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Old Jan 15, 2007, 9:32 PM   #1
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I got out of work early today so, I headed back to the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for a late afternoon hike. With the setting sun at my back, it made for better front lit shots. I normally run in AV mode at f/8 for optimal sharpness. However as the sun got lower and lower, the fading light made for more blurry shots than usual. I stopped by one of the ponds by the parking lot and found a flock of black necked stints feeding in the shallows.





Later, as I made my way down the dirt path, I heard a bird shrieking in the marsh reeds close by. Pushing my way though the reeds, I found a vantage point from which I spotted this northern harrier circling in the wind low above the reeds.





I quickly fired off as many shots as I could following the flight path of the northern harrier. Often times my lens would focus on the reeds that the harrier was flying amongst, much to my annoyance.


After a bit, my camera stopped firing all together. I thought that I had filled up my buffer and that it just need time to save. I waited a bit more and tried to push the shutter button again but no click. Looking down at the LCD display, I saw my empty battery signal flashing. &^$%^@#$%$#%@#$%!!!! I forgot to recharge my batteries from the last outing.


Without anymore power left in my camera, I slung it on my shoulder and just watched the harrier for awhile. It continued to glide low over the reeds. It seemed to be watching something down below and would give an occassional shriek. Some of the local blackbirds would swarm up to it and try to pester it, but it payed them no attention. It would just glide so effortlessly in the cold wind back and forth amongst the reeds. After awhile, the temperature began to drop and I bid the harrier goodbye. Untill next we meet, old friend.
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 9:49 PM   #2
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Wow! Love the harrier pictures - what a wonderful way to end the day. Is this a time to buy a second set of batteries? By the way, I did the same thing this weekend with the K10's battery, used the K100 while the K10 was charging.
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 9:56 PM   #3
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As usual, very nice shots, the stilt is hard to photograph because of the extreme black and extreme white on the bird.

Tom
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 10:14 PM   #4
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A wonderful series. I can't pick a favorite I like all of them. You did gooood.

TOTALLY WACKY roger
FZ 30, Nikon TCE17, QuikAim Max RDS, Zeiss Digiscope/Sony W7, Pentax K10D

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Old Jan 15, 2007, 10:19 PM   #5
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very nice series. you're getting quite a range of different species. i really need to get out and shoot some of the smaller ones around here. i've pretty much gotten bored with the pelicans,gulls, and geese that are very abundant here..

roy
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 10:41 PM   #6
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1 and 4 are my favourites, but they are all excellent.
The colour and feather detail not to mention the legs, plus the light in eye makes the Black Necked Stint 1st photo fantastic.
The light in the 2nd Northern Harrier shot gives wonderful warmth.

Rodney
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 11:18 PM   #7
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All nice shots but the first is my favourite.

As soon as I got the K10D I ordered a spare battery !!!

Cheers:Ian Mc
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 11:34 PM   #8
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Here is my Stilt from today, not nearly as nice as yours.



Tom
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Old Jan 16, 2007, 12:24 AM   #9
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Thank you all. Ya that was pretty dumb of me to run out of the house without recharging my batteries. I'm usually pretty anal about doing that. However since I had gotten out of work early today, I was rushing to get to the wildlife sanctuary before the sun got too low.

I'm finding some limitations to this sigma 70-300mm apo dg lens. It handles great in bright mid day light. However with the sun getting low, I had alot more blurry pics. I think I'm gonna have to try shooting wide open at f/5.6 and Iso 800 next time I find myself shooting at this time of day. That is until I can obtain some better glass. :G
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Old Jan 16, 2007, 3:16 AM   #10
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Hi Royce,

You can usually squeeze a couple more shots out of depleted batteries by turning the camera off, and then on again.

This just happened to me this last week with the K10. I was driving around and got a momentary glimpse of a red-tailed hawk -- not very common this close to the city. In two years of trying, I'd never gotten close enough, and on this particular day, I had only the Tokina 80-200/2.8 with me (it was a pretty dreary day, and I really didn't expect to see much to shoot anyway). I stopped the car and looked around, and the hawk was perched on a nearby telephone pole. I grabbed the K10, took a shot to get my bearings, and the camera wouldn't fire after the second shot. "Battery depleted" -- dam*. Did the on/off thing - reset to +1.3EV and stopped down to f9 because the hawk was silhouetted against the sky -- took two shots, on/off -- another two shots, on/off and another shot.

This is about an 80% crop of the last one -- before he flew away.



Admittedly, not a great shot -- but it's a HAWK!!!! -- sorry, us city boys get excited about the strangest things. . .

Scott

Edit:

Sorry, didn't comment on your shots-- very nice!!
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