Lilac-breasted Roller and European Roller
I spotted my first Lilac-breasted Roller when I was walking towards the chalet the first day at Thamalakane River Lodge in Botswana. My luggage was still in Johannesburg so my decision was easy to make. I would spend the time waiting for my luggage trying to capture this gorgeous bird when it was flying catching insects and worms. I soon discovered that this was easier said than done but I got a couple of nice photos and this is the one that stands out.
I like that it isn´t sharp and for me it feels more like a painting than a photo. I like the contact you get from the bird as it’s looking straight at you and the worm in the beak is also a nice element in the picture, a nice photo.
When I went to Hungary this summer I had some goals in mind. It was more or less 3 birds that I asked Zoltan for.
1. European Bee-eater
3. European Roller
I was sure that I would have a good chance to capture the first two but the third wasn´t going to be that easy. That was my modest expectations.
The first and second goal was reached without that much fuzz but the third was more of a hassle.
I didn´t expect to see the European Roller when we went to Zoltans´ Tower Hide. We saw the Kestrel in the air when we arrived and as soon as we got inside the hide the shuttle traffic began. Lizards, mice’s etc was brought back to the chicks, which must have been just a few days old. We sat there probably for an hour before we saw the European Roller further in amongst the trees. Soon it came out just in front of the tower hide and landed in a tree to the right. It started to investigate the nesting box there and soon another Roller appeared. The nesting box was a Roller box and to our fortune the Roller pair seemed to settle in the box. One of the birds went inside while the other stayed out in the open hunting for food.
Most of the time it was impossible to get a good photo so I had to wait until it came back to the big branch by the side of the nesting box.
What do I like in this photo?
I like how the Roller stretches the head forward in a curious manner. The composition is of course important but it is the color in the picture that I like the most together with the eye that is a little shaded. A really good photo.
I also made a second interpretation of the picture and that is thanks to Greg Meissner. He made a really nice painting out of one of my photos, after asking for permission. That started a little idea in my head that maybe some of my other pictures would look nice as paintings. Up until now I haven´t had the one for this test but I felt that this photo of the European Roller must look nice as an oil painting.
I’m not really familiar with the Photoshop filter that I used but I must say that the bird looks stunning in this “oil painting”. And I really can´t say which one I like the most. I will surely do some more tests and maybe there will be another version up here in the future when I get familiarized with the Photoshop filter.