The Ground Above My Feet
Outdoor Ontario

The Ground Above My Feet

Shortsighted

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 THE GROUND ABOVE MY FEET
 
Photographs taken of birds are generally more satisfying when taken from very close to the ground as with a down-to-earth technique. Getting your lens just a few inches above the ground can be a challenge, especially when the circumstances force you to retain a prone position while you patiently wait for the birds to return to the scene after having vacated while you maneuvered into position.
When I see birds feeding on the ground in the backyard I am not amenable to laying in dirt while waiting for some action to develop. I much prefer to shoot through an open window, but from that elevated position I can’t achieve ground-level photographs. I know, it sucks. My solution is to bring the ground up to my viewing level.
Shooting through a window onto the ground requires a new definition of “ground”, not the real ground of course, but a mock ground consisting of a raised platform covered in what you would expect to find on genuine turf. My chosen platform is a thick piece of Plexiglass, supported by a steel pipe firmly impaled into terra firma. The connection between the pipe and the platform is by way of a rotary sanding mandrel. I left a sticky disk of sandpaper on the pad before gluing (Gorilla glue) it to the underside of the Plexiglass. The ground above my feet is covered in dirt, gravel, dead leaves, a bit of sod and some bird seed. Now the ground is near window level and I can photograph backyard birds and maintain some dignity. 












« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 04:58:23 pm by TransAtlanticGoose »


Ally

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The junco is lost. Where am I? Ground or mid air? Why does that human go all that trouble? Why am I even thinking? I'm just a bird.


TransAtlanticGoose

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Well that's a rather clever solution.
Perhaps the in-the-wild equivalent would be to dig trenches... But that might indicate to our feathered friends that we wish to start an avian war...
Perhaps your method is safer.


Shortsighted

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,,,, and  a  whole  ot  easier  on  the  back  than  digging  trenches. But ... I like  the  way  you  think.There  are  a  few  examples  of  "almost"  trenches  when  you see  a  bird  on  a  trail  where  there  are embankments 
that  slope  down  from  the  path.  Getting  down  upon  the  sloped  embankment  keeps  your  bodymostly  below  the  level  of  the  path  with  your  head  and  the  camera  just  inches  above  the  subject.In  nature  shows  the  ground  is  quite  often  staged, as are  underground  tunnel  shots  and the  like.


Ally

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Well that's a rather clever solution.
Perhaps the in-the-wild equivalent would be to dig trenches... But that might indicate to our feathered friends that we wish to start an avian war...
Perhaps your method is safer.
Hahahaha, I am picturing that


Axeman

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lol omg....the lengths we'll go to....a brilliant and elegant solution....but crazy nonetheless lol....reminds me of one of my favourite philosophers...Carl Spackler who famously said "In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal. And whenever possible, to look like one. I've gotta get inside this guy's pelt and crawl around for a few days."


Dinusaur

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Great idea, a clever way to get them at the eye level. My more conventional solution is to put flower pots that sit on my deck fence and make a heap of soil to conceal the bream of the pots. Works well until a squirrel comes along and takes a dust bath, disturbing the mound of soil.


Shortsighted

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Ah yes, the prehistoric solution. An oldie but a goody.I have no deck to put a flower pot on the railing.
With a deck installed I wouldn't be able to actually see the ground at all.
The squirrels have not yet discovered the platform. Besides, I erecteda sign that says "NO SQUIRRELS BEYOND THIS POINT".You see, Photosaurus Rex, I've thought of everything.Oh, lest we forget, .... Remember the Fallen.If they can give their lives ... we can at least ... give a moment.I see that even the birds are presently at rest. Must be the solemn music.I suppose a shell-hole would offer a chance to get ground level photosbut when those craters were created ... no birds sang. Natural disastersare bad enough but man-made devastation is unforgivable all in the nameof a power balance. Those aggressive squirrels and jays are nothing comparedto mankind .... with very little of the "kind" and heavy on the "man".


Shortsighted

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House  Finches  on  ground  above  my  feet.



 


Shortsighted

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Today's visitors to the ground above my feet.













Ally

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Shortsighted

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 Well over a week now with no birds in the backyard beyond a small group of House sparrows and today it’s a feeding frenzy. Nothing rare or unusual showed up but there was certainly representation from all the regulars: Chickadee (many at once), Goldfinches, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Juncos, House finches (male and female), Downy and Hairy (finally) as well as an ultra-brief appearance of a RB woodpecker.
I don’t know what happened to the WB nuthatches, which have been absent for a very long time indeed. I hope the RBWP comes back at some point so that I can photograph it. Absolutely no sign of any of this year’s eruption species. I’m not holding my breath. A Fox sparrow or a Pine Siskin would be welcome but that scenario is not likely to happen because I’ve been a baaaaad boy.