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Atherton Tablelands Bird Photography Group October meeting report

Alan Sweet | Guest Contributor

Ten people attended the Atherton Tablelands Bird Photography (ATBPG) Meeting and there was one Apology.

Al Sweet reported that the group currently has 71 members.

He told members present that he had, that morning, received a special offer for a Lenovo Curved Screen monitor for less than $200. Only one person present had experience with a curved screen and didn’t like it for photo editing.

Alan also showed a photo he had received of a honeyeater with a forked tongue and invited comment on it! After some discussion it was decided that the bird had been mis-identified and was, in fact, a Liar Bird.

Photo by Paul Callen.

There was some discussion about hosting a Bird Photography Exhibition on the Tablelands. Trevor reported that previous attempts had not been very successful with a litany of problems and obstacles. Al admitted to having no experience in organising exhibitions and, as no-one was willing to take the matter further, the idea was shelved.

Barry Deacon had invited Alan to accompany him and his wife, on an “owling” exhibition during the month. Alan reported that his first attempts at capturing the owls at night resulted in gross over-exposure! This was the result of having the incorrect metering mode selected. He showed some examples and there was some discussion about exposure and the various metering modes available. The way that exposure is now being “read” by newer cameras is causing significant development in this area, and “exposure metering modes” may well soon be a thing of the past.

There were 30 submissions for the “Raptor” challenge and Alan spoke about the “centuries long” debate on “What is a Raptor?”, that had engaged the legal and ornithological bodies throughout the world. He presented comments on the “What is a Raptor?” conversation that led to the eventual definition by BioOne in 2016. In summary:

All raptors have a hooked beak, strong feet with sharp talons, keen eyesight, and a carnivorous diet.

For those wanting further information:

Before presenting the challenge submissions, Alan expressed his thoughts about the challenge itself.

“I perceive the challenge to be an opportunity to contribute: not to be a competition. All members, whether living on or off the Tablelands are encouraged to participate in the challenge. It doesn’t matter where the photograph is taken provided it is of a bird that occurs on the Tablelands”.

All present were invited to express their opinions, and it was unanimously decided that they did not want to see the challenge as a competition.

There was also discussion as to whether a “Photo of the month” could be selected for promotional purposes. The photo would be drawn from all submissions to the Group’s Facebook page as well as the “challenge” entries. It was felt that this would be tantamount to a competition, was of little benefit, and thus should also be avoided.

During the presentation of the challenge entries, as well as comments on composition, etc, there was a lengthy debate about cropping. No conclusion was reached.

Raptor entries will be published in the ATBPG Facebook Group – Media / Albums / Raptors.

The September / October Challenge “Birds beginning with C” continues until 30 October.

Photo by Alan Sweet.

New challenge

A new challenge was issued for October / November will be open until 30 November. Please email submissions to


Photo by Alan Sweet.

Next meeting

The next ATBPG Meeting will be at 10:00 am on Monday, 6 November at 15 Countryview Drive, Atherton.


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