Bird exhibition to encourage people to think about the environment

Timaru photographer Ron Lindsay with his exhibition of photos of New Zealand birds at the South Canterbury Museum.

Timaru photographer Ron Lindsay with his exhibition of photos of New Zealand birds at the South Canterbury Museum.

One shot was all it took and former Timaru Herald photographer Ron Lindsay was captured by bird photography.

"Once I photographed my first penguin I was hooked."

Now he hopes his photos can get people thinking about birds and the environment with an exhibition, Aves Nova Zealandia (Latin for birds of New Zealand), at the South Canterbury Museum.

"If we can make people more aware of birds, and their character, we just might get more people thinking about the environment," Lindsay said.

"I don't want to sound like a tree hugger, but the fact is we've got to look after the environment and the animals that are there."

His collection of "50-plus" photos of different birds was a good cross section - garden birds through to albatrosses. The images were taken during the last seven years from all around the country.

"Basically Cape Kidnappers down to the Bluff."

Lindsay describes himself as an "accidental photographer", saying he didn't come out of the womb with a camera in his hand.

He owned a wedding photography studio in the 1970s and worked as a photographer at the Timaru Herald for 15 years before teaching photography at the Aoraki Polytechnic.

He also used to breed caged birds and show them, which left him with an affinity for birds.

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It was while teaching a wildlife module at Curio Bay he got his first photo of a penguin.

Lindsay submitted three images he took at the Catlins to the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition which made it to the semifinals. He aspires to one day go further.

Photographing birds takes a bit of patience.

"You can never get stuff on demand, [it] just doesn't work that way."

It was dependent on the weather, the light and on the animals turning up, he said.

"As a photographer you know the moment and you know when you haven't got it ... sometimes that will take two or three days."

Lindsay had always wanted to get a photo of a falcon which had "always been elusive".

One of the most recent photos he took was of a family of falcons at Albert Town. "[It] was really special."

Aves Nova Zealandia opens on Thursday at 5.30pm at the South Canterbury Museum.

 - Stuff


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