Posts tagged “Nikon

Red-Winged Blackbird (Three Photographs)

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The color in these photos made my day; red-winged blackbirds are very common, territorial and certainly noisy. Full disclosure: I edited out a few branches in Photoshop. One of the oldest of photography issues is whether to edit or not; before digital you had people doing a lot of editing in the darkroom. Ansel Adams even wrote a book about it. Photojournalism has strict rules on what can be edited, as do many competitions. Very few people who do extensive edits tell their audience. An amateur photographer who is not constrained by professional standards has significant latitude and perhaps it’s not such a bad idea to explain that the result really did benefit from one’s photographic skills writ large.


Wood Ducks (Two Photographs)

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I wrote this post on May 5th looking at another five days of rain. The wood ducks probably love the rain apart from the fact there are few if any people feeding them. Five years ago the wood ducks were a bit scarcer and were a much-anticipated arrival in spring. Now they seem to have made a home in our local reserve and breed here and we see them sooner in the year and later into the year than before. They make for marvelous photography; the detail and colors in their feathers are remarkable. To make things easier they come close enough that photographing them does not require a very long telephoto lens.


An Old Trick (Three Photographs)

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This rabbit was feeding in grass at the juncture of two paths. I saw it was alone and it did not notice me. Unfortunately moments later someone came up behind it, and it immediately began running towards me. Mushy wet fields bordered both paths, which explains why it came towards me and did not jump off the path. Most often with animals like rabbits standing very still helps them habituate to you and lose any fear they may have. It worked here because he almost came too close. Where it might have felt cornered it went in a direction that seemed less uncertain. Noise, movement and bright colors are things to avoid when trying to get close to animals. I was taught to stand still and wait for the animal to make the decisions.

 


Goldfinch (Two Photographs) and a Word on Location

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In many articles on animal photography the suggestion is to get to know the behavior and habits of the animals you wish to shoot. These photos of goldfinch were taken in two different nature reserves. In one, the goldfinch are elusive and tend to hide, in the other they are more comfortable around people. Similar things happen with common painted turtles; in one reserve they scatter as soon as they see people, in another they ignore you completely. Understanding even a small part of the behavior of animal subjects can prove useful.


Warblers (Two Photographs)

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Warblers, in this case a Yellow-rumped Warbler, are the most sought after birds in the areas I visit. During the warbler migration, you see birders and photographers in numbers with long lens and scopes. While you can hear them, seeing these small birds is another thing altogether. Plus, it is rare for them to remain still for long. People come to a reserve because they have heard that a certain warbler might be there; often by the time they hear about them they have moved on. To add insult to injury it is early in the photography season and most of us are getting used to using long lenses again. Needless to say these are my first warbler shots of 2017. I am still tweaking my settings, specifically the minimum speed I will allow the camera to use when in auto-ISO mode. Given that vibration reduction is meant to permit steady shots at lower shutter speeds, my first efforts were at 1/360th of a second. I think a slightly higher speed would provide better assurance on my 200-500mm Nikon lens.


Shooting for the Crop (Two Photographs)

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Shooting for the crop is one of those photographic phrases that has more than one meaning, and has changed over time. It can mean shooting in a format appropriate for its final use, for example 8.5 by 11 for magazines, 8 by 10 for framing. It can mean shooting knowing that in processing a bit of room around the edges will help. The latter is very useful and I would suggest always trying for a bit more room around your subject. Shooting for the crop can also mean choosing to shoot in landscape or portrait, another “in-camera” option that is useful. Some photographers shoot every photo in both, just as they set their camera to record both Raw and Jpg files. Perhaps most importantly, shooting for the crop is thinking about what should and should not be in your photo and what you want the end result to be.


My First Butterfly of the Season (Three Photographs)

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This Eastern Comma was probably in search of sap. Some of the trees are dripping, but the temperature is still a bit cool and that probably also slowed the butterfly down. This is my first insect of 2017, and with luck there will be many more. I was not prepared for shooting insects. I used my 200-500mm lens but it seems to have caught the detail needed. I have included a black and white photograph just for the fun of it.