The many faces of Cedar waxwings on Vancouver Island (long!)

Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
8,373
Location
Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
I have for months been trying to get a picture of Cedar waxwings that have been passing by outside my deck and they always catch me when I don't have the camera ready to go, but finally last week i got a few shot of them, these are mostly with the 500mm AF-S, some have the TC14EII attached and one is with the Sigma 800, all with the D2X. Since you have to crop a lot it is hard to get a stable platform fo rthis lens combination. The combination of the D2X and the long lenses sure are a challenge to hold still enough.

Here are some of the better shots, rest are on www.pbase.com/andreasb/birds
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This one with the Sigma 800
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A big Thanks to Paul Frye and Rory Hill for advice on how to get good shots with the 500mm Af-s, I was getting a bit down for a while there ...

Feedback appreciated!
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
Excellent series Andreas. These are truly beautiful birds. Congratulations on finally getting a decent shooting opportunity. You certainly made the most out of it. ;-)

I would be interested in hearing any tips and techniques that you got on getting stable shots from this combo. I don't shoot quite that length, but I do often shoot at 510mm with the 300 2.8 + 1.7 TC. 8)
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
That is a beautiful series for sure.

Good job.

Not a rig I will ever have ...So I will enjoy your beautiful images.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
2,416
Location
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Good shooting Andreas. I bet if you had been shooting a test chart under the same conditions it would not look as good :lol:

I thought I would throw this one in for your edification and to make you feel better about your keeper yield with the 500/4 and 1.4X. I shot it just below my house in Neck Point Park in deep forest shade with a moving subject, at 1/20s f/5.6 700mm ISO 800 and 6% of original crop with my usual tripod setup (the same we used to test your lens). It really does not get more extreme than that. Anyway, I took over 50 shots to get a couple that were critically sharp under those conditions. BTW, I did not have my flash or remote release with me :cry: I was planning on shooting seagulls to test different focus methods when I saw the fawn. I had to stalk the little jasper for about 90 minutes before it finally bedded down, but it was worth it!

I converted this photo in ACR3.1 and selectively applied smart sharpening to remove motion blur (3.1 pixels at 14 degrees), so even with a large number of shots I still had to work on it. I also applied a light dose of neat image selectively to tone down the noise in the background. If you look closely, you can see a little more noise around the whiskers, where I got lazy and did not paint carefully in the mask.

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Here is the original

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So, in this case, my keeper yield was about 5% :D
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
8,875
Location
Mill Creek, WA.
I sure do like those cedar waxwings Andreas. Looks like you are getting it figured out. I tried to take some of the waxwings yesterday at Juanita Bay after photographing the Blue Angels. My problem was this light was too strong and it tended to wash out the birds. I need to go back in the early evening and try again.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
8,373
Location
Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
Thank you all for the nice words of encouragement, Rory thats a great shot, and Adobe will be proud of you as well. My yields are getting better on the other hands I have not tried conditions like the one you describe, looking forward to that in the fall

I'm working on a piece to answer Franks call for how to i started getting better shots with the help of Paul, Rory and Ron, will post later today I hope
 

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