Sweet Light On Plum Island

Discussion in 'Birds' started by jfenton, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    I decided to hike out and try a slightly different spot this morning as the tide was low out in the sound and most of the birds were out there feeding. There is an isolated stand of pines out on the edge of Plum Island Sound and I was awarded with a couple of interesting shots in the span of about an hour and a half:

    First...a flyby from a Black Crowned Night Heron....the light was really low and I wish I'd had more shutter speed so that these were crisper, but it was too darned early...




    Then a merlin who had been playing aerial combat with a Harrier flew by and stopped to take a look (I might have had some great aerial combat shots but I sneezed and when I did the Harrier blasted away from me)





    And just as I was leaving, a honker flew upon me and I got one shot off..

    View attachment 15025
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Great shots Jim, especially the YCNH. Some of the best I have seen of one of these in flight. The light is really sweet.

    Way to go. :wink:
  3. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Thanks Frank

    It does payt to get up at 4:00 AM pal :)

    Belive it or not, with the breeze blowing this morning, I had to wear GLOVES :(
  4. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    Wait a minute Jim.. are you telling me that there are to 4:00 a day? No way dude.. only one and that is when Oprah Winfrey comes on here in Detroit. :biggrin:

    Very nice photos.. Thanks for sharing.
  5. Love the light! Great shots!

    Just a question, what AF settings? It obvioulsy did track so I'm curious...
    Are these full frame or cropped (not a Canon FF question :))
  6. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hi Andreas

    Slightly cropped for perspective and to make the subject a bit more biggerer :)

    These were shot in AF-C, single area (1st selection on the rear).

    Group mode was sent to pattern 1~center not closest as closest just doesn't seem to work worth beans lately for me.
  7. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hey Dave...

    4:00 AM comes 12 hours BEFORE Oprah :)
  8. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    No doubt great light
    the raptor my favorite, of course :smile:
  9. OK so I have been trying Group mode 2, closest, not had much luck tracking birds at all...

    I dug into the manual page 184 to understand this better (it's dogeared, still can't remember it all...)

    So if I understand this correctly witht his setting one has 5 areas contributing but the center one is weighted more then the 4 in the diamond outside, so there is more area covered on the bird. No that I see it on page 184 it make sense to me why you have it that way, more AF points to cover the subject then other options.. I will try it for sure.

    BTW I tried Dynamic AF-C on my D100 and the 300mm F2.8 VR and it tracked pretty much every time when I could point it correctly on the subject.... Nikon needs to come out with a fix to this in the next firmware....

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    Nikon absolutely has some work to do on their focusing / tracking algorithms.

    I find it reprehensible that they say that closest subject may not work with telephoto lenses as well......
  11. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Wonderful shots, Jim. I especially like the early AM light on the NH and the Merlin looking like he is having a bad feather day. You said BCNH and Frank called it a YCNH. Which is it?

    What lens are you shooting with? Hand-held?

  12. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hi Gordon

    Definetly a BCNH.

    Shot on tripod with the 500 AFSII and TC14EII.

    A year ago I hated the idea of using a tripod...now there's no way IU'd be without one...especially with the X.
  13. Very nice Jim. It certainly pays to get up before Oprah... :biggrin:
  14. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Hi Jim

    Great morning out.

    Favorites are 5 and 6
  15. Jim, I am not sure about getting up at 4:00 am but looking at you pictures I would say it was. I am going to have to start getting my butt out of bed a bit earlier. These are fantastic shots and since we don't have any BCNH's here I appreciate the opportunity to view yours. As always another great series of pictures.
  16. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    I'm Totally Amazed

    That all of you so called "Bird and Animal" shooters think that you can sleep in and not miss anything. It is by far and away the best time of the day for shooting IMHO.

    Anyone want to accompany me when I start shooting short eared owls and harriers on the marsh this winter? It's a tad chilly at sunup in January :)

  17. Those Merlin shots in the tree are outstanding. Course I love them all but really like the colors on the Merlin.
  18. Wow, this is impressive. The morning light is a pure delight, but the tracking, keeping excellent exposure and sharpness, is of absolute mastery.
  19. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hi Gordon

    I was thrilled to death as I tracked the Merlin in and realized that he was going to land right smack in front of me!

    He was rather personable too....every time I'd whistle at him. he'd turn his head and look right at me :)
  20. gvk


    Jun 17, 2005
    Mystic, CT
    I am confused. If you are shooting in single area that only uses the region around the selected focus bracket, why does the group dynamic pattern (a3) setting matter?
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