Transitions . . .

Before heading off to Cairns and Townsville three weeks ago, I spent a couple of weeks in my second home, Bangkok, shooting short the whole time. I enjoyed the heck out of it, even with cameras that were chosen for critter-chasing. I didn’t miss bird photography at all.

On the more recent journey, the niggles I encountered (heat shimmer, unseasonably hot weather, dodgy autofocus, complete lack of birds in some places, etc.) left me feeling that I’d somehow shorted myself by not paying more attention to landscapes and other subject matter.

One would think that encountering more than two dozen new avian friends would make such an outing a smashing success; and in one sense it does. Until I look at my photos. And recall that the amount of effort I put into capturing those photos was wildly out of proportion to the meager results.

Would the RF 100-500mm have made a difference? Maybe, but minimal at best. In retrospect, that trip encapsulated all the headaches I’ve encountered pursuing bird photography over the years. And all the tradeoff choices I’ve wrestled with: megapixels vs. longer glass, speed/weight vs. lightness/noise, MF vs AF, etc.

Somewhere amid all the useless hindsight, it occurred to me that I’ve been largely ignoring the rest of the world while chasing birds—increasingly so in the last six or seven years. Whatever landscapes and other opportunities I missed on my last trip were missed only because I didn’t take the time to shoot them, not because of heat shimmer or autofocus issues—or because they weren’t there.

It’s no coincidence that even with some decent light and weather the past few days, I’ve chosen to shoot short. I haven’t had any inclination whatsoever to head out the door with the longer gear. I’ve already planned what I want to shoot tomorrow: short again. I think I know where this is heading. And if I’m right, it’s actually been a long time coming . . .

M10/90mm Summicron-M III