Macaws of the world
Macaws come in various shapes and a multitude of color variations. They are often kept as pets and you can easily find them at most zoos as well as in other tourist attractions. but nothing betas photographing these majestic birds in their wild habitats interacting with it and with each other. But first things first; what is exactly a macaw?
"Macaws are small to large, often colourful New World parrots. Of the many different Psittacidae (true parrots) genera, six are classified as macaws: Ara,Anodorhynchus, Cyanopsitta, Primolius, Orthopsittaca, and Diopsittaca. Previously, the members of the genus Primolius were placed in Propyrrhura, but the former is correct in accordance with ICZN rules. Macaws are native to Mexico, Central America, South America, and formerly the Caribbean. Most species are associated with forests, especially rainforests, but others prefer woodland or savannah-like habitats....There are 18 species of Macaws, including extinct and critically endangered species. In addition, there are several hypothetical extinct species that have been proposed based on very little evidence." Wikipedia
However fun and exotic the habitat might be it is quite reasonable to record images in a zoo or nature preserve simply because e of the ease of access, the ability to be relatively close to them and the expenses involved. Traveling to a native location is rather expensive and involves a lot of planing. Captive animals provide a viable alternative and a much cheaper rate.
At most zoos or preserves you will only need a regular zoom lens in the range of around 80mm. If doing the project in the wild you will then need a longer zoom in the range of about 400mm to get close ups and because these birds are probably not too used to the presence of people and can become quite nervous when approached, the contrary is true with captive animals.
Do make a concerted effort to get close ups of their majestic plumage which is often very colorful, almost rainbow looking as well as thier facial areas since they can be very expressive.
Other images that are very representative of their general behaviors are those that show them climbing on tree branches and upon their man made structures.
There are two variations to the captive theme; one is to record images that shows them within their surroundings and these type of photos are good for tourist publications and the industry. For a more natural style of photographing them aim to closely crop your subjects so that almost none of their man made surrounding appearing on your final images.
If you however, are lucky enough to be able to take a trip to any of the exotic locations that macaws call home then portraying them in interactions with the habitat is a must.
Of special note should be scenes when they congregate in large numbers such as when they visit clay deposits which they use to obtain certain minerals from the clay which they eagerly eat and it appears that this behavior is the macaws way of neutralizing certain toxins found in their diet.
"Some foods eaten by macaws in the wild contain toxic or caustic substances which they are able to digest. It has been suggested that parrots and macaws in the Amazon basin eat clay from exposed river banks to neutralize these toxins." Wikipedia
Macaws often like to playfully interact with each other and can be quite amusing. They are known to skillfully dispatch seeds and other foods quite quickly and almost graciously. very god images can be obtained form scenes of the consuming various food articles. Make an effort to also photograph these behaviors.
Not only will macaws provide you with very pleasing and very beautiful and very colorful images, but their photographs have a wide birth of possible uses in various commercial enterprises.
The more unusual, funny, and creative your images are the better your changes of making a sale.
Do not concentrate solely of one or two main genus of macaws. There are several other species that are mostly of a single color but are nevertheless strikingly in their beauty such as the scarlet macaws.
There are also several species of various sizes including the size of a parakeet. Contact your local preserves and other attractions about their macaw specimens.
Also good is to contact exotic bird pet stores or aviaries as they often have subjects which may be not be available at some of the smaller zoos.
A good and more comprehensive photographic project should include as many samples of as many species as possible.
This will make you project that much more appealing to an editor and increases your changes of making a big sale and not just selling some of the images but probably all of your images at once.
- Macaws, Macaw Pictures, Macaw Facts - National Geographic
Learn all you wanted to know about macaws with pictures, videos, photos, facts, and news from National Geographic.
© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez
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