Florida, last day, Marco Island

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We decided that we would try one more boat trip as Nancy really wanted to see a Manatee in the wild and I was still hoping for a decent Osprey flight shot, so off we went to Marco Island and a great 3 hour trip.

All of the shots in this post were from a moving boat, most on a monopod. I think this is a place where the 200-400 VR would have been a huge help.

There is an island just off the dock where we left that has huge numbers of Pelicans and Egrets. Here is the first Reddish Egret I was able to capture.

Reddish Egret:
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Then we come upon the first of many Osprey we see, but would this one fly? No way.......

Guarding the Channel:
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We leave the Manatee zone and pick up speed. Ever wonder how fast a Great Blue Heron can fly? We were doing just over 20 mph and this bird overtook us:

Great Blue Heron Truckin' Along:
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What next? Another Osprey, who is quite content to just sit where it is, darnit.

Master of All I Survey:
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Then we find the first batch of Manatee. These creatures are really tough to photograph, as they spend almost no time on the surface. Mostly all you can catch is the tail as it recedes, but once in a while you get a little lucky.

Manatee:
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We kept moving out into the gulf finding more batches of Manatee. They are really cool. We also found Rays and a bunch of Sea Turtles, but trying to get a shot of them was fruitless. If I posted the one I did get you would really get a laugh. About this time we need to be heading back in and I am quite bummed out, no decent Osprey flight shot.

But wait, just as we are almost back we see an osprey circling and hunting, in fact 2 of them. Unfortunately neither of them could catch a decent fish, the only fish caught was too big for the Osprey to lift, which was quite funny. So I go out to the bow of the boat and realize that the monopod just isn't going to work. Off goes the monopod as well as my sunglasses. The glasses came off due to sweat :lol: , and I started shooting handheld off a moving boat with my D2H and Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 plus TC-14E. And darned if it didn't pay off.

Osprey in Flight:
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I won't even tell you how many OOF shots I got, but to end our trip this way, wow, what a rush.

To all the Floridians, thanks again for the advice. These images are all from a trip where photography was NOT the purpose. You can get your boots that we will be coming back your way when the season is right and we can get out with good light. I'm not sure I'll be trying much more of the "off a moving boat" photo's, but who knows. The toughest think will be figuring out where to go, we sure liked the parts we saw.
 
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Bill, I think the 1/400 @300mm was too little especially on a moving boat... However, these are very unique images...

BTW, I found myself a "plastic" didgeriedo (or didgeriedont :-D) and trying to learn how to ...play... ;-)
 
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Panos Kazanelis said:
Bill, I think the 1/400 @300mm was too little especially on a moving boat... However, these are very unique images...

BTW, I found myself a "plastic" didgeriedo (or didgeriedont :-D) and trying to learn how to ...play... ;-)
Pano, you may be right on the shutter speed. I was using the old "1/focal lenght" rule, but I should have taken more of the boat movement into consideration as well.

As to the didge, try to find someone who plays to give you pointers on circular breathing, that is the key. Once you get close on that, the rest is just plain fun :lol:
 
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Good images Bill. I think that this was your best day. Looks like you enjoyed your trip. :wink:
 
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Bill you lucky dog. Now you can rub those Osprey shots in my face when you get home. We only saw two of them and I did not get any shots of them at all. In fact I spent 3 hours on Saturday trying to see one at Juanita just so I could have one to counter your shots. No go for me. Glad you and Nancy had such a trip trip.
 
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that manatee shot reminded me of my old dog, pudge:

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glad you got out and shot some of our wildlife. Hope you come down in the busy season for some more.
 
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Flew said:
Good images Bill. I think that this was your best day. Looks like you enjoyed your trip. :wink:
"Best" day in the sense that I finally got a flying Osprey I am halfway happy with, yes. "Best" in the sense that it was just us and a guide on a boat without a crowd, "absolutely. But each day was special and super in it's own way. The Florida part of the trip was grand, and so has the SoCal portion.

Thanks,
 
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james thiel said:
Bill you lucky dog. Now you can rub those Osprey shots in my face when you get home. We only saw two of them and I did not get any shots of them at all. In fact I spent 3 hours on Saturday trying to see one at Juanita just so I could have one to counter your shots. No go for me. Glad you and Nancy had such a trip trip.
Jim, wait until we get together and I show you how many of those Osprey shots I have. And then you can laugh at how many of them are "almost" good :oops: . Let me tell you, shooting a bird in flight while trying to hand hold my D2H with the 120-300 and a TC on a moving boat is simply the pits :lol:
 
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Backdoctor said:
that manatee shot reminded me of my old dog, pudge:

(image snipped)

glad you got out and shot some of our wildlife. Hope you come down in the busy season for some more.
Was Pudge out swimming that day????

It was amazing how many people told us we had "no chance to see a Manatee" this time of year, and yet this fellow we were out with found us almost a dozen. What amazing creatures they are, but the only way to get a really good shot is to be underwater, or have a really "clear water" day, which Arlene messed up for us.

For a trip which was not "photography oriented" I am really happy with the results, and it has made it quite obvious that I need to get back to spend a "good" day on each of the coasts, as well as dedicate one more just to the Everglades.

Thanks,
 
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mike mac said:
Nice shots I see I see you hooked up with Harris while he was taking a swim!
We called to him to come on over, but I guess he didn't hear us :lol: :lol:

Thanks, Mike, our days in Fl. were grand, and so have our days been here in SoCal. I'll get some of those up as well, it sure is nice now to have the stability of solid ground to shoot from again, except for the earthquakes of course.....
 
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