Rookery Fly-bys @ Gatorland, Orlando [& a thanks to Flew

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Kevin Scott, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Spent the afternoon on Sunday at Gatorland exploring the Rookery. It's a great place to take birds-in-flight shots, especially from their 3 story observation deck(s).

    I wasn't quite sure what this bird was at first. Initially, I thought a Reddish Egret. He looks like the Tricolor except no white. He's really dark and very pretty with a blue beak. I think it's a Small Blue Heron. Can anyone confirm/correct?
    [​IMG]

    Here's a Tri-colored Heron:
    [​IMG]

    A Cattle Egret:
    [​IMG]

    Another shot of what I believe is the Small Blue Heron, flying just above the water:
    [​IMG]

    This next shot is a Great White Egret. I know it's not the best flight shot since part of him is cut off. The reason I wanted to include it is to pay thanks to Flew(Frank). This shot is straight from the camera with only slight USM. I'm still shooting jpg only until I'm comfortable with what I'm doing. At the Rookery in St Augustine, Frank convinced me and Gale to shoot manual while we were practicing flying birds. I thought for a brief moment yesterday before I began shooting and decided to continue practicing shooting manual. I used the numbers Frank provided but modified them since it was sunny blue sky with white fluffy clouds. I took a couple of test shots of a white bird then a dark bird and made a mental note of what I needed to do as each type of bird flew by. I found about a 2-3 stop difference in f-stops usually did the trick. Anyway, here's the image without any levels, curves, brightness or anything made to it. Thank you Frank for encouraging me to shoot manual. This really meant alot to me. My confidence is soaring the more I do this. I had very few throw aways due to blown out whites. Look at the those wing feathers!! :shock:
    [​IMG]

    And here's a better composed Great White Egret in the wings down position.
    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the long post but couldn't decide what to cut. :roll:
     
  2. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    You got some excellent images here Kevin. Manual is not very good if the birds fly from bright daylight into shadows, but for consistent lighting it can give very nice results, as you have illustrated here. :wink:
     
  3. Kevin

    Great set of images.
    What lens were you using?

    Russ
     
  4. Thanks Frank. I was very pleased with the results and I didn't even have to do much chimping!
     
  5. Hi Russ, these were all taken using the 300 f4 afs lens. In general it was a great focal length with only occasionally being too long, like my cut-off bird example above.

    Thanks for the kind words and thanks for looking.
     
  6. You guys are driving me crazy, this is definitely a place I got to come visit ;-)
    Very nicely done and I guess you were pleased with your results. LOL

    Keith
     
  7. C'mon! I'll go there anytime.

    Thanks for the kind words, and I guess I was generally pleased. Always room for improvement. ;)
     
  8. Wow I just added this place to my next FLA visit, lots of places to cover.. Love the cattle egret shot, but they are all very good
     
  9. Thanks, Mike. This place is definitely worth a visit. Thanks for the kind words!
     
  10. drueter

    drueter

    963
    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    Wonderful series, Kevin! I've never tried manual on the birds in flight, but may have to give it a try.
     
  11. Thanks, Don. I would encourage you to try shooting manual. The more I do, the more my confidence builds. Hoping to go back in the next couple of days to practice some more.
     
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