Why did the alligator cross the road

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Went to Brazos Bend SP this past weekend, there was quite a bit of wildlife activity. Not my best work, felt a bit rusty, but here are a few shots (all with the 70-200VR + TC-17 at 340mm). Comments welcome.

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Hi Jeff,

Outstanding, This is the answer to the question; How good is the 70-200 + TC 17. A question being asked frequently. You obviously know how to get the most out of your equipment. These are great. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Jeff, it would have been much sharper and more DOF had you been using say a 17 or 24mm on the first shot. But then you would have been just a teensy bit closer. Guess the 70-200 with TC was the right choice.

Just kidding. these are great shots. the baby on the mother snoozing is great. a real saver. and I love this pose of the 4th one.
 
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These may have just made my mind up on which option to get for telephoto. Looks like I may need to sell my 80-200 and upgrade! :wink:

Very nice shots!
 
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Great shots Jeff! 8)

I can confirm that the 70-200VR + 1.7 TC is a great combo (see this thread https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=3807 for another example)

The first pic here is really puzzling me: are these folks, kids and all, anywhere near the gator crossing the road and not even paying attention to it? Or is there a physical separation that we don't see here? Or just the distance being compressed by the perspective?

Either way, that pic speaks volume to me... but then again I went to a crocodile farm in Thailand many years ago and was really surprised to see how big and how quick those animals really are: I remember I squeezed a full frame (no SLR, just P&S) of a 7-8m crocodile jumping at me, all teeth out, that really got me frightened! I am not sure where it is now... (the pic, not the croc! :lol:)
 
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These are terrific, es the humour of the first one. Love the fact that you caught his hind leg in mid-step - makes it look likes he's creeping across the path trying not to be seen by the folks in the background.
The adult/baby shot is superb. Great shots with that setup. Cheers, S
 
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Thanks to everybody for the replies. I've been very happy with the 70-200VR + TC17 combination. The TC doesn't seem to compromise image quality much at all, and with VR I can shoot 340mm down to about 1/125 and still get pretty good keeper rate. Below that the keepers become less frequent. Still not bad though considering I'd probably need at least 1/500 without VR.
 
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Jeff, it would have been much sharper and more DOF had you been using say a 17 or 24mm on the first shot. But then you would have been just a teensy bit closer. Guess the 70-200 with TC was the right choice.
LOL, I'm brave but not that brave. :) For the most part the alligators here are ambivalent to people (although there are signs warning you to keep a close eye on children and small pets). But this guy was big enough that I'm not so sure he wouldn't take on an adult, especially since it's currently mating season which is why the gators were out in such large numbers and more active than usual.
 
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The first pic here is really puzzling me: are these folks, kids and all, anywhere near the gator crossing the road and not even paying attention to it? Or is there a physical separation that we don't see here? Or just the distance being compressed by the perspective?
The perspective is compressed a bit by the telephoto but I would estimate they were about 50-75 feet away (which is closer than it sounds really). They were looking out in the water for alligators and never even saw this guy (who had to be 12 feet long) crossing the trail behind them, it was pretty funny. There were flabbergasted a few minutes later when we told them what happened and showed them the picture.
 
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Nice series of shots, Jeff! I've only lived in the Houston area a couple of years and haven't made it to Brazos Bend yet -- but based on these shots I'll move it up on my list of places to visit soon! Any pointers on the parts of the park that are best for wildlife photos?
 
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Those are just wondeful! I'm with everyone else who commented on the one w/the baby on the adult...that's a special shot!
 
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drueter said:
Nice series of shots, Jeff! I've only lived in the Houston area a couple of years and haven't made it to Brazos Bend yet -- but based on these shots I'll move it up on my list of places to visit soon! Any pointers on the parts of the park that are best for wildlife photos?
Hi Don,

It's a pretty neat place. Now's the time to go because this month is mating season for the gators and they're out in far greater numbers than they will be later this summer. Best trails to see gator and birds are the trails around Elm Lake and 40-acre Lake, as well as the trail that connects the two.

Regards,
 
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Leigh said:
Those are just wondeful! I'm with everyone else who commented on the one w/the baby on the adult...that's a special shot!
Thanks, although I was a little disappointed with that shot. I wanted to do better, but just couldn't find an angle to give me the subject isolation I wanted; plus it would have been better if the mother was up out of the water a bit more. But those darn alligators just don't know how to take posing instructions. :)
 
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Jeff, nice stuff! I have the 70-200, and have loved it. I just took delivery of my 28-70 2.8 "Beast", as UF says, and just ordered the 17.

I did RMNP in Colorado last fall, my first shoot with the 70-200, and wish now that I had the TC then.

By the way, Those are my old stomping grounds. I grew up in Alvin....
 

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