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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nerdy Birdy: Bolsa Chica, Birds in Flight

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Working with my long lens, the 500mm, is incredibly difficult. Its heavy, it is a fixed focal length (meaning it does not zoom) and although I have been doing well with stationary objects, my motion shots leave something to be desired.

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Since I am always up for improving I set out to Bolsa Chica today to attempt to photo the massive amounts of terns and birds in flight feeding at dusk. There was a large group of professional and semi-professional photographers like there generally is. I settled in among them and started firing away.

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I had done some research prior and played around with full manual, which is super hard still for me. I also tried various other things and because I was experimenting with settings and ISO’s and exposures I got a very low keep rate from the shots I took. It was to be expected of course and I felt like I learned quite a bit which makes me happy.

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The shots that made it through the cut however I am happy with and one in particular made me wiggle my toes in delight. Ahhhhh true success only may be one photo in a four hour shoot but that one photo, the one below, is priceless.

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At the end of the day I did get a couple photos of some easier birds, perched on pylons they were taking a break from their hunting endeavours. I loved how the light was soft and diffuse, the right light can make the ordinary extraordinary.

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This last photo was a tern defending his perch from all others. He was a bit high and mighty and it was obvious he did not want to share at all. Between the squawking and the screaming at the other terns he struck what I think was a defensive pose, his neck was stretched, his head was high, his head feathers were ruffled and his wings were bowed out. It made me smile because he looked quite comical.

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And then before I was ready the light faded away, it was time to go.

2 comments:

lilmansworld said...

do you ever wonder what birds are thinking while soaring through the air? As a human I think it'd be awesome to fly in the air, but I feel to birds its bothersome and never get a day away from the office

paul peggy zeus said...

Birds in flight are more challenging. Good job!

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