Sunday, May 22, 2011

Taking Wildlife Photos In The Rain

Black-chinned Hummingbird during an Arizona Monsoon
400mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/40 second

Many photographers will tell you that there is never enough light. Maybe it would be better to say that there is never enough PERFECT light. To me, with the exception of a poorly cooked hamburger, nothing is more disappointing that having a photo that is both underexposed and overexposed at the same time. For example, an adult Bald Eagle flies by, banks perfectly and still, the body feathers are too dark and the white head too light so that you lose detail on both ends.

This is an example of a photo that came out poorly
because of too much light on a bright sunny day

This is usually not a problem during the “golden hours” which are thought to be an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. The golden hours are also known as the “magic hours” or, as I like to call them, about two hours before I haul my butt out of bed and an hour after my feet hurt so badly that I can hardly walk anymore.

Eastern Bluebird - if you look closely, you can see rain on his back
600mm, ISO 500, f/7.1, 1/320 second

Saturday, May 21, 2011

End Of The World Photos

Man Cave

You might not know it if you just watch the regular news, but the world is supposed to end today – sometime this evening. You would THINK that this might make the news, but apparently not. Now, as some of you know, I built a “man cave” a few weeks ago as a heavy-duty blind from which to take photos. I don’t mean to imply that this will protect you in the case of the world’s end, it just fits into the events of today.

Juvie Cooper's Hawks Terrorizing the neighborhood today
Note: Raptor vs Rapture - very important difference

Side note – APPARENTLY the world isn’t actually supposed to come to and end, per se. Instead, all the good people will go up to heaven and leave the rest behind. Again, very skimpy reporting. After what I believe was the deadline, I began calling those people that I figured might be among those going to heaven. No answers from any of them. I guess that means that I might have missed the cut. If that’s the case, I am going to stop recycling.

Hummer made a showing today

Monday, May 2, 2011

House Wren Nest Building

Lots of birds building nests in the yard this week. Eastern Bluebirds have 4 eggs, while the Tree Swallows and House Wrens are working hard on their nests. While generally efficient nest-builders, one particular House Wren seems to have a bit of a problem with measurements.

Step One - Select stick of correct size:

Step Two - Check your measurements:

Step Three - Slam that baby home!

Thwang!!! (Ouch)

Step Four: Celebrate your successes:

Lots of recent Bluebird Pic can be seen here:

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