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Old Dec 31, 2004, 6:09 AM   #1
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Did my usual cruise through the woods yesterday. It was cloudy, dank, dismal
40F day (You guys from up north would probably be in your T-shirts).
Anyway, thought it would be a good chance to work with the flash
again. All shot with Drebel and 100-400L is USM.

Shot one: was cruising through the woods and heard something in this
thicket moving around. So, I pulled the truck over and waited to see
if something would pop out. After about 15 minutes, this guy finally
appeared. I think it is a field sparrow.

ISO 400, 1/200sec shutter priority, 420ex flash, 66% crop


I came across this guy later on. The demon squirrel!!! With his eyes and
his mouth open, i don't think I'll mess with it. Besides, when I got home,
there were three of these guys fighting at my bird feeder, furthering the
demonic thought.

ISO 400, 1/200sec shutter priority, 420ex flash, 66% crop


Finally, this isn't a great photo, but I was just glad to get it, A golden crowned kinglet.
I followed this guy for about 15minutes before he dashed into the woods.
By the time I would frame and get focus, poof, of to anather branch.
anyway, here he is:

ISO 400, 1/200sec shutter priority, 420ex flash, 33% crop
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 3:43 PM   #2
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I think the flash seems strong but I could be wrong. Were you using fill flash or full power?
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 6:32 PM   #3
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The first one is an exceptionally good shot and would be even better if, as bobby suggests, the flash were not quite so powerful. Looks like you had a good outing today and congrats on the kinglet.

As for 40 degree weather, well, that's a distant memory for me. It was even colder here today.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 7:23 PM   #4
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Hey, nice shots there woodmeister! Sure, perhaps the flash was a bit strong but you got shots here that I can't get given that I don't even have an external flash yet! The first one is great.

As for sparrow id - I believe that that sparrow is an American Tree Sparrow, not a Field Sparrow. Why? Because there's too strong of a stripe through the eye to the back of the head, the bill is bicolored (dark above, yellowish below) rather than pink as it would be in the Field Sparrow. If we could see it from frontal view I bet you'd have seen a faint to strong black dot right in the middle of it's breast. The American Tree Sparrows winter in your area. Very nice to see these.

I love kinglets and you got a great view of that golden stripe on top of the head.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 9:47 PM   #5
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There's not a lot of control with this flash and the Drebel (I suppose I could
get the firmware hack, but not real comfy with that idea). But according to
the manuals, in shutter priority it works in fill mode unless there is
insufficient light for proper background exposure in which case the f/stop
readout flashes. But it doesn't state whether it goes to full flash or not.
The EXIF data says it was compulsary flash mode, whatever that means.
It was the second time I had this out so I am still pretty much in a data
collection mode.

Thanks Geoff for the ID. I was going back and forth between those two,
and when you mentioned the bill, it was pretty obvious. I always have
problems with most of these LBJ's. Especially around mid-summer when
the juvies are out and about.
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 9:52 AM   #6
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For those of us still learning, what range lense were you using? The longest lense I have is a 70-200 (before the crop factor) and I'm trying to figure out if I can get some good shots of wildlife with it or if I need an TC or if I just need a longer lense.



Thanks

PS: Why do my posts always start below the top line?

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Old Jan 1, 2005, 9:58 AM   #7
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Wannabe wrote:
Quote:
PS: Why do my posts always start below the top line?
Maybe you're just a bottom line type of person? :blah: Actually, I've had the same problem on and off, and I've gone to pains to ensure that while writing my message there was no whitespace at top! A mystery to me at times. Same problem sometimes at the bottom of the post.

As to your actual question - a 70-200, even with 1.6 crop factor, is just too short for decent wildlife shots. Heck, even my new 300/4 with a 1.4x TC is too short alot of times. The only way to compensate is to be very, very good at stalking your subject so that you can get closer - or have a trick to bring them in close (like abird feeder, a blind, etc).
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 10:09 AM   #8
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Thanks Geoffs,

Guess I'm going to have to find something with a bit more zoom.

Just don't know about the space problem with my posts though. No matter what I do it's there...
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 11:25 AM   #9
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I've been struggling with animal red eye, and found that if I do paintbrush with 40% opacity a few times, it gets rid of some of the alien look. Just an amateur try. I haven't mastered this by any means. I just wanted to try...
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 2:51 PM   #10
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Not to disagree with the above posts, but it is possible to take reasonable wildlife shots with the 200. A 1.4 or 2 tele. adaptor might also help. You will throw a lot of shots away but you will learn a lot about stalking and getting in the right place and being patient. Keep working at it as I am. My next lense will certainly be at 400 as described above. But in the meantime, I am learning about stealth LOL.

Keep up the great work.
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