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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nerdy Birdy: Photography Workshop

A few weeks ago I got my LA Audubon newsletter and got super excited about a Photography Workshop they were having. Even though I am 9 months pregnant I decided to sign up anyways. I wanted to get a formal class, since I am self-taught, to see if I was missing anything important. As an added bonus I also wanted to meet other Nerdy Birdy photographers. Sure I meet a ton of birders when I am out on Audubon trips but not many people that are dedicated to birding AND photography. So I sent in my fee and then got SUPER excited when I received an email from Mrs. Owlbait saying that she was going as well. I haven’t seen her since our kick butt Arizona trip last August.

Despite the fact that I had to wake up super early, 6:30am has not been my normal wakeup time by far, I managed ok and got to the lot on time. I of course didn’t bring my big 500mm lens, although if I am honest I did WANT to. Instead I brought my 100-400 zoom lens, my go to mid zoom lens that I was using exclusively for birding before I got the 500mm. I was so HAPPY when I got out of my car, the parking lot was full of birders with all kinds of camera gear.

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The group was mixed, some beginners, most intermediate levels and then a few experts. It was interesting learning about all the different techniques and the various differences in equipment. Our guide was super knowledgeable and super kick ass. He had a great way of being able to explain complex things in an easy way which made it really helpful I think for some of the less technical people. But what I loved the most is that the talk was all F-stop and point metering and even some post editing tips. I don’t have that many people in my life I can talk camera techy language too who will actually understand so six hours with these people and I was in heaven.

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We spent some time learning basic techniques and then spent some time taking photos to utilize what we learned. We started at the beach which had a few terns and then moved on to the few canals that house rocky outcrops that the birds love.

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WITH SUCH A BIG GROUP SNEAKING UP ON THE TERNS WAS NEAR IMPOSSIBLE

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ELEGANT TERN

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DOUBLE BREASTED CORMORANT

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SNOWY EGRET

Although birding wasn’t our primary focus it was fun to get out in the field after not going out birding in what feels like forever. Before I was pregnant I was going out once or twice a week. Once pregnant my doctor didn’t want me hiking and I couldn’t carry my lens which was deemed too heavy. So in 9 months I have only been out birding once, with Mr. Rogue in Monterey Bay a few months ago, and that just didn’t fill up my bird-o-meter. Most of the birds we saw I have seen a hundred billion times before but I got really excited when over the course of the day I found three new birds. THREE, new birds to cross off my Nerdy Birdy List!!!!!

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LEAST TERN

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SURF BIRD

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BRANDT GOOSE

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BRANDT GOOSE

By the end of the class I was exhausted, and starving, so when someone suggested lunch I jumped at the chance. More time with my friends, more nerdy conversation and FOOD. Thankfully they listened to the crazy pregnancy lady with cravings and we all went to the Cheesecake Factory around the corner; a perfect way to end a perfect day. Now time to go home and take a nap.

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MRS. OWLBAIT AND I

1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

I haven't seen the surf bird yet.

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