Nikon Z7 Testing - IBIS, Peaking, High ISO - Red cap mushroom : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

Nikon Z7 : High ISO, IBIS, Focus Peaking

I took a walk around my neighborhood with my kids to look for fall mushrooms and flowers. I wanted to test a few aspects of the Nikon Z7 including high ISO shots, ability of the in body image stabilization (IBIS) to steady shots at slower shutter speeds, and the focus peaking (which none of my previous cameras have offered).  To test, I mounted my 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro Nikkor lens on the FTZ adapter and headed out. It was late afternoon light with some heavy tree cover at times, I first tested focus tracking by trying to get some shots of my kids. I was quite disappointed with the performance of the Z7/105 combo, the tracking was terrible. The camera missed almost every shot, even with the kids just walking. The 105 was never a good performer in this regard and it continues it's poor performance on the Z7.

Regardless, I tested on some static subjects and the results were quite good.  Fairly clean output at ISO 3200.

Nikon Z7 Testing - IBIS, Peaking, High ISO - Red cap mushroom : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

Test of manual focus with peaking, worked very well.

Nikon Z7 macro manual focus with focus peaking test : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 160 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 160 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
Nikon Z7 macro manual focus with focus peaking test : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This squirrel was running around and I managed a shot.  It's acceptably sharp for web use but not ideal.

Nikon Z7 testing : 1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This girl was moving on the web and the web was also moving in the breeze.  Of 30 or so shots only two yielded results worth sharing.

Nikon Z7 testing of IBIS, peaking, and high ISO: 1/320s, f/6.5, ISO 1600 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/320s, f/6.5, ISO 1600 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This shot was at 1/80s hand held but I tested as slow as 1/5s and could get reasonably sharp photos.  I don't think that would have been possible with my D810, even with a VR lens.

Nikon Z7 testing of IBIS, peaking, and high ISO: 1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 400 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 400 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 


Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog : 2018-10-05

Nikon Z7 First Shots

One of my favorite places to visit is the Vancouver Aquarium, and that is exactly where I went to test out the new Nikon Z7. I only had a short amount of time so only two test shots but more to come soon.

Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog : 2018-10-05
Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog
Vancouver Aquarium - Horned Frog : 2018-10-05
Vancouver Aquarium - Horned Frog

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : You're Dead

Squamish Bald Eagles (Again)

This was my third time in Squamish to shoot Bald Eagles, and it will likely become an annual excursion.  Not only do I love Squamish and Brackendale, it is a great opportunity to practice wildlife photography with a photogenic subject.  Unlike my previous trip to the area when I visited in January, this time I came when the eagle concentrations were much higher.   There were several occasions when I saw up to eight eagles all trying to get one or two dead salmon, unsurprisingly some fights broke out.

As I was heading to a new location to begin my search for eagles, I saw an interesting log pincer thingy (correct name) and had to stop.  I managed to get a shot with my wide angle that included the Stawamus Chief in the background.

(As always, click to view larger.  You can also just scroll through all of the photos in a slideshow)

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : The Chief and Logging

Getting to the beach at the south end of Squamish was more fun than expected due to deep snow.  Once I arrived, there were no eagles to be seen but I did brave the elements to get this long exposure shot before I packed up and went searching for the elusive birds.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 24-70 : Beach Long Exposure

First stop was near the SPCA.  Mount Garibaldi was looking majestic as usual so a quick shot was necessary.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Telephoto Landscape

I did find a single juvenile bald eagle

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Juvenile In Tree

Pretty sure he saw me.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Juvenile In Tree Close

Also came across a Great Blue Heron

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Great Blue Heron 3

Plenty of crows, which I used to practice my focus tracking for flying birds.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Crow in Flight

A gang of seagulls.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Seagull Gang

A few shy ducks.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Ducks Flying

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Ducks in Flight

This is the reason the eagles are here in high concentrations, plenty of dead or dying salmon to eat.  Other bird species also enjoy the annual feast.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Crows Eating Salmon

