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Shoot when you can...

Discussion in 'Birds' started by PJohnP, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    With my travels, I'd like to be able to say that I always have beautiful weather, golden and red sunsets, wildlife abounding about me, and a focus lock speed something like instantaneous. I'd like to say that...

    ... but I can't.

    Still, on a day in central Wisconsin where I left my client at day's end hoping to shoot, only to get out of the car into biting blowing sleet and snow, with a wind that quite quickly numbed my fingertips. The photos I landed could be considered "high key", if shooting snow and sleet against a blown-out sky and a bird flitting through are such a thing. I did have this odd expectation that things would improve in a short time.

    They didn't.

    And I barely missed colliding with a wild turkey that scampered in front of my car minutes later, albeit by fully and completely testing my rental car's antilock brakes in full shuddering splendor. At least I had a new sight - I've never before seen a wild turkey fly over tall trees. On the other hand, I might have done the same if somebody laid on the car horn as loudly and long as I did from a range of maybe fifteen feet.

    But, sitting in my hotel room in the early evening collecting and answering e-mail, I looked out the window to see that the sky was clearing to the west, and there was a hope of sun, so I grabbed my camera and shot out the door.

    Some nearby cranberry bogs have sported several GBHs, but my real hope was an osprey's nest that I'd spied on Monday morning. The "nest shots" weren't great, but I shot a lot of flight shots. This is where the D100 is sometimes a bit laggardly, in that the AF isn't as fast as one might like.

    Exposure was, as usual, a bit problematic, as the female osprey was wheeling across the setting sun. EV compensations were being switched as the bird moved, all the time trying to keep the bird in frame, focused, and shot at the right moment. All this with a (still) bitingly chill wind making my fingers less and less agile.

    But a shot or two seemed to fall in the range I desired.

    D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR with TC17EII (net 650mm), ISO200, 1/180s, f/7.1, handheld, cropped about 20%, processed in NC

    It's predicted that there will be some sun over the next few days that I'm here. There are birds aplenty, landscapes of vast proportion, and a camera in my hands. Life is good.

    Always shoot.

    John P.
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Gosh John, one of the absolutely worst shots I've ever seen -- NOT!! :lol:

    Holy Cow that is awesome!! I think I'll just give up and take up tiddley winks. 8)

    Was this hand-held??

    Jeez. I quit. :p 

  3. ohhhhh yesssssssss !!!!
  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Frank :

    Yup, handheld. The simple answer is that I use weightlifting to get those biceps, triceps, and forearms trained up. Seriously.

    What's not visible is just how blasted cold my hands were at that moment. I'm not used to lower temperatures with humidity anymore. My hands have been throbbing all week, which has been a bit annoying giving that I'm using a computer all through every day.

    And thanks for the kind words, BTW. You're quite the master of flight shots, so I take those as a great compliment.

    And now to bed, so I can drop past the nest at dawn before I head to the plant that I'm consulting for this trip.

    John P.
  5. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Sandi :

    :lol: Well, I did say that life is good, didn't I ? :lol:

    John P.
  6. Beautiful picture John, I like how the light falls nicely onto the face of the bird.

  7. Love the lighting, beautiful shot. Way to go.
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Nice shot John! The focus and colors are perfect.

    Great prose too. :)  !
  9. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Gordon :

    Thanks for the kind thoughts. This is one of the "high key" shots. You can't see my hands shaking here because I locked my arms up as tightly as I possibly could at that moment.

    D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR with TC17EII, ISO200, 1/90s, f/7.1, handheld, cropped, processed in NC

    I just couldn't get the range as well I'd have liked, but I do have that motto to live up to...

    John P.
  10. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Chris :

    Heh. Every picture may tell a story, but I tell a story with every picture !

    Thanks for the kind thoughts.

    John P.
  11. Very nice shot!! I love the lighting!! :D  :D  :D 
  12. My exact thoughts. I'd say a shot woorth getting a little frosty for. Thnxs for sharing
  13. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Dawg :

    The lighting was provided just for me, so to speak... :lol:

    And I had an interesting time this morning shooting, then at the end of the day. These ospreys are nothing but fun to photograph (even if they are a bit tough to expose correctly).

    John P.
  14. Those are spectacular photos!!!!
    Before our trip to Antarctica a pro photographer friend who was also on the trip reccommended gloves that have half-fingers with a mitten flap that closes over them. We found them at a store called Gander Mountain and you can also find them online at REI.com. They really helped with shooting in the cold.
    The ones Nan found had small zipper pockets on the back of the finger flap that you could put a hot hands hand warmer packet into. Nan always has cold fingers and she said they worked very well. You can "turn off" the hot hands packets by putting them in a zip-lock bag and pressing out all the air before sealing it up.
    I found that I could shoot with the mitten cover closed except with just the index finger out to press the shutter. I had a hot hand packet in my pocket to warm up the finger between shots.
  15. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Bob :

    Chuckle. I've been using those for years, but I don't have a set with me on this trip. In fact, I was standing in the windy sleet and snow in a light rain jacket. I just didn't have a lot of extra clothing with me on the drive back from the plant to my hotel.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    John P.
  16. Nicely done, and really enjoyed the story!!! two thumbs up and damn fine job with shooting in the elements and hand held to boot!
  17. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Keith :

    Thanks for the kind words. It was colder this morning, but I landed a few good shots nonetheless. It's worth it.

    John P.
  18. Wow! Fantastic Shot!

  19. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Vinod :

    Not so far away from you, sir ! I'm sure you have some of these in scenic Illinois, eh ?

    John P.
  20. Well, "scenic Illinois" I don't know...:D 
    I have seen a few of these high up on the posts...but never this close...I'll keep looking. :) 

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