Posted on February 5, 2020
On our trip to Lake Woodruff NWR in DeLand Florida we were hoping to see Sandhill Cranes. They did not disappoint us. The only problem was it was a spur of the moment trip so I traveled light and only chose the lenses I thought would be best. I did not want to load up the car with too many lenses to carry once we got there. So for long lenses I brought a 300mm with a close focusing capability and a Tamron 150-600mm zoom for versatility along with teleconverters. Usually the Sandhill Cranes are in large flocks or off in the distance. The first walk in to the trails, 2 Sandhills landed right by us within a couple of feet. They stuck with us for quite a while giving me the opportunity to get a lot of portraits. But to get the whole Sandhill Crane in, I resorted to shooting panoramas of them. All panos were shot handheld and assembled in Photoshop. The featured image is only 2 vertical images blended because the Crane was a little further away from me at this point.
Posted on February 4, 2020
Here are a few Great Blue Heron images taken on our Lake Woodruff NWR trip to Florida. As we were walking the trails I saw this Great Blue Heron coming by us. I was ready and got a few side view images that I liked showing an angular side view. I thought it really showed the length and form of the Great Blue Egret as it flew by. This view also shows how large they really are when stretched out in flight. All images were @ 600mm, taken with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. I am really liking the Tamron lens. It produces great images with fine detail and is very versatile with the wide zoom range. Especially nice when you are walking and not wanting to carry a variety of lenses to cover what you might see to photograph along the way.
Posted on October 17, 2019
Outside our complex is a small pond along an access road. There usually are a lot of Canada Geese here, but scattered along the far shoreline in the pond are Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Cormorants. Also a few shore birds are working along the edge. It is down a slope from the road, so you are sort of shooting down at them from quite a distance so you need a long lens to photograph them. Because of the distance I was using a Tamron 150-600mm lens with a Sigma 2X teleconverter for a 1200mm field of view to fill the frame more with the birds. I am surprised the Canon R autofocuses quickly with the combination of a 2X Teleconverter on a f/6.3 zoom lens. With the 2X teleconverter on the Tamron 150-600mm f/6.3 lens, my wide open f/stop was f/13. So I stoped down to f/16 to help with shrapness. My Canon 1D Series bodies would not autofocus past f/11 if you stacked teleconverters.
Posted on October 3, 2019
Here are a series of landscape & cloudscape images from a recent visit to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. The featured image was shot @ 14mm along the Wildlife Drive.
Posted on October 2, 2019
Towards the end of the Wildlife Drive at Bombay Hook is Finis Pool. Quite often you can get photos of turtles here along with ducks. On this day we found a cooperative Great Blue Heron that posed for us. We took a few images and then moved on to not disturb the Heron. Plus a couple of turtle images, since we were there. Here I was using a Canon R with a Tamron 150-600mm zoom.
Posted on September 30, 2019
We went to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware to see what we could find for photo subjects. Usually you can find some close birds, but most of the pools were dried up so that limited quite a few spots to photograph. Also landscapes are nice here, with nice cloud formations to add interest. It is a large NWR and usually most photo subjects there are quite far in the distance, so you need long lenses. But sometimes they cooperate and you find some closeup subjects. Especially when the pools have water. It is fun to see what you can find. This post features flying Semipalmated Sandpipers
Posted on September 26, 2019
A few weeks ago we were at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park and we saw a lot of Beaver activity by the water areas along the trail through the woods. We were there for a walk so I only had a m43 camera with a 14-140mm zoom, which with it’s small sensor has a field of view sort of equivalent to 28-280mm on a full frame camera. There are a lot of fallen trees so we could see they have been very busy. But as were were looking at what we thought was a Beaver Lodge, a beaver actually ran along a fallen tree and submerged to go inside the Lodge. It was fun to watch, but Beavers are mostly busy at night. It was a distant shot so it was not great, but I still documented it. We went back, but during the day they are usually not active, so I was shooting a series of the 2 Lodges we could see and the surrounding landscape. Around the bend we thought we spotted a few more Lodges but could not get clear shots of them. Another Park we enjoy walking in, Plainsboro Preserve & Audobon Facility, has even more Beaver Activity / Damage. But it is hard to get close to the water, and along the trails you see more trees chewed down. So there is even more Beaver activity there.
Posted on August 13, 2019
When we were photographing birds at a Rookery in Florida, I photographed this Wood Stork flying in nest building materials. Once it got closer to the tree the nest was in, it disappeared in the branches and leaves.
Posted on August 10, 2019
As we were driving on the Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding Darling NWR, we noticed the Osprey Platform was occupied. If you had a long lens and got fairly far down the road you could get some interesting images of them on the nest. The first few images were from closeby, looking more up at the nest. You can see they were looking at us. But I did not like how the nests looked messy and did not like the angle.
Views of different nest from farther away, along the Wildlife Drive. The nest looks cleaner and has nicer sky and more of a side view.
Posted on August 7, 2019
When I was working on the files of this Reddish Egret I photographed at Ding Darling NWR, there was one feather that always looked like it was sticking up and seemed strange. So on the images I was working on I just cloned it out because it looked odd. It was not til I was working on the last image I saw it was a radio tracker, not a weird feather sticking up. I was surprised how large it was. I was going to go back and leave it in, but decided to stay with a “cleaner” look for most of them. I have seen tracking bands on their legs, but it was a first time I saw a radio tracker on a bird at Ding Darling NWR. Especially a tracker that large. This Reddish Egret was working this area from early morning with cooler light and gradually I got some warmer shots as the sun got higher in the sky. You can see the progression of cooler early morning images, then to the last warmer with the sun higher in the sky.