The Lockdown Sunbirds

The cost of a print varies from R175 (A4 size of 21 x 29.7cms)) to R350 (A3 size of 29.7 x 42cms). I make my own prints – up to A3+ size (that’s 33 x 48 cms or 13″x19″) – using Lucia inks on Canon’s full range of archival photo papers. The high gloss Luster or Pro Platinum papers are a good choice for these birds. Shipping is only to South African addresses because international courier charges can be high. You can also purchase a R250 download (for personal use) of each image. Please go to the shop to order and for further information about each image. You can purchase using a credit card, debit card or instant EFT. Postage and packaging for courier delivery throughout South Africa is an additional R150. Delivery in Grahamstown is free! If you’d like image rights for commercial purposes then please submit a Request Image Rights form. Read on for the story of the birds and a gallery of their pictures.

The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Poised

It’s March 27th 2020, the first day of lockdown. Imagine a window of open space a metre wide and half a metre high. All of these pictures were taken through this little open window that’s on the stoep outside our living room. The left hand side of it is the corner pillar of our stoop. On the right hand side of the open space hangs our new bird feeder – filled with sugar water – for the sunbirds. You can see the perch on some of the pictures. The Lockdown Sunbird Series was taken in the days, weeks and months that followed as the Greater Double-Collared, Southern Double-Collared and Amethyst Sunbirds came to feed on the sugar water. Bulbuls and Cape Weavers were common visitors as well. To me the birds represented freedom and beauty and I’ve done my best to show this.

Poster for The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
The Lockdown Sunbirds Poster

They’re difficult birds to photography because they are small – between the size of a large hen’s egg and a sparrow – and very quick. I got all of these shots as they flitted across from, and back to, the large boer bean tree that grows behind the pillar of the stoep. My Olympus OMD EM1 II can take an amazing 60 frames per second in High Capture Pro mode. So if I get 10 frames with a sunbird going across to the feeder then it’s covering the one metre in 1/6th of a second. That’s fast! I had to sit close to the feeder as well because the best lens I have for the job is the M.Zuiko 40-150 mm – most bird photographers use something like a 300-600 mm lens. But with patience the birds got used to having me sitting nearby with the camera held to my eye ready to get a shot.

The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Double-collared delight
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Poised
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
In the flow
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Heading home
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Amethyst sunrise
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Opalescent
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Last Light
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Finale
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Green Light
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Delta
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Jet Plane
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Ethereal
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
What Big Claws You Have Got
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Aerial ballet
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Harassment
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Into the Sky
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Confrontation
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Taking Flight
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Amethyst Sunset
The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
Bulbul in the light
Poster for The lockdown sunbird series in Grahamstown, Makhanda
The Lockdown Sunbirds Poster
The Lockdown Sunbirds

Grahamstown 1820-2020: A Heritage Photobook

The book costs R175 and has 43 colour pictures and three maps in a softcover landscape format at A5 size (14.8 x 21 cms). You can order a copy by going to the shop. Postage and packaging for courier delivery throughout South Africa is an additional R150. Delivery in Grahamstown is free! Please contact me (roddyfox@mac.com) for a cost estimate if you want a copy sent to other countries. The page layouts can be browsed by clicking this link: Grahamstown 1820-2020: A Heritage Photobook.

The pictures were taken during 2018 and 2019 to commemorate the bicentenary of the 1820 Settlers. They’re a personal selection of Grahamstown’s Heritage Sites and prominent landmarks. There are 70 gazetted Heritage Sites in the city (recently renamed Makhanda). Most front on to the ten streets and two forts of the town shown in Piers sketch of Grahamstown in 1838. Fort England lies on the top left of the sketch and Fort Selwyn is on the right hand margin. The centre of the town was the triangular shaped Church Square (Kowie Street on the map).  

Piers' 1838 Sketch of Grahamstown
Piers’ 1838 Sketch of Grahamstown

I’ve photographed the landmarks and street scenes using different styles. Scroll through the sequence below and you’ll see that some are taken by moonlight, some are in a sepia style and others highlight the character of the town as it is today. You can see a selection of 17 of the antique styled images on the Sepia Prints of Grahamstown’s Heritage Sites page. They are also available for purchase in the shop. If there’s a picture in the book that you would like a print of just contact me (roddyfox@mac.com).

Grahamstown 1820-2020: A Heritage Photobook