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Old Feb 22, 2004, 9:20 PM   #1
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Default My shots of the weekend, squirrel and birds :)

Hello everyone, as part of my passion for photography, I have this passion for birding too. I have been waiting a long time to finally nail a good shot of a Cardinal. You might have seen shots I took before of the Cardinal, but they were never taken in their "environment". Bird photography is about patience, lots of patience. Maybe that's why I have only 2100 shots on the DRebel counter so far, since I spend so much time waiting for the elusive moment. I bought a hunters blind few weeks ago, and results are better now. Some species of birds are not shy of human presence, so a blind is of no use. But for Cardinal, being a bird so bright and red, I guess evolution has gave them part of their instinct a way to be extra carefull.

Yesterday, was not an ideal day to shoot whatsoever, been snowing all night, and it turned into rain, so here I am outside in the blind awaiting something to happen. At an unknown moment he appears on the tree to my left, I'm on the ground. So I'll have to shoot him through the thick clouds, totally grey. My first intention was not to get him there, so I was unprepared and set the camera at 1/1250 sec, F/8, ISO400. I was just before that shot at 1/200 sec, since level of light was very low. Took 2 shots, then he noticed my big "eye" looking at him ; refering to the Sigma 50-500 EX HSM. Then he flew away.

Original shot from RAW :




I looked at the shot, knew right away he would be way underexposed, but said to myself, I'll do whenever necessary in C1 Rebel and PS Element to bring something out of that.

After 4 layers and spending easily 1 hour on this one, since I wanted to make a print...

Here's the result :



Another shot from yesterday, this time I nailed the exposure, it's an American tree Sparrow :



Today, the start of the day was hilarious, here's the story :

While waiting patiently for taking shots of birds, hidden in my hunters blind... This fella came, he saw me, he was uncertain what to do, but it was so appealing all these peanuts and black sunflower seed on the ground... he thought :


"What shall I do, lets investigate who's that.."



I'll hide behind the tree, he'll go away..."

(seconds passes by) "Surely he's not there anymore..."

"Let's see on the other side of the Maple tree..."



Dang, he's still there... Maybe he's not dangerous afterall..."

"Ohh well, let's go eat, I'm too hungry !"



Side note, this lil' fella was beat up recently it seems, harsh life the one of a squirrel, uhh ?


Then later on :

One American tree Sparrow taken today :



A House Finch :



And for last , my 'keeper' of the day :



EXIF data :

DRebel
Sigma 50-500 EX HSM
Focal length : 500mm
Focal Distance : 17 feet
F/8
1/320 sec
WB auto
Center-Weight Average


I used 4 layers for this one, one for a nice easy looking background with Softening set at 10 with C1 Rebel, another one for the branch, one set at very slightly higher exposure for the bird (+0.15 EC) and one for the eyes (+0.30 EC), all done as mentioned with C1 Rebel.

Larger images of the squirrel :

http://community.webshots.com/album/109550962YVjBxC

And larger one of the birds :

http://community.webshots.com/album/109964398GxwgCN/4


Cheers everyone !
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 1:50 PM   #2
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Eric, this is a beautiful series. Of course, I really enjoyed your running commentary on Monsieur Squirrel, and I hope he got his share of the goodies, poor chap. You're right about that last photo being a keeper. It's one downright perfect picture. The sparrow is another one.

Has anyone thought to take a photo of you while you're peeking from your blind? (That's nearly an oxymoron, isn't it?)
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 3:54 PM   #3
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Default Photo of me inside the blind from a friend's eye

Hi Barbara, you gave me an idea today

Here's a photo of my blind, while inside from a friend's eye



And thanks for the comments
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 4:23 PM   #4
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that story is priceless! great shots too! that cardinal is a picture i respect you a lot for lol i know how hard it is to see let alone take a picture of a cardinal! gj!
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 4:56 PM   #5
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well done indeed!

hmmm... time to start saving my pennies for that Bigma!
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 5:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photosbyvito
that story is priceless! great shots too! that cardinal is a picture i respect you a lot for lol i know how hard it is to see let alone take a picture of a cardinal! gj!
Thanks buddy ! Not resting much, I will carry on trying to take more shots of the birds around, its almost spring time, that means a bunch of migrating birds are coming our way

Cheers
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 5:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Saginaw
well done indeed!

hmmm... time to start saving my pennies for that Bigma!
Hi Saginaw, I'm actually thinking of replacing the 50-500 for a 80-400 EX HSM OS, which is Sigma's version of Canon IS, read good thing about it. I'll loose 100mm, but will gain by possibly not having to use the tripod in the wild, that's a big plus. And I got on order a Sigma 1.4x TC, so it will give me 560mm, which is fine for birding

Cheers
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 5:43 PM   #8
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Eric, that was a tremendous idea! Squirrel's eye view. I'm sitting here smiling.
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Old Feb 26, 2004, 7:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcoultry
Eric, that was a tremendous idea! Squirrel's eye view. I'm sitting here smiling.
Barbara, it was a coincidence really

Here's the full size, non crop image



larger one here :

http://community.webshots.com/photo/...21342897AKlqlr

A real coincidence, you asked this today and thought, hmmm I'll have to get someone to take a photo of me... then took a photo of that lil' fella and I enlarge the image in the viewfinder after taking the shot and surprise, this reflection jumped on me !

Hehe
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Old Feb 27, 2004, 9:07 AM   #10
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Eric, isn't coincidence a wonderful thing? 8)
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