Yesterday, it didn’t take very long for someone to solve Mystery Photo 4 (well done!): the picture was a close up of feathers of the Grey Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron bicalcaratum).
This stuffed bird has nothing to do with the US’ annual bird stuffing. Rather, it is part of a special exhibit at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin called Federflug – 150 Jahre Urvogelfund – Feathered flight – 150 years of Archaeopteryx. I already posted photos of the feather ascribed to the genus (without any more solid evidence than the lack (so far) of other feathered dinosaurs with flight feathers from Solnhofen).
Here#s one more of the pheasant, before we move on to other exhibited birds:
close-up of the tail base – note how the colors change when the light changes!
The exhibit has a lot of cool stuff to offer, but for me, once again, the best stuff were the excellent specimens created by the MfN taxidermists.
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)
I LOVE the dynamic pose of this White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)!
Altogether, photography in the exhibit is not really easy. Dark overall, lots of spotlights, lots of glass to reflect them, and lots of white interior to mirror itself in the glass, too.
Obviously, the new camera helps, especially with the HDR and backlight portrait modes.
Another show-off, even more impressive than the kagus in the linked post: Great Argus (Argusianus argus).
Aside from stuffed birds the exhibition also has some ripped-apart birds, explaining about feather functions and shapes and so on.
I’ll have more to say later, and I will show you the other stars of it, the casts of Archaeopteryx.
“Obviously, the new camera helps…”
What did you get?
EOS 650D with 13-135mm kit lens. Also a Canon 50mm for photogrammetry, and yet to be delivered a 70-300 Tamron 😀
Lovely photographs and really nice taxidermy. The White-tailed Eagle is superb.
I bought a Pentax K-r a few months back, sadly, only with 18-55mm kit. Haven’t had much of a play with it yet but summer is coming. I’ll prob get the Pentax DA-L 55-300 (or poss Sigma 70-300 depending on price) as the Tamron is very soft beyond 200mm and suffers from quite a bit of chromatic aberration (of the purple kind). It’s also a bit noisy (audibly not visually!).
Mark, I hear you! I own the Sigma 18-200 for my private camera, and it is really good. However, I find I tend to run it all out to 200 mm, when using 180 would do much to keep the picture better. Additionally, I tested it against the Tamron, and found that the latter does not do the annoying thing the Simga does: “getting lost” while focusing on a moving subject. The Sigma keeps running all-in all-out a lot, whereas the Tamron snaps to the object much better. Thus, a trade-off, where I can have both lenses with me as I already own one, then always choose the one that I think will work better.
As for the purple: I find that Canon cameras do a very good job of adjusting – must be the auto white balance that helps.
Thanks, Heinrich. Hadn’t done much research so wasn’t aware of the focus-hunting issue with the Sigma. Looks like the Pentax might be the go, then.
The chromatic aberration might not be a big deal with the K-r either as it can do a heap of stuff that I thought I would need to do in post on my PC. Some of it seems so fantastic that it might be wizardry, rather than science.
Do try out the 300 SIMGA – it may differ from my 200mm!
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