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Old Jul 21, 2008, 4:30 PM   #1
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Hi All,

After getting this new (to me) lens, I've been searching hard for some good subjects to shoot, and haven't had a lot of success. The heat and humidity limit my time outdoors, and the intermittent rain hasn't helped. . .

As I was returning from an unsuccessful attempt to get some more killdeer pics, I caught a glimpse of a juvie Black-Crowned Night Heron across a small lake.

Scanning the trees, I spotted this other young BCNH ( it's just making the transition between juvenile and adult plumage -- the cap on its head is already pretty black, its back and wings have changed from the brown of the juvie, but have not yet turned dark blue, and its breast is still brown and white streaked -- not yet turned solid white). I had to shoot this through a very small hole in the branches of a tree on my side of the lake. . . I added the Tamron AF 1.4x TC I had in my pocket and got this. . .

It was watching something down near the water's surface, so I took a look, and could see some colors that didn't belong, so I moved around to get a unobstructed view. This is one of my favorite local spots, but a recent wind storm knocked down a very large willow which has blocked off the best access to the shoreline. I could see that the colors I'd noticed were a Green Heron (or perhaps actually another BCNH in GH costume??:-)) apparently dancing a contemporary piece on the floating logs and branches that have become a fixture in area of this lake.

It took some doing, but sitting on the wet ground, leaning out over the water a bit, I could get the Green Heron in my VF unobstructed, so without much hope of getting anything good, I started shooting, and got these, among others. They are a little overexposed, but not too badly. . . All cropped a bit, and PP'd to taste. . . I took some license with the sequence. . .

and this one, the best pose of the bunch, needed some massive processing as the bird not only was blurred because it was moving, but was also generally OOF, so it took local motion blur correction (with Focus Magic) in three different directions, and three passes each of local FM deconvolution sharpening and High Pass Sharpening . It's good enough to pass casual inspection, even printed to 8x10, but just barely, IMO.

Since we're in the middle of a new season of So You Think You Can Dance ( a personal guilty pleasure :? ) . . . the dance reference. . .:-) I thought it was appropriate. . . I also thought that the cross species appreciation of this obvious talent was admirable.:G

Hope you like these a much as I do . . .

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Old Jul 21, 2008, 5:13 PM   #2
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Nice going Scott!
looks like you're getting some good use out of that lens
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Old Jul 22, 2008, 3:07 PM   #3
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i'm sure these are all GBHs. after sponsoring a GBH rookery last year i've seen very few this year. i'm use to seeing all the herons you mention but they just haven't been around much.. i do have the ducks in the garden with a brood on the way. i'll probably do a series on them when they hatch. mama duck is really incubating them now.
how many 300/2.8s do you need?? how does it stand up to the tamron??

roysphoto @ Gmail.com
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Old Jul 22, 2008, 3:48 PM   #4
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You must have a god eye to 300 mm/2.8's! How many have you got by now?

Those two last shots were really worth some pain, which youalso had. Hope you have dried up and not got a cold. Congrats to both the lens and the shots!

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Old Jul 23, 2008, 6:15 AM   #5
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Hi GW, Roy, and Kjell,

Thanks for taking a look.

This is "only" my 2nd 300/2.8. I've decided that I really can't handle anything bigger and heavier. You might be thinking that getting AF at 300/2.8 and 420/4 is only an LBA-induced rationalization (and you'd probably be correct:evil: ), but that was pretty much my thinking. I'm getting to the point that I rely heavily on AF, and I've had enough situations where I've found myself wanting something faster than the FA*300/4.5, or shorter than the 510mm that I get with the Tamron and the 1.7x AFA. I'm still not sure if it's worth the cost tho. . . I think time will tell if I end up using it as much as anticipated.

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Old Jul 23, 2008, 8:10 AM   #6
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Life does seem to be changing our habits, doesn't it? I've been thinking of the DA*300 and it's big price tag just to gain AF. I've been successfully resisting so far.
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 11:17 AM   #7
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Great series Scott!! Man, I'd love to see one of these. Only ever encountered one once. They seem quite photogenic

I tried out a 300 f/2.8 when I was in the Canon world, and man, they're too heavy for me. I only do hand held photos, and the weight of the 2.8 is just too much for me t lug around. I won't be going any faster than f4......cheers...Don
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