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Old Mar 6, 2008, 10:10 PM   #1
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Hi All.

After getting the hawk shots, I saw 2 more on the way to the nature preserve, so I had hopes that it would be an active bird day.

I got to the preserve, and could hear a lot of activity, so I made the short hike to one of the feeders. As I approached, the 4 cardinals I could see nearby took off, but the little guys stuck around.

All shots were with the K20, FA*300/4.5 + F1.7x AFA. All of these were cropped anywhere from 3/4 to 1/6 of the frame, resized and sharpened a bit. All were handheld, with a 700mm SR setting for a 510mm lens (NOT intentional) -- and I was shivering from the cold. . .

This Chickadee hung around long enough for me to get a shot


And this Tree Sparrow posed a bit


They were joined by a Downy Woodpecker who just couldn't get enough of the suet.

I really like the way the K20 handles the high contrast between the shadows and the direct sunlight.

While walking out to the parking lot, I spotted another Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, checking out the feeder area.


And as I was driving out, I spotted another -- maybe a different species (?)

I couldn't get closer -- this is about 1/5 frame crop

I also heard a Blue Jay, but he was really high up in a tree (maybe 60-70 ft), so I just took a shot to confirm the ID. It's surprising how well these extreme crops from long distance shots turn out -- here's an example

The full frame


100% crop


I'm very satisfied for a first real outing. I'm still sorting this new body out, and hopefully, I'll start getting things right eventually. . .

Scott
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Old Mar 6, 2008, 10:20 PM   #2
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Ah- "start getting things right eventually"??!!! I think you are a long way along toward getting it right. I'd be absolutely over-the-moon if I were ever to take one that came close to these. The detail in the feathers and the resolution is making my head swim! Keep posting these awesome pictures!
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Old Mar 6, 2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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You make me feel like a six-year old the week before christmas. I'm (not so) patiently waiting for the body only to be released here (already available with kit lens). Next week they say.

The woodpecker picis a hit!

Kjell
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Old Mar 6, 2008, 11:55 PM   #4
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Yes that Downy Woodpecker is extremely nice!

Tom
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 1:38 AM   #5
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I particularly like your shots of the little birds. They are so quick in their movements along with being so small its hard to get them to be sharp. Yours are. That little Black Cap is not only technically good, but it also really shows the little guy's personality. Very nice.

Glenn
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 2:33 PM   #6
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mtngal wrote:
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Ah¬*- "start getting things right eventually"??!!!¬* I think you are a long way along toward getting it right.¬* I'd be absolutely over-the-moon if I were ever to take one that came close to these.¬* The detail in the feathers and the resolution is making my head swim!¬* Keep posting these awesome pictures!
Hi Harriet,

Thanks! I'm probably farther away than you might think though. I am pretty sure that these shots are just the beginning of a what I expect to be a very nice relationship with this camera. I know, from a few shots that I've gotten, that I've only begun to tap the resources available in the K20 -- and I hope to be able (if I do my part) to get significantly better results, once I really get to know what I'm doing with it.

This body seems to fit my needs exceptionally well, and I'm really looking forward to using it a lot in the next couple of months.

Scott
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 2:42 PM   #7
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bilybianca wrote:
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You make me feel like a six-year old the week before christmas. I'm (not so) patiently waiting for the body only to be released here (already available with kit lens). Next week they say.

The woodpecker pic¬*is a hit!
Hi Kjell,

Thanks! There are more shots of this guy that I'll post in a separate thread since they seem to be popular.

That "six-year-old the week before Christmas" is one of the best kinds of feelings one can have -- actually kinda rare at my age, but I know what you mean. Enjoy it while you can :-).

I think that the K20 will deliver for you. I had very high expectations, and have not been disappointed. This body has actually exceeded just about everything I was hoping for after reading the specs. Hopefully, it will do the same for you.

Scott
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 2:49 PM   #8
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ennacac wrote:
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Yes that Downy Woodpecker is extremely nice!
Hi Tom,

Thanks!

I'll post more of the shots of the Downy in a separate thread. I got lucky, and he seemed very determined to eat the whole cake of suet, so he pretty much ignored me during the short time I was there, an I was able to get quite a few good, but similar shots as he pigged out.

I was limited to staying about 15 feet away, because of the snow and mud, so these weren't taken under optimal conditions. I know that I can do better. . . and I'm really encouraged by that.

Scott
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 3:15 PM   #9
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Lyrics51 wrote:
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I particularly like your shots of the little birds.¬* They are so quick in their movements along with being so small its hard to get them to be sharp.¬* Yours are.¬* That little Black Cap is not only technically good, but it also really shows the little guy's personality.¬* Very nice.
Hi Glenn,

Thanks for looking, and the nice comments.

I really like shooting the big guys -- they can be so spectacular -- but the little guys are a constant challenge, and there are so many variants that it's really fun to try to get as many as possible.

I definitely attribute certain personality traits to different species after observing their behavior. I always try to get shots that show off how I see them in this light -- with varying levels of success. It's especially rewarding when someone sees the same thing in a shot.

Scott
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 9:19 PM   #10
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Fantastic detail, wonderful shots.
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