CAMERA BUFF: Photographer Ken Chapman in rainforest at the Bunya Mountains.
CAMERA BUFF: Photographer Ken Chapman in rainforest at the Bunya Mountains.

Beautiful nature puts on a display for field naturalists

THE 30 members and visitors to the Gympie and District field Naturalists Club's quarterly education afternoon were privileged to see some really top quality, award winning natural history photography.

The presenter, Ken Chapman, has been well known in the area for many years, both for his photographic skills and also his huge amount of knowledge concerning the local and Bunya Mountains fauna.

The showing of 175 power point photos comprised many fungi and birds and kept the audience rapt with the quality and variety.

Mr Chapman explained some of the process by which he gets ready to take a photo.

He said he prefers to get a bird doing something, and the best palace for that is at the nest.

"If you find an active nest you know the birds are going to be coming back and forward,” he said.

"Then you can get a shot of a bird coming back with a beak full of worms and the young birds wide gape.”

Mr Chapman said he takes a lot of care to ensure that birds at the nest are not disturbed by taking at least four days to set up a hide and a place for cameras and flashes.

"If at any time the parents are away for round fifteen minutes I pack up and leave,” he said.

"The birds come back but I don't try that nest again.

"I pull the gear down before the young leave the nest.”

He said if change is introduced gradually, birds quickly realise that it is not a danger and ignore it.

"The first time a flash goes off when an adult is bringing food to the nest the young get startled.

"They very quickly associate the flash with an adult coming with food.

"If a flash goes off with no adult present, the young still squawk and beg.”

Mr Chapman warned those who feed birds on a regular basis not to make the birds dependent.

"It is nice to be able to see birds at close range on a feeding table,” he said, "but it can cause the local population to build up too much and become dependent on the handouts.”

He said providing water is a great way to attract birds without any problems.

Many of Mr Chapman's fungi photos are of species yet to be positively identified by mycologists

He said the use of back lighting gives the transparent appearance to many fungi.

He said some photos are taken for exhibition purposes and require different light and flash set ups.

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