Finally, in the most popular spot there were plenty of eagles.  These were all found off Government Road near the Watershed Grill restaurant.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Three Amigos

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Raptor on the Wing

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Majestic

This one looking like he has found something interesting.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Pounce

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Flight Blue Sky

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Tree Close

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Tree

As I said previously, fights were not uncommon though rarely seemed to result in any real damage.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Attack Vector

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Smash

I shot a LOT of photos to only get  a few worth keeping.  Not an easy subject to photograph.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Flight 1

The seagulls don't stick around to ask questions when they see the eagles coming in.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Seagull Chase

Another fight sequence.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Attack Sequence 1

This guy wanted to make sure the young eagle knew who the boss was.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Arial Attack

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : You're Dead

And a few more shots.  It certainly won't be my last time visiting the area.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Juvenile Attack

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Dual Landing

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Attack

 

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Seagull Nope Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle Sitting

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle Walking

 

 

 

 

 


Brackendale Bald Eagle in Flight : Nikkor 200-500 f/5.6 VR Lens

Squamish Bald Eagles

I was eager to try out my new Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 VR lens that I received for Christmas from my lovely wife.  I knew that Bald Eagles were likely still in Squamish as I had been there previously.  I ventured out one very old morning to see what I could capture.

The sun was rising as I pulled into Squamish and I noticed it was illuminating Mount Garibaldi.  I decided to see how the lens performs for a long distance landscape shot.  Nice detail despite the distance.

The rig

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Shot with iPhone

The shotSquamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Mount Garibaldi Sunrise

I then walked around one of my favorite spots in south Squamish and did encounter a few eagles.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Flying High

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle and Crow Buddies

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Squawk

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Tree

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle In Tree Black and White

One thing I realized is that I have a lot to learn about wildlife photography, especially birds. Learning how to use a telephoto lens has a fairly steep learning curve, and trying to capture birds in flight makes it even harder.  I took a lot of shots but only have a few keepers and even those I'm only mildly satisfied with.  Having said that, the combination certainly does help in comparison to shooting with my iPhone.

Eagle shot with iPhone

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : iPhone Eagle Shot

Same eagle with a Nikon D810 and Nikkor 200-500 f/5.6 VR lens.  Anyone claiming "gear doesn't matter" hasn't tried to shoot wild eagles.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle Playing Rooster In Tree

I relocated several times but had a hard time finding eagles.  I found out later that there are much higher concentrations of eagles in early December and by January they have started to depart as most of the salmon that they are feeding on are gone.  It was still a beautiful day so I made the most of it by shooting some landscape shots.  Even some with my iPhone.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : iPhone Landscape

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : Sunrise in Squamish

My trusty Tacoma, it never disappoints.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : Toyota Tacoma Glory

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : Frozen Landscape

This was actually a hand-held shot with the Nikkor 200-500 lens.  Shutter speed was relatively long but the VR system helped me get an acceptably sharp shot.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Telephoto Landscape Long Exposure

After more driving around and looking in a few spots I have never visited before I did find a few more eagles.  Didn't get the focus or composition right in all of the photos, but I did get a lot of practice in tracking eagles in flight.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : I See Something

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Surveying the Land

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Going Somewhere

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Just Missed Flight Shot

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eye on Me

Finally, a comparison of iPhone vs Nikon.  See that moon in the top right?

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : iPhone Landscape

Now a little closer with the telephoto.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Moon Landscape


Sunset Newell Lake, Brooks, Alberta - Nikon D800

Nikon D800 vs iPhone 4S

I was at Newell Lake near Brooks, Alberta with my brother a few weeks ago and as the sun was setting I tried to capture a few photos.  It was a warm evening which would have otherwise been pleasant if it wasn't for the swarm of mosquitoes.  I was literally getting destroyed by the things, but pushed on and got some shots.  The specific location for the shots was this small peninsula.

First, the iPhone photo (showing the Nikon D800).

