Hawks perched above
On high bare winter trees,
Waiting for dinner below.
Winter continues to persist. Birds of prey frequently perch on surrounding trees looking over the snow covered pastures waiting for slight creature movement below. It is a good time for bird watching.
“Waiting for Breakfast”
Frequently I look out my window and see this American Kestral perched on a pear tree watching over the pasture below. This seems to be one of its favorite spots. This morning, I waited for the sun to rise a little and shine through the morning fog to silhouette the Kestral. It was a beautiful way to start the morning.
Sandhill Crane Landing Abstract
Last spring I took 3500 images of Sandhill Cranes near Othello, WA in a 3-day period. After the trip, I quickly went through and picked a couple of my favorites. Today, I decided to go back and pick out a few more of my best images. I found this one of a crane landing in a field. I used an equivalent of a 600mm lens, but still did not get a good close-up. This image was further enlarged by a factor of 4. As expected, the resultant image was not very sharp.
So what can you do with a fuzzy image??? Why not try an abstract processing method. I used Topaz Impression to get this result.
Lesson Learned: Don’t take so many darn images. It is a real pain to review 3500 images. (I am still not done.) I took a break to post this one.
For reference, below is my original image:
“The Rest of the Story”
Here is the rest of the romantic story from yesterdays post. The male on the right is the one that is working bringing in the materials for the nest. The one on the left is the one who is having the fun. The female in the middle innocently looks on. Oh well!
Nesting Blue Herons – Florida
One year ago, I and a couple of great friends were getting ready to go down to Florida to photograph at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. I am not a wildlife photographer, even though I work hard at it when I get a chance. What I enjoy the most is just watching the bird or animal behavior. If a good image comes to me, I will gladly receive it.
We watched this pair of herons at a wetlands reserve between Titusville and Orlando. They had quite an interesting behavior pattern. The female (the one behind) was not a very faithful partner. The male would leave the female to gather more twigs to build the nest. While he was away, another male would fly in and mate with the female. The first male would see the other and rush in with his beak filled with a branch chasing the second male away. He would stay in the nest with ruffled feathers for a while, then go back out and collect more branches. As soon as he left, the other male would fly back in. This occurred over and over while we watched the show.
I may be imagining this, to me it looks like the male in the foreground looks a little pissed off, while the female looks a little bored and disgruntled.
I needed a little change of pace and started reviewing some photographs from an earlier wildlife photography trip. In my review, I found this “fellow” just waiting to be processed and displayed.
Lesson Learned: It pays to go back and review old images from time to time.
Sandhill Cranes – Othello, Washington
More Sandhill Cranes … It was very hard getting a shot of flying cranes, separated from each other with their wings in a similar position. If you shoot enough, you get lucky … sometimes.
Sandhill Crane Near Othello, WA
Here comes one right over the top of me. I was hand holding my camera and almost fell over backward as the crane flew directly over my head. The Sandhills are sure pretty and graceful creatures!
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.
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.