Posted on April 3, 2020
We were setup on the Wildlife Drive at this popular spot at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It is a fairly wide open area with sandbars where birds tend to land and flock to. Plus a lot of activity in the water around it. A lot of people also fish here so it gets very crowded for photographers! Sometimes there are up to 40 or more people here photographing the birds. This Great Blue almost looks like it is waving to us. I also liked the Cormorant swimming by in the background. Image taken @800mm.
Posted on March 31, 2020
I am going through backup drives looking for images to post here since we are staying home during the virus outbreak. It actually gives me time to go through backup drives and clean out files that I do not need to make more space. Also I am finding images I have not worked on before. We saw this preening Wood Stork in the water along the Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 zoom lens and the featured images was taken at 800mm. I liked the “splash of color” of the Roseate Spoonbill in the foreground.
Posted on March 30, 2020
Here are a series of Swan images that I photographed years ago. Many are from a very small Natural Area near where I used to live. Since it had a small lake there were many times you could get nice frame filling images of them. I know many do not like Mute Swans, but I thought they were interesting photo subjects and were fun to photograph.
Posted on March 25, 2020
This image is a little different from a previous post as it is Red-winged Blackbirds flying out in the early evening against a setting sun. Image shot at 800mm.
Posted on March 18, 2020
I am going through images from previous trips to some of our trips to Florida. Here are a few panoramas of Wood Storks I photographed from the Wildlife Drive at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/ 5.6 lens, all @ 800mm. The Wood Storks did not move around to much, but the ducks were constantly moving about.
I first tried a 5 image panorama which is the featured image. Because they were moving around somewhat I manually aligned the images and used soft-edge masks to blend the images for the final image. Then I photographed a 3 image version again at 800mm.
Posted on March 17, 2020
It was interesting to see this tree full of Roseate Spoonbills surrounding this White Ibis. The featured image was captured with a Sigma 300-800mm lens @ 800mm. It seems to be very helpful at J.N. Ding Darling to have a long zoom lens with a long telephoto zoom range. Many photo opportunities there are quite far in the distance. So instead of severely cropping your image you can frame a nice pleasing image to fill the frame with your subject. The Sigma 300-800mm lens was a huge & heavy lens and with a camera body was about 12 lbs. Add a Wimberly gimbal head & heavy duty tripod and you basically setup in an area and just work that area for a while. That is why I usually also carried another camera on my shoulder strap with a 400mm DO lens for faster moving subjects that flew close by.
Posted on March 16, 2020
I came across this Willet looking for a meal at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. These are from a visit years ago. I was using a Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens on a Canon 1D MkIII. These are all at 800mm. It caught a small reddish orange crab that seemed to only have one eye. It was trying to swallow it but as it was trying it lost its grip and was holding it by one leg. Then that leg broke off and the crab fell into the water. But it managed to catch it again and have it’s meal. I thought the crab got away but the Willet won in the end.