Sunset Newell Lake, Brooks, Alberta - iPhone 4S

 

Next, the image from the Nikon D800 with Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 lens. This is actually a 7 shot exposure bracket combined in an HDR image using Photomatix.
Sunset Newell Lake, Brooks, Alberta - Nikon D800

 

Both images scaled to 2048 on the long edge. If you look close, I think you will agree that the D800 has a slight edge in image quality here :)


Antrodiaetus pacificus trapdoor spider

Antrodiaetus pacificus Trapdoor Spider

Antrodiaetus pacificus trapdoor spider

I was walking my dogs near the University of British Columbia (UBC) today and came across a spider I have not encountered before.  It looked like a small tarantula: similar body shape, hairy, black, and rather menacing.  I only had my iPhone 4S with me (wish I had the D800 and 105mm VR Micro) and took a few photos before moving on.

It turns out this is a trapdoor spider (or folding-door spider) and fairly common in this area.  They are not often seen because they tend to stay in their burrow.  This one is specifically Antrodiaetus pacificus, and it is a type of tarantula.  It is likely a male out of his burrow in search of a mate.

More info on these guys here (PDF).  Also found this video on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUa-Fc088NU


UBC Botanical Garden Yellow Lily

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research

Last weekend, my wife and I paid a visit to the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research (at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver).  Despite having lived in Vancouver a combined 35 years it was the first visit for both of us.  We were very fortunate because one of the volunteers, Dana, took us for a private tour as no one else was there for a tour when we arrived.  He spent several hours with us, taking us first on the Greenheart Canopy Walkway, which is a series of bridges and platforms in the trees.  It's a bit wobbly, but fun at the same time.  Also, you get an interesting view from up there that you don't often see.  The canopy system is hung from the trees but is done in such a way that it doesn't harm the tree, it's rather amazing actually and the only one of its kind in Canada.

UBC Botanical Garden Tree Top Walk

UBC Botanical Garden 1

UBC Botanical Garden Feet

UBC Botanical Garden Katie in the trees

UBC Botanical Garden Tree Top Walk

 

There are a lot of vines in the garden, from all over the world.

UBC Botanical Garden Vine

UBC Botanical Garden Vine

 

It's not all plants and flowers.

UBC Botanical Garden Mushroom

 

Though there are a lot of beautiful flowers as well.

UBC Botanical Garden Flowers

UBC Botanical Garden Borrage

UBC Botanical Garden Flower Mosaic

UBC Botanical Garden Yellow Lily

 

They also have a big garden with all kinds of edible things.

UBC Botanical Garden Yummy

 

Including the most interesting way to grow fruit.  These trees are trained to grow at an angle and only have branches in one plane.  Because of the angle, the tree bears fruit much sooner than they would otherwise.  Also, they are very easy to pick being no more than six feet high, some only a foot with branches parallel to the ground.  I wish I remember what this growing style was, if you know please leave a message in the comments below.

UPDATE: The technique of training trees in this manner is called Espalier (thanks to Wendy Cutler!).

UBC Botanical Garden Fruit trees

UBC Botanical Garden Fruit trees 2

 

In one section, they have plants from all of the continents including a lot of desert varieties.  Apparently there are fire ants too, though I didn't see any.

UBC Botanical Garden Fire Ants

UBC Botanical Garden Chicks and Hens

UBC Botanical Garden Burrs

UBC Botanical Garden Carpet

UBC Botanical Garden Cactus in Bloom

UBC Botanical Garden Flower

UBC Botanical Garden Crocosmia in Bloom

 

There is also a section of the garden dedicated to plants used in the medical field.  This sundial is in the middle, accurate though doesn't adjust well for daylight savings time :)

UBC Botanical Garden Sundial in the medical garden

 

We found this interesting bee hive, which was a temporary art installation.  The solar panels provide energy to open and close it daily.

UBC Botanical Garden Bee Hive Fine Art

 

Finally, there is a fantastic water fountain the garden located in the amphitheatre.  It was designed by William Pye who installs these amazing water sculptures all over the world.  I'll have to go back to get more photographs.

