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A few from Bolsa Chica

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Ron Reznick, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Hi guys...

    Long time. Sorry about that. I've had the schedule from hell for the last few months, but I've got a few days off before heading to Alaska (bears and suchlike), and thought I'd stop by with a few shots I took last week with a couple of friends (Mike Elman and Jeff Wear).

    I've put up a blind index page (no thumbnails) with 14 images (two full-sized shots, 12 resized -- the GBH full-size shot is resized as well). These were all done with the D2Hs and 500mm f/4 AFS-II. Anyway, I'm posting a few representative shots from the folder so you can see what sort of thing is there (you'll need to click on the images to view an unadulterated shot due to the forum's resizing feature)... here's one of the full-sized shots (an Elegant Tern):


    Here is Black Skimmer shot... this one is a 1:1 crop taken near sunset:

    Last in this little series is the resized version of the GBH portrait. The full-size shot should be worth a few moments download, but this ought to give you an idea...

    I hope you enjoy these. If you'd like to wander on over to the index page to see the others, here is a link:


    I truly hope everyone is having a fabulous summer! I'll stop by with some cool stuff when I get back from Alaska near the end of next month.

  2. Nice shots Ron. Hope the bears dont bite you as bad as the noseeums did. :) 

    Still kicking myself in the head for not going on this one. :-(
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. When is the best time to go to Bolsa Chica?

    I am thinking of making some trips there this week or weekend depending on when you think the best light, etc is?

    I live only 20 minutes away and have never been in the 3 years I have lived here so I'm looking forward to going :) 

    Oh almost forgot, nice pictures and thanks for sharing...
  5. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Wonderful captures, Ron. Thanks for bringing us such beauty.
  6. Hi again...

    Thanks, Frank... I'm pleased you liked them.

    Brett, the best time at Bolsa Chica is similar to many other places where wildlife is the target -- early morning and late afternoon is when the critters are at their most active. Considering it's right on the coast, I'd suggest getting there around 4:30PM and shooting until about 7:30-7:45PM. You'll get the entire window between late-afternoon light to golden hour. Morning shooting, there is a shorter window of sweet light, but the critters are going to give you about two hours of activity (except for the raptors, which hunt in the middle of the day for the most part as that allows them to see down into the grass for rodents and rabbits, etc.).

    Paul, the Hs and X do have issues when acquiring focus on a moving target in front of a busy background. The predictive AF algorithm is at fault here IMO... the H didn't have anywhere near as much trouble with this. The P-AF algorithm is a firmware item, so it is my hope that they'll get their act together on this one and update the firmware sometime in the reasonably-near future. BTW, have you tried idiot-mode for single-subject acquisition (closest-subject dynamic)? This works well in some situations... I never used this with the H due to less control, but it sure does help in some situations with the Hs and X.

    Harris, if the bears bite me as badly as the no-seeums did, I'll tell my wife to give you what's left of my gear :^)

  7. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Having just aquired an Hs and in the midst of reading your book (tough read :) ) I was most happy to see your work posted here as well as your comments. Hope to be joining soon on a workshop. My buddies Jeff shots sure have taken a leap forward since working with you!!

    I must add that I don't find focus aquistion a problem at all, maybe like my signature says I just don't know enough :lol: :lol: :lol:
  8. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hey Ron, super pics (no surprise there....;-)). Don't be such a stranger.
  9. Hi Ron,

    Those are great photos!

    Have fun in Alaska. Are you going to Brooks Lodge by chance? We were there exactly one year ago today to see all the Brown Bears on the falls stuffing themselves with salmon.

  10. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Ron :

    You'd best be careful making offers like that... There are several people here in the Cafe who might dress up in fur for such an opportunity !

    Good to "see" you again, Ron. I had kind of figured that you were up-to-your-ears in work (as usual).

    Have a great time in Alaska.

    John P.
  11. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hey Ron -

    Great stuff, as usual. I particularly like the GBH and the Royal Tern with fish. Makes me wish I could have gotten out to Bolsa Chico this summer. Maybe next year... Have fun with the bears! :roll:

  12. Ron, thanks a lot for your advice on Bolsa Chica this year, it really helped us on our trip and made it especially nice for Nancy. I really like that Black Skimmer, we had an absolute ball photographing them feeding. Strange that after living for 26 years in SoCal my first time to photograph at Bolsa Chica is 13 years after I leave, sheesh..

    I'll have to take some time to look at rest of the bits.

