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Old May 20, 2004, 10:30 PM   #1
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I must say that these birds make my blood run hot! I spent half the afternoon boringly shooting blackbirds after scaring away a Blue Heron in this little valley of wonders. I decided to climb a hill and work my way around to see if I could get another glimpse of the Heron and to position myself better with the sunwhen suddenly I heard these shrill cries from the sky and 2 raptors circled high above, right into the sun so I couldn't get a shot. They kept circling so I kept shooting even into the sun, and worked my way to a better position, laid down as if playing dead, and hoped that they would get closer. It was much more exciting than shooting blackbirds. The shriek of these beasts makes one quiver with delight! To my surprise they began checking out this dead body lying on the swampy ground.

Here are a few shots of the experience (not as sharp as could be but I plan to return and fix that problem soon enough).Shots are reduced so I can put more here without trouble:

Crop of one of the first shots upon first sighting (completely silhouetted against the sun, but sort of neat):



When I laid down and played dead they seemed to get more curious. Here's one of them checking things out from above. My camera is at an angle because I was laying down and the tree was in an awkward position, but it turned out okay I think:



Suddenly he swooped away in an emotional fury! Wow, what a bird!



He swooped down at me and looked at me clearly suggesting that I should get the heck out of there, and the faster the better. Below are both crop and full shot reduced in size.







Well, that's my little story of my first time shoot focused on the raptor. I can assure you that it won't be the last. Those birds define "wild" and are to be respected indeed. I'm hooked.


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Old May 20, 2004, 10:47 PM   #2
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fantastic story!!! interesting idea of lying down and "playing dead"...lol....seems to have worked!!! nice job!

i like the last one the best...it's the sharpest!!

i can't wait till you get your rebel back....to see your shots with that really nice glass!! i mean...your getting such nice shots with your teleconverter and you FZ-10 (right?)....i can't wait to see your rebel shots

thanks for posting! i enjoyed these! i have a couple red-tailed hawks by my house....so i know that screechy cawing sound!


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Old May 20, 2004, 10:59 PM   #3
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Thanks Vito, I must tell you that your comments, whether positive or negative, are something that I personally look forward to. I have no idea how you get around so much but I certainly like the idea that I can be assured of a comment by Vito. I think you should be paid for your excellent work, but then again I also think that eric should be paid for his knowledge and suggestions, so it would probably be best to keep it as is, cool and meaningful.

I look forward to your comments, either positive or negative (because I think you know more about photography than you claim). I'll tell you what I "really want" in the near future:

- to test this 2.8 Panasonic lens with my Sigma 70-200 + APO 2x converter, and even with my 50-500 (if I can find a stepdown ring from 86 to 72mm (does such a beast exist?)

- to purchase a second hand 1D Canon, and if I can't find one, then purchase a Mark II, but I really don't want to fork out all that cash if at all possible, the 1D would suit my "fastness" needs wonderfully...anyone know where I could pick one up?
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Old May 20, 2004, 11:22 PM   #4
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thanks very much norm.....it is well appreciated to be.....err.....appreciated I wouldn't mind getting paid but all i do is comment on the photo, and if i can, pass on a tip that i learned here, or learned from a test session inspired here..... oh yeah, i use the "recent" tab to get around fast....and not miss posts, and i'm just quick , and i'm homeschooled so i can go on earlier, because i finish my work earlier....not a bad deal for me

thanks again

a mark II would definetely be nice but wat's wrong with the rebel?

i looked in my newly recieved (mail...wonderful thing ) B&H Photo/Video/Pro Audio magazine and i couldn't find a stepdown ring there...but i'm looking on the site.....i'll PM you if i find anything
EDIT....searched for "86mm to 72mm" and it returned one stepUP ring....maybe you could use two stepdown rings? i'll keep looking
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Old May 20, 2004, 11:40 PM   #5
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You asked, "what's wrong with the Rebel?" Good question, and that's one I hope to be answering this summer. If nothing, then no way I'll spend more money on a camera body. I hope, when I get that camera back, that it will perform confidently, and I also hope that the Panasonic lens will give it a nice clear and crisp boost.
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Old May 20, 2004, 11:53 PM   #6
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oh ok....this was just an idea "just in case"...

:-D
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Old May 21, 2004, 12:29 PM   #7
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Great shots, especilly the one where he looked straight at the camera for you as he flew by. :-)
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Old May 21, 2004, 1:21 PM   #8
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Thankfully, Jack, I didn't see that expression until I downloaded the photos. Had I seen it I probably would have been running in the opposite direction rather than taking the photo.
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