note 10 Pro @ 2.35mm, ISO 100, 1/512, f/2.2

Well, what can I say? That’s the means it will have to be. Photography will have to convey pleasure, no longer simplest to us, but in addition to the other folks round us.

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