So far the extent of my photography with my new DSLR includes the series “Scenes from my Bedroom Window,” “Scenes from the Balcony,” “The Bedpost: An Introspective” and — perhaps my favorite — “Holding Up the Lens Cap and Taking Pictures of It with Different Settings.” In other words, I have yet to actually take my camera outside because the weather has been rubbish. So when I saw blue sky and a glimpse of sun yesterday morning, my camera and I set off to Regent’s Park.
I didn’t really have any ideas of what to capture — I merely wanted to get out of the flat. I started taking some scenic shots of the park.
But that was boring. I needed some action. I needed… a couple hundred birds.
I had stumbled upon the Bird Man of Regent’s Park. He had a Tesco bag full of bread and what seemed like popcorn, and the birds were eating it up — literally. Nearly every pigeon, seagull and goose in the entire park wanted a share.
The birds would even occasionally land on his head or shoulder.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one seizing this photographic opportunity:
I was cool being the distant observer… but then the Bird Man started moving — towards me.
As did the birds. Suddenly my casual walk through the park turned into a scene from Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”
I was caught up in a swarm of birds, the whole time thinking, “Please don’t crap on me, please don’t crap on me!” At one point I pulled an Austin Powers (“Look, I’m not even shooting you! It’s crazy!”), moving my camera around and hitting the shutter at random, and I captured this in front of me:
Eventually the Bird Man stopped, as did the bird tornado.
His poor dog was not having it.
Finally, all gone!
Never mind, that was just one bag. I tried to go home at this point, but the Bird Man and his loyal followers headed in the same direction as me over the bridge.
It took the bird brains a few minutes before they realized where the bread went.
Caught this pigeon landing:
“I cannot get enough of your butt!”
This poor guy tried to run over the bridge.
He probably regrets that decision…
I had fun practicing shallow depth of field on these dudes:
“Seriously, that butt! Those tail feathers!”
At last… Goodbye Bird Man, goodbye birds! Goodbye sad dog! Until next time…
On my way out of the park I practiced capturing depth of field some more. This background may be too unfocused:
And then I had to stop taking pictures because my hand was frozen. Not a bad first outing for my new camera. When I got back I wanted to ask the porter, “Hey, do you notice any bird crap on me?” but instead checked myself out in the lift’s three mirrors. That was probably the most amazing thing of the whole whacky experience — with hundreds of birds flying over and around me, I managed not to get crapped on.