On Friday past, I photographed on the Laguna Madre (mother lagoon) at South Padre Island under clear skies and light southerly winds. From sunrise until 10:00 AM, we had various ducks and other water birds flying past. It was a blast of a morning and I was doing what I love most in nature photography, photographing birds on the wing.
During the first hour, I used the tripod for support with the camera and lens affixed to a Wimberly gimbal head on a Gitzo cf tripod. Eventually, I got tired of the restrictive tripod and took the camera and lens off to shoot freehand. That’s right, most of the shots you will see below were done while hand holding the Canon 7D and Canon IS 500 mm lens. If you can handle the weight (and there are tricks to that), it is much easier to follow focus and keep the birds in the viewfinder when shooting freehand.
This type shooting is best done in winter on the south Texas coast because that’s when the ducks are here. Otherwise, there are usually lots of herons, egrets and shorebirds about year-round.
Remember, to enlarge and sharpen the photos, click in the upper righthand portion of a photo. That will also open the “next” button to continue viewing photos in the newsletter.
ISO 640, 1/2000 second @ f 11 with Canon 7D, Canon IS 500 lens on Wimberly head and Gitzo cf tripod.