01home02babybrain05lifelist04tastebuds08bbbs10roguewedding11nerdybirdy12travels

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Palm Springs: Dad and Me Tripod Fun

My dad and I have been trying to work out the perfect formula that will give us the best photos. Today we went out to try and see what settings work the best with bird photography on the tripod.

022211_tripod2
I HAVE A GITZO TRIPOD AND A WHIMBERLY HEAD, A BIG ENOUGH SETUP FOR MY HEAVY 500MM LENS

My dad actually had a great idea. I carry my tripod slung over my shoulder while I hike and I was complaining that the legs dug into my shoulder. He suggested buying some plumbing pipe covers; I found them at Home Depot, and covering the two back legs with the foam. It worked out perfectly and helps a great deal.

When I take the tripod I like to find a location that has good prospects and then wait for the bird, the lighting, and the background to come together. Sometimes this does not work out well and then others give me that perfect shot. Today we noticed a cactus wren busily making its nest in a low cactus.

022211_nest01
THE START OF A CACTUS WREN NEST

These nests are generally really elaborate domes. We found a completed nest in some nearby trees.

022211_nest02
A FINISHED CACTUS WRENS NEST IS A LARGE DOME

So with the cactus wren flying back and forth with new nesting material I was pretty sure I would get a good shot. I checked the light, made sure the background was good, and stood there to wait for the bird to come into my viewfinder.

022211_tripod1
SET-UP AND READY TO GO

Although I didn’t get the shot of the cactus wren with his nesting materials in his beak I did get this magnificent shot of him perched on the top of the cactus needles. How he can stand to perch on them is a talent that this bird possesses. Believe me those needles are super duper sharp!

022211_cactusWren
CAMERA 7D – LENS 500mm f/4 IS USM – 500mm – 1/1250 – f/8 – ISO 400 - SHOT ON TRIPOD
CACTUS WREN


We were actually pretty lucky today. We were able to find and get pretty close to two other birds that are usually impossible to photo. First up was a road runner who lazed around on a partial wooden deck for a good twenty minutes. He allowed us to sneak pretty close and was so beautiful with his purple crest and green flecked wings.

022211_roadrunner01
CAMERA 7D – LENS 500mm f/4 IS USM – 500mm – 1/400 – f/9 – ISO 200 - SHOT ON TRIPOD
ROAD RUNNER SUNNING HIMSELF ON A DECK


Rather than fear this bird seemed more curious than anything. My dad and I just stood there clicking away as he slowly circled us. It was as if he was studying us not the other way around.

022211_roadrunner02
CAMERA 7D – LENS 500mm f/4 IS USM – 500mm – 1/250– f/9 – ISO 200 - SHOT ON TRIPOD
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT


After the road runner took off I quickly heard mewing. We followed the sound. I was expecting a catbird and was surprised to see a Gambles Quail sitting not more than 6 feet away. He let us sit there and photo him as he stood there on the edge of his branch, in perfect light, with a phenomenal background for a good ten minutes. We just stood there clicking away, what a great model!

022211_gambelsQuail
CAMERA 7D – LENS 500mm f/4 IS USM – 500mm – 1/400 – f/11 – ISO 200 - SHOT ON TRIPOD
GAMBLE’S QUAIL

2 comments:

lilmansworld said...

magnificent pictures :)

paul peggy zeus said...

Where's the back of the Roadrunner all puffed out??

Post a Comment