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Old Sep 10, 2012, 12:55 AM   #1
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Default First pic post in a while. . . some birds

Hi All,

It's been very hot here all summer, and that, plus some mobility problems and other priorities have limited my shooting, but after a few very nice days, and some opportunities presenting themselves, I've got some pics to post.

I spotted this Black Crowned Night Heron, and managed a few hand held shots with the K-5, FA* 300 f4.5 + F 1.7x AFA.





This young Great Blue Heron was patrolling the shoreline of the lake at my condo complex and I had to go back in to grab the K-5 and FA* 300 f4.5 to get some shots. It stuck around and didn't mind me walking around and getting shots from a number of angles.







My local Nature Center has always had hummingbird feeders out, but I'd never seen any burds taking advantage of them until yesterday. I returned with my K-5, Canon FD 300 f4 L K mount conversion + F 1.7x AFA and new very lightweight CF travel tripod/head/Sidekick (the whole thing weighs 4 lbs 6 oz -- less than my big CF tripod by itself).

Unfortunately, the location they chose for the feeder is always in the shade, so even though it was clear and sunny, I had to use ISO 1600 to get reasonable shutter speeds. These are all from about 10 ft.







I'll bring a flash next time. . .

While I was waiting for the hummers to come back, some Cedar Waxwings were enjoying some nearby berry bushes about 30 feet away. I was able to get this and a few other shots of an adult, but couldn't get the juveniles -- the ones that I wanted. Cedar Waxwing shots always look ultra smooth, but this one shows some breast feather detail -- shows how well the tripod works.



It's good to be able to get out and shoot a bit. . .

Scott
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 3:14 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear of your mobility issues Scott. Hope that clears up as best it can.

Very nice shots as I would have expected. Particularly like the two HIF shots !
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 4:45 AM   #3
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Great shots , fantastic detail.

Rodney
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 6:24 AM   #4
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Nice shots Scott, glad to see you are back out with the Pentax gear!

Tom
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 8:18 AM   #5
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Great shots Scott! I am envious as theres no way on earth I could handhold my 300 and get shots like that. Thanks for sharing the post. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the flash was either harmful to the birds or scared them off?
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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Hi Kevin, Rodney, Tom, and NMR,

Thanks for the comments and taking a look.

Kevin -- I've been almost crippled with a lot of pain in my knees for the past year -- got to the point where I could hardly walk 100 feet at a time. Turns out it's gout related, and a change of diet has turned it around almost completely. There are drugs available to help, but I already have to take too many prescription drugs for my heart and diabetes, so I chose the lifestyle change -- now after so long with little use, I have to work on strength and endurance -- this old age thing takes some getting used to. . .

NMR -- Most of the pro bird shooters use flash (usually with an intensifier like a "Better Beamer") -- especially for hummingbirds -- the really good Hummer shooter use some very sophisticated multiflash setups. It's counter-intuitive, but it turns out that flash doesn't bother most animals that are active during daylight, at least, as they often encounter similar bursts of light from reflections of the sun off water and other reflective surfaces.

The K-5 and Topaz DeNoise allow me to cheat a bit and use higher ISO to get much faster shutter speeds for hand held shots. With previous cameras, I'd been limited by the sensors as the noise was very destructive to detail. Who'd have thought that we'd be able to make practical use of ISO 400- 1600 on a sunny day outside! The advances in sensor tech and software have been berry berry good me (the Jose Jiminez reference probably dates me for those who actually recognize it )

Scott
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 5:38 PM   #7
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Lovely series Scott, thanks.

Simon
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 5:48 PM   #8
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Scott,

thanks for the great explanation. I guess I have some research to do. To my knowledge, my 540 will only project to 80mm on the options- I suppose this is where I would need an intensifier!?! I won't hi-jack your thread here with big lens flash q's bit if you have any quick tips I wont turn them down.

Cheers again and thanks for sharing photos
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 5:58 PM   #9
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Great photos.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 7:46 PM   #10
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Scott glad to see you putting up pictures again and especially these. They are very nice and loaded with fine detail. I like the hummer coming in to land with its feet extended and that first Night Heron is a prize winner.

The 300mm with the AF 1.7 is an outstanding combination and one I am sorry I did not acquire early on when they were affordable.

They say getting old is not for sissies. Keep up the fight.

Lou
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