MARCELO ALLENDE

BIRDERS AROUND THE WORLD

Birds of Northeastern Argentina

In this report Marcelo Allende presents some of the most representative birds of the extensive and amazing birdlife of Northeast Argentina, immersed between the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes and Entre Rios the area of ​​greatest ornithological diversity of Argentina, and also presents his group Birds of NEA in which he shares his passion for birds.

Marcelo encourages us to enjoy the exciting hobby of bird photography … because, as he says: “If you are patient, love of nature and feel emotion to capture the richness of nature in an image then you are able to emulate the professional photographers “We share his idea that patience and persistence are free and that what is important is the one behind the camera …

© Marcelo Allende

When did your interest start in wildlife?

Since I have memory I was interested in nature. I always enjoyed the outdoors, natural areas, from camping with my family or with my friends, a good meal on the riverbank, a day of sport fishing during the weekends, etc..
I have the good fortune to live in one of the provinces with the highest biodiversity in Argentina and  i  dont need to go far from home to enjoy the wildlife.

How did your interest in photography of the natural world start?

I started photographing insects and landscapes in 2001 when I bought my first SLR camera 35mm. My photographic activity increased from 2004 when I switched to digital, from that time I started taking pictures almost every day. At first I started photographing airplanes and spent more than eight years in aviation photography, but always took the opportunity to walk through the airport hangars investigating nearby fields to watch Owls, chimangos, woodpeckers, cardinals, goldfinches and Teros.
Recently, in 2010, I got a copy of the Identification Guide to the Birds of Argentina / Uruguay Narosky-Yzurieta author and, since then, I can say it has opened up a new world for me. For the first time I began to review my old photographs to identify bird species.

What photographic equipment do you use? Forms part of the debate between Nikon or Canon?

I use a Nikon D200 camera with a telephoto lens Sigma 50-500 APO DG HSM. On the debate between brands, I do not get into such discussions as I believe that the two brands are excellent. I  think the photo depends on the photographer and not the equipment. I use Nikon’s because when I bought my first digital SLR camera (a Nikon D70s) the shop where the purchased it offered a kit with two zoom lenses, a 18-70 and a 70-300.

When photographing nature what do you like?

Birds are my main interest but sometimes also I take photographs of places I visit for the first time, I like the art of panoramic photography, also macro photography attracts me, especially butterflies, spiders and insects.

Are there any species or group of birds that especially interest you and why?

All birds really appeal to me, though, if I have to choose a family, the  Hummingbirds would be one of my interests because of the difficulty of photographing; in addition it is not necessary to go into the forest to enjoy them because some feeders can attract them to our house. These birds also allow us to be creative with the flash because the direction of the light we can get many metallic highlights in their plumage.

As you write on your blog … Why photographing birds?

Personally I do it  because I love it, I like to get out of jail everyday, I enjoy the contact with nature with my friends Roberto and Mario (my group members also take pictures or videos with their cameras), or with my wife and my daughter walking rural roads watching the sunset.
I’m passionate about wildlife, I can stand for  hours  watching a bird or  walk over 6 kms just to see them.

Do you have any advice for people who are new to the world of bird photography?

I can tell that they are encouraged to discover and practice this exciting activity, full of personal satisfaction where you can be in direct contact with nature, travel, see new places and quench your thirst for knowledge.
I would also advise that you make many pictures because practicing personal technique is perfected over time.
Do not get discouraged by early failures or unidentified birds at first, over time you will be surprised of your own progress.

Your photo collection is quite big. Do you work at this only as a hobby or professionally? Have you posted on any other sites besides the blog?

I do photography as a hobby, as well I publish elsewhere:
http://www.foto-mundosilvestre.com, http://www.projectnoah.org, and recently started to post some pictures on the website http://www.birdforum.net/
Besides my page on Facebook (www.facebook.com / avesdelNEA)

What exactly is “Birds of NEA”?

“Birds of NEA” is a group of friends who share a passion for observing and photographing birds, they are Robert F. Genesini, and Mario R. Genesini, this group emerged by chance.  My friend Roberto and i work together, we are teachers, I teach drawing and he teaches biology. In 2010 Roberto invited me to participate in a day of birding in the “Botanical Garden City Posadas”, it all started there, and from that weekend this activity changed our lives completely. The next week we were only thinking about the next trip and from then on the weekends are devoted  to photographing birds in different parts of our city. Over time the tours were extended to other nearby places,  Misiones Province in the Atlantic Forest, the area of Campos and the Parana River where there are many species of birds.
“Birds of NEA” was originally a group of friends interested in birding activity but after a while touring different places I felt the need to share the abundant photographic material we had achieved; enjoying it only with my family and in my house had no logical sense … So, I started reading tutorials on the web and from the day May 30, 2010 published the blog “avesdelnea.blogspot.com.es” in order to share our knowledge and promote the interest of the people for the birds in our region.

Interview by: J. M. Escarabajal (Birding Murcia)

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The images that appear in this article are the property of Marcelo Allende is necessary to request permission to the author for publication or any other use of the same.

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