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Old Aug 30, 2009, 9:59 AM   #1
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Default Success at last!

Whenever my wife and I have had a chance to be alone in our boat without the kid's, dog and grandchildren I have been trying to take a picture of one of the resident Loons in the pond.

Frustration has been the rule for most of the summer. Friday morning I finally had some success. I snuck up on a pair and began shooting. I had the 80-400 with 1.4 TC on the camera and needed it all to get the shot.

I took over 100 pictures and yielded one that I considered adequate. This shot's success was attributed to my turning the boat slowly around so the stern of the boat faced the bird. I was then able to kneel on the rear seat and rest my elbows on the rear swim platform and brace myself for the shot. It also helped that the bird was more corectly positioned into the light at this time.

Mtmans kayak would be a better platform for Loon shooting. The noise from the I/O spokes them even when idling. With a kayak you can almost get on top of them.


Last edited by Keltech; Aug 31, 2009 at 3:39 PM.
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 10:11 AM   #2
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Spectacular, Lou. I love it!

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Old Aug 30, 2009, 10:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by nhmom View Post
Spectacular, Lou. I love it!

Ditto Lou! Tack sharp and perfect exposure!
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jelpee View Post
Ditto Lou! Tack sharp and perfect exposure!

The colours really came out nicely.

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Old Aug 30, 2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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Beautiful shot. Well worth the "trouble", I'd say... Robert
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 1:19 PM   #6
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I like it Lou!
You done good.
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Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 2:58 PM   #7
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Well, that's crazier than a loon!

Seriously, a VERY nice shot. Someday I hope you'll be seeing shots this nice from me (at least that's my goal).
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 4:57 PM   #8
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Hi Lou,

Congrats on an oustanding shot !!!!

I usually only get about a week to shoot loons anywhere near where I live -- and then it's only from the shore. By the time I get used to their behavior and the exposure nightmare they present, they're usually gone . . .

These guys are so challenging since they are a study in dynamic range and resolution all by themselves. It's so hard to get close, at a good angle, in the right lighting, and then take advantage by nailing the exposure and focus in the brief time they usually give you. Add some very nice texture and color to the water, and you've got your capture. Nicely done!

The only thing I'd suggest is to try using the saturation brush to bring out the red in the eye just a tad. I usually find that I need to do this with red-eyed birds because the color in the pic always seems more muted than in real life, but of course, it's a YMMV thing.

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Old Aug 30, 2009, 5:37 PM   #9
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Lou, this is a fantastic shot. I have been attempting to photograph loons for several decades - since the mid 1980s. I have yet to get a shot as clean as yours. I'm sorry to say that the loons on ponds I visit are very shy: doesn't matter if I'm in a kayak, canoe, or motorboat. Any time I get closer than 50 or 75 yards, they move away. There's a reason why I didn't include a loon pic in my thread about our recent trip to Maine. You have good reason to be proud.

The loons on "our" pond in Maine had two chicks earlier this year, but they did not survive. No one knows with certainty why they died, but most people believe that all the rain we had earlier this summer flooded the nest.
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 5:59 PM   #10
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Awesome shot! They are such unusual looking birds to me (since we don't have any around here). As Scott mentioned - I can imagine they would be harder than an egret.
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