Tag Archives: Sandhill Cranes

Better, But Still a Lot of Practice Needed

Sandhill Crane Near Othello, WA

This image is technically better that the one in my previous post.  However it is still not as sharp as I would like.  The original image was taken with a 600mm equivalent configuration on a full size image sensor camera.  In addition I cropped the image by a 16x factor.

I need a lot more practice to get the image as sharp as I would like.  I do not think that I am at my equipment’s limit yet.

Sandhill Crane (???) – Luminar

I just returned from a weekend photographing Sandhill Cranes near Othello, WA.  The cranes are on their migration path from central California, where they winter, to Alaska.  I am relatively new at bird photography.  I practice a lot to get decent images.  I took around 3500 images over a three day period.  My “decent image” percentage is about 2%..  The following sequence is what we went through to photograph the birds.  #1 – Find the birds.  The first day we spent about 4 hours before we saw any Sandhill’s.  #2 – Position myself  to get the sun behind my back.  Hope that wind is coming from the same direction.  The birds land and take off into the wind.  #3 – Have a lot of patience.  Don’t get excited and take hundreds of images of birds on the ground not doing anything or birds that are flying off way in the distance.  #4 – Wait for the birds to do something interesting like taking off/landing or “dancing” on the ground.  #5 – Anticipate, be be ready.  You do not have a lot of time to focus and shoot.  #6 – Make sure you are focused on the bird before you shoot.  I had a lot of blurry images (I meed a lot of practice).  #7 – Pray that you captured a few good images.  My success rate was not very good.  #8 – Shoot with someone who knows what they are doing.  Thank you Jack!!!

The above image was not my best, but it had some interesting lighting.  It was a good opportunity to do a little post processing.  I will include sharper images in future posts.

After looking at this, I laughed at myself.  This is not a sandhill crane … it’s a Canadian goose.  It is still a beautiful sight though.

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.

Buddies

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.