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Old Oct 22, 2008, 1:06 AM   #1
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Hi All,

I've been pretty laid back lately -- no birds to shoot, main computer doesn't like the new CPU I bought it, so I've been fighting with it intermittently and trying to get used to the netbook for PP and to get online.

Finally, I spotted something other than the usual suspects.

This is at 300mm, so it doesn't really show how open the area is.

It was what looked like a smallish Great Blue Heron, but there was no white on top of its head, and the neck was brown. It was completely out in the open -- no cover closer than about 70 ft. It was facing away from me, so I'd take a few steps, and when it heard me and looked around, I froze until it looked away again.

I added the 1.7x AFA as I got closer since I didn't have a lot of confidence that it would stick around much longer. Unfortunately, it was getting dark fast, and I could have used that extra 1.5 stops . . .

Long story short -- after inching my way towards the heron, I finally got close enough to get these:

FA*300/4.5 + AFA, ISO 100, f8 (lens wide open), 1/60, handheld. A little soft, but I'm not complaining for 510mm at 1/60 sec!:-)


I removed the AFA to get a full body shot . . .
FA*300/4.5, ISO 160, f5, 1/160, handheld


Very satisfying after a long drought. . .

When I got home, I looked it up. I'd never seen one quite like this before, but I guess it's pretty typical coloring for a juvenile at this stage.

Scott
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 6:38 AM   #2
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Well done Scott.
I would have chicken out and taken the image a bit further away just in case I do not get anything at all.


Daniel
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 9:01 AM   #3
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Good job, I agree with Danial, I usually start taking photos quite a distance away just in case the stalk doesn't work out as planed.

Tom
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 2:17 PM   #4
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Great shots Scott!
I have to admire anyone who can hold a 300mm let alone one with a 1.7x and get that steady of a shot.I have trouble at 50mm.
:G
GW:bye:
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 3:44 PM   #5
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Great stuff, Scott. This is one time stalking was the right thing to do!

Glenn
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 4:48 PM   #6
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/cheer

Nice story and wonderful full shot - don't you dare to make my "I need a good 300mm lens LBA" come back!

Thanks for sharing,
Th.
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 10:49 PM   #7
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Hi Daniel, Tom, GW, Glenn, and th,

Daniel and Tom -- Thanks! Believe me, I don't take anyhthing for granted, and have quite a few shots at intermediate distances. This is about the first one this year that didn't immediately spook when it saw me.

GW -- Thanks! After a whole summer using mainly a 300/2.8, hand-holding the FA*300/4.5 actually seemed easy!:-)

Glenn -- Thanks! After quite a few stalking failures this last season, I was really happy that this one turned out -- nothing like ending the season with some momentum. . .:-)

Th -- Thanks! . . . but there is no cure for that -- take it from a guy who has 7 lenses that cover 300mm, and with TCs, a couple of other ways to get there.:-)

Scott
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Old Oct 23, 2008, 6:34 PM   #8
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I agree with everyone else, these are exceptional shots. I have to laugh about the lenses and TC talk - I'm seriously thinking about a zoom that goes to 300mm, wouldn't mind owning the DA*300 but am not in any way going to give up my A*300. A TC might be nice, though...
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Old Oct 23, 2008, 7:30 PM   #9
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scott,
think i need to the lake..
a very nice stalk..and result.........

roy
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Old Oct 25, 2008, 6:35 PM   #10
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Very nice, though I like the full body shot over the portrait by quite a bit. Well done Scott.

Tim
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