    By the way, since I am pretty close to Alaska now anyway, whereabouts will you be? I've already started getting my bear suit ready, I figure that way I can get to the "left-over stuff" well before Harris gets a chance :lol: :lol:

    Have a superb trip, hope to catch up with you again before I get old and grey. OK, before I get old...wait a minute, before I get..heck, you get the idea :wink:
  13. Hi Bill...

    Glad to help. Bolsa Chica is a little messed up with the construction equipment right now, but it's still a fabulous wetland environment. It requires a 120 mile round-trip for me to get there, so I don't go all that often, but it's an extremely enjoyable shoot every time I do.

    We'll be in the Silver Salmon Creek area (Lake Clark) for 5 days or so, then we're heading to Denali for a couple of days. I hope it doesn't rain the entire time we're there (it did last week).

    You're not old, Bill :^) -- I'm old... :?

    Hi Gordon,

    The Royals weren't as numerous as the Elegants this trip (usually, there are more Forster's Terns -- this time the Elegants were out in force). I'm hoping to get some feeding bears as well as some playful cubs. If I get something worth showing you, I'll post. Let me know when you're coming down here and we'll get together.

    Howdy, JohnP...

    It has been pretty ridiculous (what else is new?).

    The way I figure it, if the bears are biting like the no-seeums were in Florida, I really won't care much about gear because I'll have been dinner for the entire population of the Kenai peninsula :cry: 

    Bob, we'll have a few days at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, the rest in Denali. I hope to see bear, moose, etc., and we'll be going after puffins one day too (assuming we're not rained out!).

    Hiya, Frank! I haven't had much time for anything lately (you know what that's like...), but I'm about to take some time for myself. I'll be back (as our governor used to say).

    Ben, Jeff did really well. I loaned him my 55 Micro to take to the Scout camp, and along with his other goodies I expect some special shots out of him again :^)

    He learns quickly...

    The cameras have the most trouble with smaller moving subjects in front of a busy background, esp. if the subject is a little lower in contrast than the background is. Sometimes, they don't even start AF. Those of us who were used to the superb AF system in the D2h are finding it annoyingly difficult to do things we were used to handling with ease. They'll get it fixed eventually (I've bitched about it a great number of times to the appropriate people, and have even answered a 45 minute survey from the guys in Japan -- I'm hoping a firmware update will be out soon, but I have no information on that so it's just a hope).

  14. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  15. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    I'm glad that it's not just me seeing this with my equipment.

    An interesting note......one of the guys who lives nearby and typically shoots portraits, sent me a note telling me how "stupidly easy" the D2X made it to shoot flying birds with his 80-400 VR.

    Of course, I figured I'd better try it out and show him how crappy it really was....and the damn thing didn't miss a shot.......and his is from the very first wave of them to hit the states. Simply viweing them on the LCD it was simple to see that his simply locked right on to the suckers.

    Another perplexing part of this is that we were shooting at f 5.6....

    I guess I'm going to have to ship mine off to Mellville.......

  16. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  17. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    I don't think that the "the first ones were manually adjusted" bit hold water.

    My very first one was #576.....and it was replaced.

    Ron's was 2 whole bodies away from mine and while I'm not sure if it was ever actually replaced, I know that it has been "tweaked" more than twice.

    Of the first 12 that my dealer received, 7 were eventually sent for service and 4 of those were replaced. These were local sales...the other 5 were shipped throughout the country to various individuals so it's a bit tougher to know what went on with those.

    Recently, 4 were sold to sports shooters. Two were returned because they wouldn't focus and track on moving targets....one reportedly works absolutely perfectly.....and one took a line drive baseball dead center on the lens of a 70-200 and it actually squashed part of the the lens barrel into a bulge because it was hit so perfectly dead nuts on!

    Up until that time, it was reported that the gal shooting it was thrilled to death with it :) 
  18. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  19. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    D2x focusing....

    I was out shooting with Mike Mac yesterday, both of us with D2x's. Kinda funny that this thread comes the next day. I've never had any trouble with focus tracking, and I don't think Mike has either. Except for small birds against contrasty, messy backgrounds. We had no trouble with ospreys (big) against the sky (flat). Then went to a small pond filled with small shore birds and lots of terns. We both shot flying terns. No problems against the sky. No problem against the water. But both our D2x's immediately lost the terns and changed focus to background grass when they flew in front of it. Can that be fixed with a software upgrade? It strikes me that it may be a more serious hardware problem. We'll find out - hopefully soon. And hopefully I'm wrong!

  20. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    And the folks on Nikonians keep saying that these are isolated issues....


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