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... Nothing here to see, y'know ?

Discussion in 'Birds' started by PJohnP, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    In my travels, I get told a lot of things, but one of more prevalent comments is that the spot I’m in is utterly, totally, completely, and beyond question, without interest of any kind.

    Sitting at dinner the other night in central Wisconsin, someone remarked to me provocatively, “There’s really nothing here to see, y’know ?”

    Welladay, I’d not met this person before, and they’d leaned over from their table to talk with me, seeing that I was quietly reading a book on my evening off whilst traveling for work this week. They’d correctly intuited that I must not be a local, being by myself, quietly eating without demur, and then they had decided that I desperately and urgently needed to engage in a debate about their home state. I’m not normally interested in jumping across tables for heated conversation with people I’ve not met before - it leads to knife fights, brawls, and genial mayhem in some places that I've visited - so I simply smiled, trying to get back to my book. Life is filled with encounters, and some are best left like a road sign long reversed and made small in the rearview mirror…

    And besides, I like Wisconsin.

    Toodling around this area a bit, I was lucky enough to see a sight or eight – day-lilies, water-lilies, dragonflies, butterflies, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, waterbirds, scavengers, porcupines, deer - but I’ll confine my shots to the forum area at hand.

    A kingfisher enjoys a break in the daylong clouds to bask in the sun at the McMillan Wildlife Refuge, looking for fish in the water beneath, seeing only me taking the shot after clumping through marsh grass on the bogs.


    An osprey savours a scrap of freshwater sashimi, glaring away from the sunset in Port Edwards (and the photographer who marvels at the great northern pike hoisted back to a nest to be shredded with elan and eclat).


    And a raptor clings to a treetop in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, wondering where all of the day and the prey have gone. I'm not offering myself up for that role, oh my, no, that's a given...


    A bloody, ruddy sunset over the McMillan Wildlife Refuge catches the photographer without a tripod, so handheld's all that will do with fatigued arms. muddy legs, and a long shot in all senses of the words. The birds fly, the eagle observes, and the land is coloured like Mars by sanguinary clouds on the horizon.

    All shots with the D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR, TC17E, Processed in NC, Shots 2&3 minorly cropped, Shot 4 sort of cropped, Shot 1 quite "well-cropped"

    So, in the end, regardless of what the locals tell you, there’s one simple truth for the photographer – always shoot.

    John P.
  2. nice series and post John. The last shot is awesome.
  3. All good images but the Osprey is a killer.
  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Harris :


    As I've observed before, perhaps it's coming from other another place that sometimes allows me to find things that locals step past. After that, I just point the camera and hope I can manage a shot or two handheld without shake...

    John P.
  5. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  6. John, all very nice. I love the third one. A real story in that picture.

  7. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Louis :


    I managed to follow that bird for some distance before I had a good vantage point to shoot from. I have several "tail shots" with the bird looking over its shoulder at me, but this was the cleanest one (and in that line, one shot of the others just followed a "Fenton moment", which I missed, thank goodness !).

    John P.
  8. Well I really like the Kingfisher, I know how hard they are to get close enough to get a good shot at.
  9. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Andreas :


    Oh my, yes, they're hard to shoot ! I've chased them for distances many a time without a single shot to show for the effort. This area in central Wisconsin is well stocked with kingfishers, as there are cranberry bogs, waterways, ponds and lakes, not to mention power lines for the kingfishers to perch upon.

    Interestingly, I believe that kingfishers have benefited from the telephone and power lines that parallel the waterways here. They have a good vantage point for their perch to see fish from above. Of course, that vantage point is almost always against sky and high up, making well-exposed photos at a reasonable range a tad difficult.

    One of my goals has been to get a full frame shot of a kingfisher in good light, a shot not needing extensive cropping or processing. I'm working every evening while I'm here on exactly that goal. 8)

    John P.
  10. John,
    The storyline is great, the photos are great -- together they are something special. Thanks for sharing these. (I'm envious of the kingfisher shot.)
  11. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Bob :

    Thanks for the kind comments.

    As for the shooting, drive on over from Ohio - I'm here for a few more days - and we'll shoot a kingfisher or two together one evening !

    John P.
  12. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    John- Great shots and great story on each one. Looks like you're having fun chasing the birdies while you're there.
  13. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Nice series John. All good pics, but my favorite is the Kingfisher. You are right, they are tough to get close in. Good job.

  14. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Don :


    Always something to see, wherever we go, but we have to actually look around. :lol:

    John P.
  15. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Frank :


    I actually have a scad of photos from the wandering around here. Wildlife abounds in central Wisconsin if one takes a moment to stop and shoot (calmly).

    I haven't given up on getting a close-in shot of a kingfisher. It's a tough goal, but then, I once thought I'd never get flight shots of raptors or hummingbirds either.

    Now if I can just find that cloak of invisibility to use as a blind...

    John P.
  16. Brew

    Brew Guest

    Nice Captures of a Great State!!!

    The only thing we don't have are some nice big mountains but you can't have everything!!!!
  17. That Osprey shot is fabulous!! Having lived in Wisconsin for 6 years, I agree there is plenty there if one only has eyes to see! Great shots!
  18. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl

    I really love all of the images. Each is exceptional in its own.

    The story is great..

    Sure ain't nothin to shoot around there..


    Good job
    Thanks for sharing this in a great way.
  19. Hi John

    Poetic story and equisite photos. I am another Kingfisher wannabee. I think you have to be set up and wait for them to come to you. Combine their general wariness with good light and a decent background and you have a real challenge! I am looking forward to the results.
  20. MontyDog


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