I spent three days in Port Aransas last week photographing whooping cranes, songbirds, waterfowl and water birds. The first day dawned a beautiful red to gold to yellow morning and then turned to clouds which persisted for most of the trip. Nevertheless, it is hard to fail when photographing in the Port Aransas and Rockport area. Never mind that we bypassed the marinas on foggy mornings (one of my favorites shoots), we still had plenty of subjects. I will have groups in that area again this week and next, so January promises to be lots of fun.
Here are some of my favorite photos from last week. Don’t forget to click on the photos to open them in a larger, sharper format for viewing.
All of these photos were done with the Canon 7D camera and 500 mm IS lens on a Gitzo cf tripod with Wimberley head. For the warbler shots, I added a 1.4X teleconverter and fill flash. I had to boost the ISO settings to compensate for the cloud cover and dark shade, but the Photoshop noise reduction tool helped smooth out the noise that created.
I can’t believe 2011 is here already. The fall and early winter have flown by, and I didn’t get to do nearly as much photography as I’d hoped. I just spent most of the holidays editing and culling photo files. Still there are thousands of shots to be edited, labeled and optimized. The computer stuff never ends, does it?
In spite of all that computer time last week, I did sneak out one morning to chase white-tailed deer and then I spent an afternoon sitting in a photo blind. Here are a few of those shots.
Remember to click on the photographs to enlarge them for better viewing. Then you can click on to the next and view them at your own speed as a slide show.
Both of the previous shots were taken with the Canon 1D Mark III and 100-400 mm IS Canon lens, hand held.
These last two green jay shots were taken with the Canon 7D, 500 mm IS lens and 1.4X teleconverter at close range. I was geared for warblers, but couldn’t resist the green jays.
When I am in a blind photographing birds with the big lens, I always keep a second camera ready with the 100-400 mm lens in case a mammal comes to water. On this day, a thirsty armadillo spent about 5 minutes drinking at the small pond about 15′ in front of me.
Santa didn’t bring me the new cameras and lenses I was hoping for, so I’ve decided to try being the first photographer to completely wear out a 500 mm lens. Mine has 11 good years behind it and is still going strong. I’m going to sprinkle a little salt spray on it this coming week. You will hear more about that in the next newsletter.