Peacock in the Garden
Back in November 2009, I’d had a DSLR for a little over twelve months, and I’d hit the stage where depth of field was the most fantastic thing I’d ever discovered. I think once you get over the idea that all you need is more zoom, depth of field is the next big adventure.
It was also around this time that Dad bought a DSLR and so the great father-son space race began. He won by a light year or two, but then, he had far more spare cash and time to throw at it than I did.
While I’d started with Nikon, he went the Canon route. I thought Nikon represented better value for money at entry-level, he probably knew he wasn’t going to stay at entry-level very long and that Canon most likely had the edge the more you spent.
All of which is a very long way of explaining that in November of 2009, out of nowhere, a peacock appeared in Mum and Dad’s garden. It made itself at home near the greenhouse and spent a bit of time pecking around in the gravel and more time perched on the apex of the greenhouse roof.
I politely asked if I could borrow (or helped myself to) Dad’s 1000D and snuck off down the garden to see if it was any good.
On the one hand, this seemed extremely precarious for a bird of that considerable size, on the other, it made for a magnificent sight. As he stretched himself up to have a good nose around, his whole tail stretched out perfectly behind him,
The plumage was like nothing I’d ever seen. The colours were exceptional and had a metallic quality that I think makes these shots far more compelling than they might otherwise have been.
The ‘eyes’ in his tail were mesmerising and thankfully he didn’t seem too perturbed by some oik with a noisy camera paying him some attention. In fact, I think he quite enjoyed it. After all, showing off is what his tail was designed for.
Towards the end of this enormous tail were these fascinating fishtail-shaped feathers that had waves of green, purple, yellow and almost bronze flowing through them.
Across his back, as though he was wearing a majestic waistcoat, were more eyes but this time feline. The sharp black and turquoise pupil piercing the yellowy-green iris.
I remember that it was a bright but cloudy day which gave the feathers a sort of muted appearance, and yet a dazzling contrast against the dark and murky background.
By fluke as much as anything, I think these are still some of the sharpest images I’ve ever created. I got a couple of them printed and framed for Mum to put up in the kitchen and the thick black frame really set the colours off.
After a couple of days, he disappeared as silently as he’d arrived without leaving a trace. It was one of those brilliantly unplanned occasions that sometimes give the greatest results.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!