Michael Lees's picture

Three Little Birds

Sometimes we just need to get away from it all. Some People can go to extraordinary lengths to do that. The vastness of the Australian landscape often leaves me breathless. The seemingly endless sky allows us to disappear into ourselves. Freeing ourselves from the confines of our normal existence. But even though we can feel isolated and alone we are never truly on our own. If we just look to look around us and we will see that there are others there to help and guide us.This image is one of my all time favourites. Many people who first view it often miss the fact that the pilot of the hang glider is not alone. Two small birds join him and the trio fly in perfect formation. I am often asked how I managed to capture this image. Was I following in a plane or helicopter behind? Were the birds specially trained to fly like that? The truth is a bit more humble than that. A case of being in the right place at the right time. I was on Mount Tamborine on the Gold Coast hinterland and shooting members of the Canungra Hang Gliding Club as they held took to the sky. I stood on the steep hillside and as the glider became airborne I stepped in behind. The two birds were startled by the sudden appearance of this huge contraption in their midst. They attempted to outrun the glider and inadvertently made this interesting formation, which I captured with my Canon 70-200mm. A second later, it was all over. The glider had moved away and the birds had gone their separate ways.

Canon-1D Mark III
200mm · f/20.0 · 1/200s · ISO 100
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