Two seemingly endless days of flying, across an unnatural number of times zones, and I am in the rainforests of northern Queensland, Australia. My mission is to document a variety of unusual species native to this endangered ecosystem including the giant Cassowary. But there is no shortage of other astonishing creatures as well that I will be covering over the next few weeks. Take, for instance, this rather handsome Brush-turkey, a common scavenger on the forest floor. I found one resting in a tree but struggled to find a clean portrait. Normally I would try to find a position with a soft, unobtrusive green background - but I couldn't find it here. Shooting straight up into the forest canopy is always a challenge, but this time the harsh light unexpectedly worked, the round highlights actually managing to add interest to the picture.
The second shot is a more conventional, whole body shot of the same bird. I had to employ a light fill-flash to restore color and detail in what was a dark forest interior. Not a great beauty -- it's bare head makes the bird look more like a vulture -- but a nice record from my first day here. Stay tuned for more.
Nikon D3 70-200mm lens