Venice Rookery Yesterday's pictures

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Yesterday I went up to Venice, Florida to the 'Venice Rookery'.
I had no idea what I'd find and I must say it was a wonderful experience. It's a tiny island surrounded by water and it's protected by alligators who keep the raccoons away so they don't eat the chicks and eggs.

I used my 500P f/4 MF lens and forgot to put the camera in 'M' mode.. :lol: But I got some good pictures. The first picture with the expanded wing is that lens (in A mode :)

Then I used my 200-400 with the 1.4 TC and it worked fine.

Most of my pictures were too dark and I was discouraged about how I did my settings but I figure I learned a lot.

The best time to go is February and March because the chicks are screaming all over the rookery and the parents are frantically trying to feed the mass of babes... it's a beautiful sight to watch and take pictures of.

The brilliant green in the Anhingas' eyes didn't show up in the downsized version in this post but, believe me, they were the brightest green I've ever seen.

Please give me any comments. I'm open to all so don't hold back.

Best to you all and I'll be back with more pictures from the Rookery as soon as possible.

Gaye

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Gaye,

what a wonderful experience that was. Wow nice shots.

I guess you will want to go back often at this time of year.

Cheers
Gale
 
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Hi Gordon,
That third picture does have a funny story. The one on the left is the papa bird and he stood on top of the rookery for an hour just looking west for his mate to come back with food. He never turned his head..

He was baby sitting for the chick on the right-- only problem was that the chick is as big as he is and it was obvious the papa didn't want much to do with him. He was just doing his duty and staying home guarding the next.

It was funny to watch because the kiddo did everything possible to get his attention including butting him with his beak.

Thanks and I'll have more soon and going back on Friday.

Gaye
 
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Hi Photodawg,

You are so right about that. I don't think I've ever seen these birds up in the trees except for the Anhingas. I am hoping to go back there this Friday because I just didn't get enough of it. I could spend three hours there easily and Sunday only got a little over an hour. It's a 1 1/4 hour drive to Venice from where I live.

I also want to fool around more with my lenses and D2H and try to get some of the settings right... Also want to take a 12-24 picture of the whole area to put on the forum. It's a place that we all should go next winter. Best months are February and March.

Thanks and best to you,
Gaye
 
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Hi Gale,
I always enjoy your posts and your pictures. Thanks for commenting on my rookery experience.

Yes, I hope to go back on Friday if all goes well. It's a 1 1/4 hour drive so have to leave very early in AM to catch the birds feeding. I'll have more pictures and will also have a chance to work on my settings ..sure hope to get them right this time...

You must think about getting over here next February or March because those are the two best months for activity at the Rookery. Let's try to get Harry and any others too. Also we have Ding Darling, Six Mile Cypress Swamp, Corkscrew Swamp and others that I don't know about yet.

I need a minimum osf 500mm lens to get full frame pictures.Have to stand on the shore across the water.

Here are some good links that show pictures..

http://floridawildlifemagazine.com/venicerookery.htm

http://www.photo.net/photo/nature/venice.html

http://naturesmoments.com/articles-Venice Rookery.htm

Thanks and best to you,
Gaye
 
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Brooklyn, NY USA
Hi Gaye, looks like you had a great time! Those babies don't look much like babies anymore. Venice Rookery is one of those places I've always heard about but never have had a chance to get to...maybe next February.....???? I'm due a Florida trip!

look forward to seeing more of your shots. You better get back there soon, though, before those "babies" are fledged!
 
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Janet,
Sure would be great to get you and a few others down here. What a nice thing to look forward to and I'm hoping it could work out ...

Definitely I'll get back there this week. You would be thrilled with the bird activity there. What a joy to see the chicks and the parents feeding the chicks.

The Great Blue Heron male flew into the nest and did a welcome dance with the female..( or so it seemed).. He then passed the food to her when they connected their beaks.. We're sure that was what he was doing. She then fed the chicks who were gluttons and all over her. The male flew away to get more.. Each nest in the rookery told a story and it was jammed with family nests.

Best to you,
Gaye
 
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Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Hi Gaye

Looks like you had a great time. Any idea what caused the pixelization in the sky in photos 1 and 3? I sometimes get that if I have to do a lot of shadow recovery and do not follow the 12 bit raw > 16 bit TIF workflow while editing.

Rory
 
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Hi Rory,

I don't have a clue about why the sky looks like that. I really bothered me too. I went back to the RAW pictures and it's not in those.. so I figured it came when I downsized the pictures into JPEG.. It didn't happen in all of them so really don't understand it.

I just went back and it happened in every one of the pictures except this one and this pictures looks very faded to me. Also wonder if that's a dust bunny up in the left side of the sky..sure hope not because I don't how to fix that :lol:

My workflow is not consistent..but I do go from NEF to the Jpeg for posting into Smugmug. Is there something I should be concerned about in that process? What about the 12 > 16 bit . Help me understand that and thanks,

Gaye

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Hi Gaye,

I will offer my two cents worth on the problem you have outlined. Most of us when we have finished processing the NEF in capture save as a TIFF. We then open the TIFF in Photoshop CS and change from a 16 bit color mode to an 8 bit by clicking on Image then Mode then 8 bit (plus convert to sRGB if in Adobe RGB). From that point we then downsize the image to something around 900 x 600 pixels. Any further processing that we want or need is then done and lastly we apply USM for sharpening and then save as a JPEG. I try to keep the quality around 300 DPI. Following this procedure you should not get pixalization as you have in a couple of your images.
 
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Hi Gordon,
I'm copying and saving that information. Thanks very much. That will get me started in the right direction with my processing.

I'll try it tomorrow when I work on more of the shots. I have been a bit discouraged about my pictues and the processing so your instructions sure make me feel better... 'there's help out there' and I should remember that :)

Thanks for your super help :!:

Gaye
 
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Gordon,

Okay, it worked like a charm. I followed your directions and this is what I got...

These two Great Blue Herons were passing food from the male to the female. He then flew away and went back to work and she fed the chicks ... pretty amazing story to witness.

thanks for the help with the problem I was having. I haven't learned PhotoShop yet. I have PSCS and must learn it..so I tend to not go there but will from now on as you suggested.

Thanks very much :!:

Gaye

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Hi Gaye,

When I process, I bring it into NC do fixing there and save as a TIFF.

I do any dancing I wish to do there and resave as a tiff in PSCS.

Thennnnnn Don't laugh. I have this little 10 dollar cheapo prog I have been using for years and do a little contrast or whatever there, because I believe it automatically saves it as srgb. I resize and may even add on (1) on sharpen. Then I save as jpg. It even has a fix flaw in there so if I see noise in sky i can get rid of it. Also dust bunnies are a one click.

The prog is not published any more so if interested I would be glad to send you a copy.

It is so easy to use, and you would be amazed at it's capability. :>))) One of my little secrets.

Cheers
Gale
 
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Rochester, New York
I am amazed at the great images you all post. It must be nice to live in an area where you can shoot all the time. We are still under the snow. Maybe by May it will be nice enough to get out of the house. Keep the images coming.

Gil
 
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East Norriton, PA
WOW so cool

sure would love to witness that Gaye what a great event in following the post if you follow Gordon's method your pictures will present on the web much better. Keep the pictures and stories coming
 
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