Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Early Morning Outing

In an earlier post I made a comment about being lazy in the mornings and not getting out in the early light to shoot.  The laziness has nothing to do with sleeping in because I'm usually awake by 5:30 or 6:30.  It's just that I like to make coffee or tea and relax for an hour or two while perusing some of my favorite websites.  Well, this Labor Day holiday I made the effort to be out of the house by 6:30 AM and I couldn't be happier for that decision.  

My destination was only an 11 minute drive so I was on site before the sun crested the trees and burned off the fog from the water.  As it turned out, there was less than two hours of morning light to shoot in because storms blew through the rest of the day.  I took the 300mm f/4 to get closer shots of the wildlife and the 105mm f/2.8 for insurance, a few close-ups and landscape shots.  The insurance had to do with the 300mm not employing VR (see here if you don't know what VR is) and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get the shots. As it turned out, I didn't have much trouble at all. 

The red-winged blackbird is all over the place and is usually the first wildlife encountered here at Buckeye Woods wetlands area.  They make for good practice using the 300mm because they're small, quick, and plentiful.  But they also sit still for portraits even if a little shy.  

Fortunately, the geese have moved off the walking trail having taken to the water and air.  In the photo above, I don't like that I cut off the lead goose but I was focused on the babies and just didn't pay attention at the time of releasing the shutter.

Birds in flight make for good practice so when I heard the typical "honk" in the distance I was ready for their approach. Unfortunately, I didn't get full separation in the group as you cannot see the heads of the two geese at bottom left.  Oh well, next time as that is what practice is all about.

Finally saw some baby ducks I could get pictures of.  The two photos above were taken 24 seconds apart but notice the difference in the light.  It was 6:52 AM and the sun was just starting to peek above the tree tops.

This photo was taken 11 minutes after the other two above but you'd never know it if I didn't say something.  I had the 105mm mounted on the D600 set to aperture priority and matrix metering just like those two but this time the camera shutter tripped at 1/2000 instead of 1/160 like the other two did.  Of course, the much shorter exposure time made for the darker scene but I like it. Call it an unexpected but happy accident.

For the shot above I was doing what I could to get over the weeds but since I couldn't quite accomplish that I tried shooting between them.  So the blur in the foreground are the weeds close to the lens but I think they add a little something.

I'll break off for now so this doesn't get too long but will be back soon with another posting of some of my favorite photos from this early morning out.  Stay tuned. 

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