Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Elegant Trogon - Madera Canyon
f5.6, 1/60 iso 1600, Exposure Compensation -1, Canon 40D 400mm
I photographed this Trogon early in the morning on a foggy overcast day. The poor lighting forced me to use an extremely high iso setting which resulted in a very grainy image. A noise filtering utility called Noiseware Professional was recently brought to my attention by Bill Schmoker (brdpics.blogspot.com). Using this utility I was able to extract a decent photo.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This morning at Aiken Canyon Preserve, located about 25 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, I saw my first Juniper Titmouse. This was a difficult bird to photograph as you can probably tell by the poor quality of the photo. However, it was far more cooperative than the Mourning Warbler that I also saw there.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Because the baby swallow was not moving around I was able to focus using autofocus and then switch to manual focus. By doing this I could then stand comfortably without looking through the viewfinder as I waited for the parent to return. When I saw the parent approach I then just held down the shutter button and took a sequence of photos of the feeding.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
store when I noticed some strange clouds over Pikes Peak.
1/400, f5.3, iso 200, +2/3 exposure compensation, 50mm, handheld
I decided I would do a quick loop through the Garden of the Gods park to see if I could get some good storm photos. Off of the main loop there is a short road that goes to a parking lot for a trailhead. I pulled into the parking lot but all the parking spaces were full so I head back to the main loop. On the way out I saw a Mule deer nursing two fawns. I took a couple pictures from the car when a group of noisy tourists came walking down the road causing the meal to be cut short. Even with the crowd of tourist standing around yelling at each other the fawns lingered in the area for a couple minutes and I was able to get a few more shots. Considering the bad lighting the fast 50mm lens performed well. A few of the shots were taken wide open at f1.8. With my wildlife lens (f5.6) I would have had to go to a much higher ISO setting.
Mule Deer Fawns
1/500, f1.8, iso 200, +1/3 exposure compensation, 50mm, handheld
From earlier in the day at Ramah SWA.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The one bonus of the trip was the American Pika. American Pika are still fairly common above timberline at RMNP. In the past my experience has been that they are very skittish and tend to hide as soon as they see you. On this occasion they seemed to be so occupied with filling their larders with grass that they were oblivious to observers.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Sabal Palms is a 527 acre preserve located southeast of Brownsville Texas. It contains 32 acres of old-growth sabal palm and is considered the best example of this type (The 500 Most Important Bird Areas book).
It doesn't take long to realize that this is a very special place. It is irreplaceable. Sadly it appears that Sabal Palms will be the victim of the border wall. I highly recomend that visit Sabal Palms before it is too late.
1/500 sec, f5.6, iso 250, -1/3 exposure compensation, 400mm
(negative exposure compensation is used to reduce over-exposure of kingfisher's white neck)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
In spite of the Black Swift fiasco all was not lost. While visiting the Alamosa NWR we were lucky enough to spot this cooperative American bittern. Unfortunatly, you do not always have control over the lighting quality and this bird was back-lit with rather harsh mid-morning sunlight. You have to get up very early in the morning in Colorado to get quality lighting for bird photography.
Click on the photo to see the large version and check out this birds foot. Scary!
1/400 sec, f7.1, +2/3 exposure compensation, iso 250, from car using bean bag
While leaving the Sand Dunes we came upon this Burrowing Owl. Again the angle of the sun was not optimal. I have been to the Sand Dunes many times and this is the first Burrowing Owl that I have seen in the area.
1/640 sec, f6.3, +1 exposure compensation, iso 250, from car using bean bag
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
The boardwalk has its pros and cons as far as photography is concerned. I gives you the ability to enter the marsh and most of the wildlife appears to not notice that you are there. However, because the boardwalk is elevated you end up shooting down on most of your subjects. It is almost always better to shoot as close to eye level as possible.
1/640, f5.6, + 1/3 exposure compensation, iso 400, 400mm
1/640, f7.1, + 2/3 exposure compensation, iso 200, 400mm
1/400, f5.6, + 1/3 exposure compensation, iso 500, 400mm
1/400, f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
Monday, May 26, 2008
I arrived just as the sun was coming up and due to cloud cover it was virtually dark. Before I could finish attaching my camera to the tripod a Wild Turkey and a Chachalaca ran across the parking lot and green jays were flying around in the trees. I knew it was going to be a good day.
1/200 sec, f5.6, 400mm
The refuge has two driving loops, a lake loop and a gulf loop. I started with the lake loop and soon saw a sign for a alligator pond. I hiked out to see the alligators but was disappointed to find out that the pond was completly dry. It would be nice if they posted a sign.
I then took the longer gulf loop. This route takes you along the gulf through some very interesting landscape. I was able to see Roseate Spoonbills, White Ibis, and Redish Egret. At one point I had to stop and wait for a Tortise (Texas Tortise?). I pulled over and got out to watch the Tortise when I noticed a huge shiny black snake crossing the road. I estimated that it was around 7-8 feet long. Maybe a Texas Indigo snake.
1/400 sec, f8.0, +1 Exposure Compensation, 400mm
1/200 sec, f5.6, -2/3 Exposure Compensation, ISO 1250
Thursday, May 22, 2008
1/125, f5.6, +2/3 exposure compensation, iso 200
Up Next -> Laguna Atascosa NWR
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
My first Texas location was Balcones Canyonlands NWR near Marble Falls Texas. Balcones is a nesting area for the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo. I was hoping to see one of these species but I wasn't so lucky. I did get a good look at my first Yellow-breasted Chat.
Up next -> a quick stop near Corpus Christi...
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Great-tailed Grackle (P)
Friday, May 2, 2008
Here is a Marbled Godwit. I was kneeling down photographing this bird with my tripod at its shortest height when it decided to fly to the other end of the puddle that it was working. With the Bogen gimbal head (see posts below) I was easily able to snap off a few shots. I wasn't expecting much, because the camera wasn't set for flight photography, but I was pleasantly surprised by this shot.
A pair of Willets.
And a Long-billed Dowitcher displaying his wingpit.