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Old Sep 11, 2012, 8:44 AM   #11
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Very nice series Scott, It's a bitch getting old, I know. The Crowned Night Heron and hummer shots are great.


...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DA PLM 55-300, DA 18-135, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 10:47 AM   #12
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Great to see you up and around again. Some age related infirmities are treatable and some are not, but I can tell you from personal experience there is no getting used to it. I am fortunate not to have your problems - mine are mostly declining vision and lack of energy - time passes faster so the older you grow, the slower you go. However there is nothing like a well received picture to lift your spirits, and these should make yours soar.

Flash does not seem to bother birds - their eyes contain "filters" that enable them to look directly at the sun, so they can tolerate bright lights. However, I prefer to use fill flash over full flash at short ranges to avoid distraction, unless rapid motion has to be frozen. I'm not sure that even preflash startles them, but hummers reactions are so fast that I tend to avoid it out of caution. Personally I prefer some degree of motion blur in hummer flight shots to add a bit of realism. Frozen wings remind me of inanimate models suspended from a mobile (remember those?).

Welcome back and keep up the good work
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.

Last edited by penolta; Sep 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 4:45 PM   #13
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Great shots. I really like the eye on the first night heron pic. I was sidelined most of the summer with eye problems, so know how you feel about not getting to shoot. Looking forward to seeing more of your pictures.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 6:06 PM   #14
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Scott - So great to see some of your amazing bird photos again! Such wonderful detail, great action, perfect exposure, and just-right composition. Love the algae-covered BCNH feet!

Will be praying for your continued recovery - maybe the gout diet will help with other health problems as well...
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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Scott, I can't say hoe delighted I am to see you posting these photos. So glad you're getting around again. All there photos are great, but the cedar waxwing is my favorite. When my wife and I were dating, we were out on a walk one day and passed a tree that had dozens of cedar waxwings all ravenously eating little cherry-sized fruits. Now, almost 30 years later, cedar waxwings always bring back memories of those wonderful days when we were just starting to fall in love.
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 4:35 AM   #16
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Hi Simon, Les, Lou, Hans, penolta, Bob, mole, and mtman,

Thanks for the thoughts, and taking the time to take a look and comment.

NMR -- The zoom to 80mm is only for the angle of coverage, not intensity. The guide number actually gives you an idea about effective range. It's rated at 128 ft / ISO 100 / at 35mm zoom, so it's supposed to give you acceptable exposure using ISO 100 at 128 feet, even with a wide angle of coverage. A few quick hints about flash for wildlife.

1) Manual flash is preferred to P-TTL for distance since the preflash drains some power from the main flash and preflash metering is not reliable when the subject is farther away.
2) Flash, at full power takes up to 8 seconds to recharge, and shooting wildlife, this is frustrating. I also use a TR Power Pack 3 external battery pack, and with alkalines, this cuts the recharge down to under 5 sec, and with NiMH rechargeables, it's considerably faster though they are not recommended (because they did not exist when the unit was designed). Quicker flash must be used with caution though as I've heard of cases where the flash tube melted the plastic lens on the gun because there was not sufficient time for it to cool down.

The Better Beamer, in my experience helps some, but not as much as I had expected from the testimonials of users. It's fussy to mount and relatively expensive for what it is, and I'm not sure I'm a fan. . . I've also purchases a Fresnel sheet from American Science Center for @ $5 and cut it up and bent it over the flash head, and this also seems to work, but it's not conclusively better IMO either. With higher ISO in the K-5, I'm shooting in lower light without flash, and generally like the results better.

Lou -- I was lucky to get on the 1.7x AFA bandwagon very early. I've currently got 3 of them, and have not paid more than $200 for any of them. The cheapest one was $75, and that one was the most recent. I found it listed on the site of a small dealer in MN. I called and asked if the price was correct and if he still had it. He confirmed both and I ordered it on the spot. The market price at the time was over $300. . . now it's even more. I actually have use for all three, as I have to modify them to report apertures correctly with different Sigma lenses and I use them regularly with the EX 300/2.8 and EX 180/3.5 Macro.

penolta -- That is weird about time passing more quickly as one gets older -- something I noticed quite a while ago -- My doctors are always surprised by my ability to come back from setbacks -- I attribute a lot to a very real belief that anything's possible and the ability to change my lifestyle to adapt to changes in my circumstances. You've got quite a few years on me, and I only hope that I can still be active in this hobby for that long. . . Thanks for confirming what I've experienced and only guessed about the explanation concerning birds' reaction to bright lights.

mole -- I'm on such a restricted diet from all my medical conditions, it's pretty amazing that there's anything left for me to eat

mtnman -- Glad my pic could bring back good memories -- especially the best kind -- This is probably the best shot I've gotten of a CW considering the background and all. the only things that are missing are a glimpse of the red tips on the wings and better focus on the tail. Somehow, these seem smaller than I've seen before -- maybe due to the drought we've been experiencing.

Thanks again to all, it's nice to contribute to the forum again. Hopefully there will be more to come. . .

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Old Sep 15, 2012, 8:40 AM   #17
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Snostorm, I am so jealous..

I just happened to snag a PKA adapter with an SP 17mm so I can finally use the 1.7x. I still haven't bought it. After just buying the FA 35, Im not sure I could get away with it without ticking off the woman :-)

That being said, I am really looking forward to the combo and hope to snag one soon, however it will be well over 3 for it.

I really wish you didn't have use for all 3! :-D

Thanks for the flash tips. I have some reading to do.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 2:31 PM   #18
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Nice to see you about, I was wondering if you were doing all right. Always love your bird photos and these don't disappoint, the hummer coming in for a landing is cool!

Like you, I'm not impressed with this getting old bit, though at the moment the aches and pains have settled down for me. Just wish I had more time, as penolta mentioned, time is just flying by and everything takes longer to do. Can't imagine how I used to cope, there's not enough hours in the day any more.

Glad you are on the mend.
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