Great shots

Greg Deutscher is an ac­tive Field & Game mem­ber who hunts ducks and quail and gets to at least two clay tar­get shoots a month, but in re­cent years he’s spend­ing more and more time be­hind a lens and says pho­tograph­ing birds feels like a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion.

Field and Game - - CHASING GREAT SHOTS -

A lot of hun­ters carry a cam­era with them, but Greg says he does more pho­tog­ra­phy than hunt­ing.

“I pre­fer ac­tion shots to sit­ting birds. I run the cam­era in man­ual mode so as to have high shut­ter speed around 1/2000, aper­ture most of the time 7.1 auto ISO is the only thing that can vary,” he said. “I will slow the shut­ter down in bad light so the ISO doesn’t go too high.”

Greg uses a Nikon 810 with a 600 mm lens, but to get his stun­ning pic­tures he of­ten has to use his hunt­ing craft. “Most of the time when I go out to take pic­tures, I just drive to a spot where I know there will be some bird life around,” he said. “Once I spot a sub­ject from a dis­tance, I use what­ever cover is avail­able to get as close as pos­si­ble. If none is avail­able, I just take my time and usu­ally try the walk straight at ap­proach which works half the time.”

Of course, an un­der­stand­ing of bird be­hav­iour honed over years in the field helps. “I’ve been keen on birds all my life. I used to read bird books cover to cover and could name ev­ery­thing,” Greg said. “There are a lot of places like Barmah, where birds are more used to hu­man ac­tiv­ity and you can get close enough to get a good shot. Most of what I chase these days are the ea­gles and the rap­tors, and near where I live Wedge-tailed ea­gles have a nest just the other side of Minyip.”

Given that Greg’s main aim is to get birds on the wing, he reck­ons the skill set isn’t that far re­moved from hunt­ing or clay tar­get shoot­ing. “I’m either out there hunt­ing them or pho­tograph­ing them. Us­ing a cam­era or a shot­gun is the same prin­ci­ple; you need to get on the tar­get when it’s fly­ing,” he said.

“It is a sat­is­fy­ing sub­sti­tute.”

All pho­tos by Greg Deutscher

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