A new photo exhibition about birds is currently nesting in a Sidney gallery until early July.
The show titled Birds on the Wild Side is showing at the new photographers GALLERY in Sidney until July 3. It features over 50 images mounted on canvas, dibound or under glass from 15 photographers.
Al Kohut, gallery owner, said the show promises to be an interesting and stimulating experience for bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The show features pictures of birds from far away (Spain, Australia, the Galapagos Islands, and Antarctica) and close to home, including Sidney, with the birds themselves both familiar and unfamiliar.
Subjects include the Australian galah, a member of the cockatoo family whose very name has become derogatory slang for idiot or fool because of the bird’s unique behaviour and appearance, as well as the eagles, who raised a red-tailed hawk named Spunky as one of their own chicks in Sidney in the summer of 2017.
Kohut said the show is focusing on birds for two reasons. First, birds rank among the favourite subjects of photographers. “It’s a challenge to get good bird photos,” he said. “Sometimes you need special telephoto lenses and patience.”
This aspect, of course, reflects the fact that birds are wild animals beyond the control of humans, liable to fly off at a moment’s notice. This said, Kohut said he knows one photographer (Mike Wooding) who sets up a stage for birds, including artificial backdrops.
“He orchestrates it and waits until the birds come to that particular area,” said Kohut. “And sometimes they just happen to wander across the lens, as was the case when a wilderness tourist visited Antarctica in 2006. When Kohut saw the photographer’s picture of a penguin, he asked whether he had used a high-end telephoto lens. “‘No, the penguin was stepping on my foot when I took the picture,’” he said.
The second reason for focusing on birds reflects the areas themselves. “There is a very avid birding community in this part of the world,” said Kohut, pointing to the prominent presence of a wide variety of local and migratory birds in the area.
Accordingly, many photographers interested in birds responded to Kohut’s invitation. “There was a tremendous response,” he said. “I was surprised.”
Photographers showing their work come from across the area, with some recent transplants from other parts of Canada, said Kohut.
The new photographers GALLERY opened in the fall of 2019 at 2449 Beacon Ave. in Sidney. For more information, see newphotographersgallery.com.
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