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Thread: Post your best bird shots!

  1. #3311
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    Joel, love the pelican. Everyday you post a new photo I wish I made more money so I could by the 500mm. I realize it is you taking the photo but I have severe GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrom).

    Bob and Denise, I am very jealous of your HB shots. I have been attempting to attract them all summer, but still no luck. I can hardly get a Cardinal this summer. Great photos as usual Bob! I have been following your blog and some great shots on there also. Denise, your artistic touch to the last one is great!

  2. #3312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    Joel, love the pelican. Everyday you post a new photo I wish I made more money so I could by the 500mm. I realize it is you taking the photo but I have severe GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrom).
    Thanks Jayson! I think we all suffer from that ailment. I originally went with the 300 f/2.8 and was trying to hold out when the new supertele's were announced because I wanted the new 600mm (still do actually) until I saw the cost Then I figured the old 500's would get scarce so I found a demo 500mm at Adorama and used the Bill Me Later system. Just recently got it paid off.

    The syndrome is epidemic amongst those passionate about photography. Sadly, I don't think there's a total cure for G.A.S. although it can be somewhat controlled by extreme self restraint anf tongue biting Actually surfing all the forums makes it more acute for me....would love to still somehow trade up to the new 600mm and also add the 1DX but alas, I have no money tree in my backyard.

  3. #3313
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Ok got some new stuff here. Yesterday a friend at work told me where I could find a hawks nest and he even had pictures of a baby in the nest taken just last week. With that info alone, I took the afternoon off of work and decided to go scout the area. Luckily I found the very tree he mentioned and WOW, there was a baby hawk sitting up on a branch near the nest---although he had the dark wing feathers, he still had the downy white head. I observed for a few minutes and decided come back in the evening when the light was better---with my camera this time. When I returned yesterday evening, Only the mom (I think) was visible and sitting up on the branch. She was extremely tolerant of my presence and allowed me to set-up and shoot pictures for more than 30 minutes @ no more than 30 feet (10 Meters) away. When I returned home, I spent a great deal of time trying to identify the bird(s) and finally came to the conclusion it was a Swainson's Hawk.

    This morning I returned just before sunrise, But no birds in the tree or nest. So I used the time to set-up. I had been on-sight for about 30 minutes and was walking around when I almost stepped on the Mother Bird. She had been hiding in the scrub grass not more than 10 feet in front of me. And again, she allowed me to take pictures for more than 30 Minutes. It wasn't long after that when the big male showed up. But he wasn't near as trusting as mom was.

    Lesson Learned, don't forget to look down when searching for birds.

    Here are some of the shots:

    Momma Bird (I think) from yesterday.



    Bird in the bush--on the ground from this AM



    Another ground shot of Momma.



    Here is one of Dad keeping an eye on things from a distance




    This is a Swainson's Hawk and is the first time I have seen one of these---I plan to go back out to the nest many more times, so standby for lots of Hawk-Shots.
    Bob

  4. #3314
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Wow... you know you are close and are getting great detail when you can see the dandruff on the bird (although I am sure it was debris from the grass, but it looks like dandruff). It pays to do your homework and be persistent. Great job!!!
    Last edited by conropl; 08-04-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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  5. #3315
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    Yep, that momma needs some Selsun Blue. Great closeup Bob!

  6. #3316
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob williams View Post
    Ok got some new stuff here.
    This is a Swainson's Hawk and is the first time I have seen one of these---I plan to go back out to the nest many more times, so standby for lots of Hawk-Shots.
    Wow, amazing opportunity....I love raptors and you have already got some great shots of this family. Can't wait for more!

  7. #3317
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    Seeing lots of HB's now so I did a brief set up this evening but still too lazy to put up a background

    1D MKIII (it still makes nice images)
    300mm f/2.8L + 25mm extension tube
    ISO 640
    1/100
    f/14
    3 430 EXII speed lights set to 1/16 power triggered with pocket wizards


  8. #3318
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    love these pictures Bob, 3rd one is my favorite!
    was the first pic shot with flash?

  9. #3319
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJphoto View Post
    love these pictures Bob, 3rd one is my favorite!
    was the first pic shot with flash?
    Yep, In fact, they were all shot with flash. Normally set on ETTL between -1 2/3 to -2 2/3. Thanks

    @ Joel, Nice to see you shooting the H-Birds again. Nice RTH. Did you have some sun behind you on this shot?
    Bob

  10. #3320
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob williams View Post

    @ Joel, Nice to see you shooting the H-Birds again. Nice RTH. Did you have some sun behind you on this shot?
    No it was heavy overcast...I did get a little ghosting because I was using 1/16 instead of 1/32. The reason for that is an experimental set up. I used my 2 Wimberly macro flash arms attached to the Wimberly gimbal to hold 2 430 EXII's and the 3rd flash was on the hotshoe of the camera. This makes everything attached to one tripod so no light stands to mess with. I quickly found out though that the flashes end up a little too far from the birds and thus not enough light at 1/32 power. It was an attempt to simplify the set up but the other way is probably better with each flash on it's own stand.

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