Category Archives: Birds

Flying Birds – Phase I (Easy)

Wood Stork at Orlando Wetlands Park

This and several other Wood Storks helped me practice panning to follow their flight patterns.  These storks would fly from one set of trees to another set of trees about 500 – 1000 yards apart.  I was on a hill positioned at right angles to their flight path.  All I had to do was to pick up their flight from one set of trees and follow it to the other set of trees.  Their flight path was straight without any erratic moves.  All I had to worry about was the correct exposure, shutter speed to freeze action, and achieving the initial focus.  Pretty easy …

Here’s Looking At You

Florida Sandhill Crane

This guy walked right in front of me.  I had to back up to achieve focus.  The Orlando Wetlands Park was like walking in open zoo.  It was a great place to practice bird photography.  My next challenge was to try to capture birds in flight.  This turned out to be quite a bit more difficult and a subject for future posts.


Sandhill Cranes at Orlando Wetlands Park

I thought I would try my skills doing a little bird photography at the Space Coast Bird Festival in Titusville, Florida this year.  These two sandhill cranes made it really easy as they leisurely walked right in front of me.  Later on, one walked only about 10 feet in front me (subject of a future post).  They are beautiful and graceful creatures.  I plan to try to capture them during their mating phase near Othello, Washington later in March.

Looking Down From Above

150514_Osprey_Looking Down From Above-1 by Karl Graf. Canon 7D MkII, EF100-400mm L @ 400mm, f/5.6, 1/5000 sec, ISO 800

A couple of days after my dear wife passed, I was walking along the bridge at Lake Galena in Peace Valley Park.  I looked up and saw a large bird down the lake flying directly for me.  As it approached, the Osprey stopped and hovered in the wind right above me.  It looked down and just stared at me.  I could feel the message from my darling wife above.

Springtime at Peace Valley

150425_Male Cardinal by Karl G. Graf. Canon 7D MkII, EF100-400mm 3.5-5.6L IS @ 400mm, f/7.1, 1/1250 sec, ISO 1600

A couple of days ago, I took a couple of hours to visit Peace Valley Park to try to get a couple of nature shots.  As I arrived, three bus loads of kids arrived for a field trip.  There went my opportunity to get any wildlife shots with all the noise.  It was a great day for the kids though.  So I put my camera to my side and just enjoyed the walk in the woods.

When I got back to the nature center, I thought I would try the bird blind.  It provided a good spot to try out my new 100-400mm zoom and the low noise and fast shutter speed performance of my new Canon 7D MkII.  I was pleased with both.