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Old Nov 17, 2005, 9:58 PM   #1
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djb was kind enough to lend me a 1.4xTC awhile back, eventhough he only knew me from this forum. It was very nice of him (THANKS!!!) and in return, I took him to one of the best local places for bird photography. And its just a lovely national wildlife refuge as well.

We started out by seeing 17+ tree sparrows. They don't hang around here for very long, so its nice to see them in the 2-week window we get:






I tried something a little different with the last two images. The 3rd I don't think worked as well. It looks ok on my screen, but reduced I think it lacks enough detail to really have impact. I wanted to convey the fall colors and the sense of space.

The last one worked for me, though. I like that vertical.

Turns out we got luck, as a rather rare bird was also visiting the part. The Ash-throated flycatcher normally resides on the west cost, but every few years appears over here. No one really knows why, but I'll take it!




djb has a better shot of this little guy when on a branch. Mine was just too dark so I took this one instead.


And last was this colorful surprise. A Blue Headed Vireo. I don't know if it should be here now, but I certainly didn't expect it.

All were taken with the Canon 20D, 600mm f4. The sparrows were without the 1.4TC, the others all had it. All were on a tripod.

The Photoshop works was very simple. RAW convert, touch of contrast (being careful not to blowout the whites), touch of saturation, reduce, sharpen.

I'm struggling with CS2's smart sharpen. I'm not sure I like it but its too early to tell.

Eric
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 10:55 PM   #2
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Eric, outstanding!!!!! I was waiting for these and definitely not disappointed!!! The first shots of the tree sparrow are ery similar to mine only mine were out of focus. i was using the 1.4X TC and my manual focussing skills stink right now. The ones without thew TC were sharper but way too small for posting. My best one is similar to your 4th shot. The shot of the flycatcher with the berry is really nice. And the closeup is stunning. Too bad we caught a lot of shaddows in some shots. the 1st Flycatcher shot is almost perfect except for the shaddow. Darn!!! The chickadee is cute as they always seem to be. The vireo is beautiful and so sharp!!! Great work!!!! I'm at work with my dark crumby monitor and if they look this good, I can't wait to see them from my home monitor!!! Hopefully Bald Eagles and owls pretty soon???!!!

dennis
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 10:12 AM   #3
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I find manual focus with either the 10D or 20D was rather difficult. I don't know if it was me (I don't do it that often, so I'm not good at it)... or if the view finder isn't that big or bright (well, this is true....) So I rarely do it.

Those tree sparrows were rather accomidating, though. Sitting there on those branches.

I actually have more good ones of the flycatcher, but I wanted to choose a good cross selection of images. Its kinda funny how the whole thing progressed. First I have shots of it behind branches, then with shadows over it, and eventually out in the open. Very accomidating!

Glad you had fun, I'd I'll certainly let you know when the Short Eared owls and Eagles show up. It probably won't be for another month or two, but once they are around, they stay for several months so you get many opportunities.

Eric
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 2:10 PM   #4
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Another wonderful series, Eric. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 3:18 PM   #5
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[email protected] wrote:
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Another wonderful series, Eric. Thanks for sharing it.
Yes indeed! While all the shots were worth posting, I've never seen this Blue Headed Virio!

Dave
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 1:43 PM   #6
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Excellent shots.
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 7:57 AM   #7
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how cool that you guys could get together for a common interest:-)Beautiful photos
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 3:25 PM   #8
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I'm glad you all liked them.

djb is a nice guy. We're planning on meeting up when the bald eagles come down into Mass. Something I always enjoy, so it will be fun to share it with a person who has never seen their displays. Hopefully I'll get to show him the wonders of short eared owls in flight too....

Eric
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Old Nov 26, 2005, 1:31 PM   #9
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Beautiful shots, eric - I really like your idea with the "space" in the 3rd shot.It doesn't work too well at the size you posted, as much as a landscape print doesn't work too well on a pocket sized print, but one can imagine it on a large screen/print, and would work just great !!

Thanks for sharing :!:
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Old Nov 26, 2005, 2:27 PM   #10
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just curious as to where you went bird watching. I'm trying to head to Plum Island tomorrow before winter really decides to stick around.
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