Tag Archives: Birds

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.

Flock of Pelicans

150310_Pelicans by . Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 135mm, f/20, 1/350 sec, ISO 800

This is a lesson learned of what not to do when taking photos of birds:  1) take the shot when the birds are flying away from you, 2) shoot at a slow shutter speed, min of 1/1000 is needed, 3) shoot at a large DOF, the birds are the subject … not the clouds or ocean, 4) have the wrong lens to get acceptable detail of the birds.  I can go on and on, but the most important thing is to be prepared and have the appropriate camera settings dialed in before taking the shot.  Oh well …


Three Gulls

150223_3SeaGulls_Hilton Head by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkIII, EF70-200mm f2.8L IS @ 200mm, f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO 800

As I look out the window to a a cold snow covered landscape, I recall the warm South Carolina beach were we spent late February/ early March last year.  My mind went out to the warm walks on the beautiful Hilton Head beach in front of the Surf Watch resort where we were staying.  We hope to be able to return there this  year.

Thanks Mom!

140604_Sea Gull Pan by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkIII, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS @ 170mm, f/32, 1/10 sec, ISO 200 – Motion Pan

Thanks Mom for teaching us to always look for beauty in the simple things in life.  What can be more simple than a sea gull flying along the sea shore.  What can be more beautiful than a sea gull flying along the sea shore.  You will always be remembered!

A Walk on the Beach

140226_SandPipers by Karl Graf. Canon 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS @ 180mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec, IS0 1600

Strolling along a hard sand beach is sure a lot easier that trudging through calf-deep snow.  I enjoyed sharing my walk with these little sandpipers.  At first when I tried to get close, they rapidly ran along ahead of me.  I learned quick to move back, walk around in front of them and let them come to me.  I guess this is a corollary to “Let the image come to you”.


Great White Egret

140201_Gr. White Egret by Karl G. Graf.

Canon 7D, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS with 1.4x Extender @ 280mm, f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 400

The Great White Egret seemed to be the most common bird that we consistently saw at the Florida Bird Festival.  They were everywhere.  They seem so graceful as they take off and fly.  I got more satisfaction just watching them than trying to get that “perfect shot”.

Building a Nest

140130_Nesting Herons by Karl G. Graf.

Canon 7D, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS with 1.4x Extender @ 280mm, f/9.0, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400

Sometimes you are just lucky.  We were driving around a wetlands reserve and saw this group of photographers and birders watching a nesting heron on top of a palm.  Soon the male came up bringing up branches to build a nest.  The male made several trips back and forth to bring up more branches for the nest.  Soon several other females flew to nests on other palms.  At one time there were five herons nesting.  We spent at least two hours just watching this beautiful and amazing sight.


Roseate Spoonbill

140129_Roseate Spoonbill by Karl G. Graf.

Canon 7D, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS with 1.4X Extender @ 260mm, f/7.1, 1/800 sec, ISO 400

The Roseate Spoonbill was one of the most colorful and interesting birds that we saw at the Florida Bird Festival.  Most of the time the Spoonbills were quite far away.  This one flew right over the top of me.  I got so excited that the most of my frames just caught a part of the bird.  I was lucky, out of dozen shots I took, one was centered within the frame.