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Celebrity birder?

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Uncle Frank, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. The Baylands Preserve in Palo Alto, California, is regarded as one of the premiere spots for avian photography on the west coast. It's a great place to take pictures of birds...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    ... and to take pictures of people taking pictures of birds.

    View attachment 91310

    After I took that picture, I walked over and engaged the photographer in a discussion about birds, gear, and technique. He was friendly, knowledgable, and though he was shooting upper end Canon gear, was the furthest thing imaginable from a gear snob.

    That snap, drew the following comments in my pbase gallery.

    So I visited his website, and I was.


    I sent Marcus a note with a link to my candid of him, and received a very generous invitation to go birding and visit some of his favorite shooting sites. I'll have to think about that, as I don't have the gear for BIF photography, but I'll look forward to meeting up with him at Baylands again.
  2. snugelbune


    Mar 15, 2006
    NYC suburbs
    Ok, first of all, I misread the title of your post (or rather misinterpreted it) and when I saw the first photo I cracked up thinking it did indeed look like a bird thinking it was a celebrity posing for the paprazi...then I saw the second photo and thought oops, read that wrong. Oh well, great pictures no matter how you read the subject line, and YES, that is one impressive website you linked!! I don't know whether to be inspired or slink off and sell my gear!! thank you for sharing the photos and the link.
  3. HappyFish


    Oct 19, 2006
    You meet some very nice fokes sometimes standing in mud. Very cool. Go shoot with him. We did "BIF'' shots long before VR came along. That bird is going to land somewhere.
  4. I would be most positive that someone on here could lend you some BIF equipment! I would definitely take him up on his offer!! :biggrin:
  5. He has some great pictures. . . why not rent a lens? What an opportunity!
  6. More lenses! Only this time their focal length is exponential to their mm size. Perpare to go banktupt.

    300mm f/2.8 $4500
    200-400mm /f/4G $5100
    600mm f/4 $8600

    :Shocked: :Shocked: :Shocked: :Shocked: :Shocked: :Shocked:

  7. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  8. Well.....I was called by Customs, they want me back to do a bit more consulting. Fingers crossed! I may get the 300 f/2.8 yet!..or the D3?.....nah!

    Oh, that's right...NO MORE LENSES! :redface:

  9. Those are so far out of my budget that I'm not tempted in the least, Rich. The 300/4 AF-S would be a stretch for me.
  10. DrewC


    Jan 30, 2007
    Denver, CO
    whats wrong with the 80-400vr for less than 1400...? excuse my ignorance since i rarely shoot wildlife

  11. I've seen some good work with it, but it's not regarded as a fast focuser. I think I'd rather have the new 70-300 AF-S VR for birds in flight. But the 300/4 is in different class than both, and is generally suggested as the best starting point for beginning birders.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2007
  12. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I don't know anything about Mr. Armani, but any friend of yours is a friend of ours! Now I am heading over to check out his site.
  13. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Wow...unbelievable captures on his site.
  14. Neat story and picture Frank.
  15. Not at all. In order to capture wings in flight (for example) you need a fast shuter speed, but as the focal length goes up, generally speaking the aperture size (light gathering capacity) goes down (f-stop goes up). Therefore you need to have lots of glass to gather in enough light to capture birds in flight (BIF). For example, my Sigma 50-500 is fine on a bright sunny day, but in the early morning light the f/6 just can't gather enough light so most images are blurred.

    Gla$$ is very expensive to make. So my previous joke about an exponential relationship isn't too far off.

  16. Glacier


    Jan 17, 2006
    Boaz, Alabama
    I really love the bird image! A different setting than I am used to seeing and it adds interest to the shot.
  17. Glad you liked the snap, Andy. I took that shot in June of '05, and the subject was a juvenile Snowy Egret, still housed in the rookery. He was waiting for momma to deliver a hot meal.

    There are dozens of mated pairs of egrets and herons nesting in those trees at this time of the year, but I haven't seen any chicks yet.

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  18. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    More excellent shots Frank. Sure wish that I could shoot at places like this more often. As to the guy with the web site, OK, he has several hundred BIF shots that are better than anything that I'll ever get, so whats the big deal. :biggrin:

    Just kidding of course. Obviously an awesome talent. While I'm a bit envious, it only makes me more determined to get better (probably not ever going get that good though :rolleyes: ). I did bookmark his site. :tongue:
  19. Chris_B


    Mar 12, 2006
    Arlington, VA
    Great story Frank. It is nice to hear that Marcus was a nice guy to talk to. I would definitely take him up on his offer. Rent a lens and ask him for some tips. His sight is great. I hope to have one shot that good one day. The one of the shovelers in flight with the moon in the background is amazing. What lens is he holding, the 300 2.8?
  20. He's a Canon shooter, and I think he said the lens was a 400mm f/4 IS.
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