So, you haven’t photographed the whooping cranes yet? Make this the winter you let go and join me aboard Kevin Sim’s boat at Fulton/Rockport, Texas. We will work our way around the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge shoreline and, with any luck, you will have several opportunities to photograph a variety of birds and other wildlife. Common sightings include the endangered whooping crane, osprey, roseate spoonbill, American oystercatcher, brown and white pelican, ducks and more.
See my web site: www.larryditto.com and click on Photo Tours to sign up. Or, just send me and email or phone call. Contact information is on the web site.
Check out these pics from past trips. Click on a photo to make it enlarge and sharpen for better viewing.
Three openings left for the February Instructional Photo Tour. Sign up while you can.
About the 1st of September each year, a field near my house ripens with grain or other seed producing crops. The various dove species in south Texas know when the field is ready and they begin flying in just after daylight each morning. I try to sneak into the field before the birds arrive and get situated for some fast and furious flight photography.
Most of you know how much I love to photograph birds on the wing, and doves are among the most challenging subjects. So, I get about two hours of great action before the light gets too white and I have a blast doing it. It takes about 500 captures to get about 25 “keeper” shots. My favorite pose is a dove coming at me and setting its wings to land. For some reason this year, they would land only “with the wind” so I got a lot of tail shots.
This white-winged dove flew by so close that I had to blend two images to make one.
I always like to get a few shots that show the primary markings of the species.
I know most of you are wondering why I didn’t move around to get the sun and wind in my favor. I did…morning sun to my back and southeast wind to my back. These birds altered the normal procedure and landed “with the wind” most of the time.
All these photos were made with the Canon 7D Mark II and 500 mm lens (the old, heavy one) hand held while I was sitting on a camp stool in the crops. The average shutter speed was 1/4000 second to insure the action was frozen. Of course, I was extra careful not to damage any plants.
Last week, I hit the Santa Clara Photo Ranch twice and came away with a few pleasing images. This time of year, the birds are pretty “ratty”, but there was a lot of action with deer, rabbits and birds around the water holes. White-winged doves swarmed to the ponds every afternoon and my seeing them by the hundreds was pretty special.
Click on any of these photos and they will enlarge and sharpen for better viewing.
I’m really enjoying the 70-200 mm lens for groups of birds and mammals at the photo blind waterhole. It insures that I have plenty of shutter speed, sharpness and wide angle for flapping wings during the last hour of daylight.
Canon 7D Mark II, 70-200 mm lens hand held, 1/4000 sec. @ f5.6, ISO 640, hand held.
It’s been fun shooting at the ranch ponds but I’m sure glad fall is around the corner. My rattling around in the cooler for a cold drink always disturbs the wildlife.