UBC Botanical Garden Fountain Reflection


Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 6

Birds At Acadia Beach in Vancouver, BC

Took a short walk with my dogs on Acadia Beach today.  The best time for birds, especially Great Blue Herons, seems to be on the rising tide early in the morning.  The Herons like to walk around in the shallow water and pick off smelt and other small fish who are too dumb to notice a three foot tall bird.

I didn't get any stellar shots today but did see a Bald Eagle, a few Great Blue Herons, Geese, and a few of the usual suspects as well.   Overall, a fun day and always nice when an eagle is around.  The birds were quite far away so these are crops from much bigger images shot with the Nikon D800 and 80-200 f/2.8D lens.  In cases like this, a longer lens would sure be nice.  If an updated 80-400mm VR becomes available I may be tempted to sell the current zoom and go for the bigger reach.  Teleconverters do not work with the 80-200.  There was also a strong backlight so I had to dial up the shadow recovery introducing some noise.

I definitely got some better shots when I went to Brackendale to shoot the Bald Eagles with a borrowed 400mm f/2.8.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 5

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 4

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 1

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 3

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 6

 

Impressive talons on this guy, wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of those.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 7

 

The geese didn't seem to care that a top predator was in the area.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Geese

 

The heron also went about his business catching fish.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Great Blue Heron
I even managed to catch a crow in flight.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Crow Landing

 

The image above was rescued from a very underexposed shot.  The screenshot below shows the impressive dynamic range of the Nikon D800 which allowed me to recover the shadows and save the image, if only for web use.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Nikon D800 Shadow Recovery In Lightroom 4

 


Garden Bee: 2012-06-20 : Focus Stack with Zerene Stacker (105mm f/2.8 VR Micro)

Nikon D800 Macro and Focus Stack

When I was mowing the lawn, I came across a bee in the grass. I'm not sure what type of bee it is, but it could be one of the solitary ground dwelling types that can be found here. One of the wings was much shorter than the other and I don't think it could fly. I put the bee in a safe place and took a few shots. The shots were taken with a Nikon D800 and AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens. I have another set of photos shot with the 105mm here (lower light, hand-held).

Update: I found out this isn't a bee after all, but a hoverfly (Narcissus fly).  It mimics bees as a defense against predators.  Very cool.

This shot is a single image converted from RAW but cropped from a much bigger frame. ISO 360, 1/125 second shutter at f/9.
Garden Bee : 2012-06-20 : Single Image with 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro

I also took a few more images focus stacked them with Zerene Stacker, turned out better than I expected considering this is also a significant crop.

Garden Bee: 2012-06-20 : Focus Stack with Zerene Stacker (105mm f/2.8 VR Micro)

And a flower I shot shortly after, also a single image converted from RAW.

Flower : 2012-06-20 : Single Image with 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro

 

And an image I shot previously.  The detail when shooting the D800 with this lens is just great.

D800 Test Image - flowers


Nikon D800 with 105mm f/2.8 VR lens - pollen popping flower

Poppin' Pollen

Yesterday I noticed what I thought was smoke in the kitchen but had no idea where it was coming from. As I was looking around, I saw that a flower on the counter was shooting out pollen. I have never seen anything like this, so I had to grab my camera and shoot a short video. I have never seen anything like this!

I'm assuming this is not a common sight, otherwise I would have seen it myself before (we have a lot of plants) or I would have seen it somewhere online. Regardless, I had to capture it on video so others would not think I'm crazy :)

Shot with the Nikon D800, 1080p, 105mm f/2.8 VR lens.  View the HD video on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahIrYtJjMpU

 


George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Mallard in flight

A Visit to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Today I paid my first visit to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary located near Ladner, BC.  It's a great spot to spend a few hours and I'll definitely go back more than once to see what species of birds visit this park.  Cost is $5 to get in, well worth it.  Here are some of my photos from the day.

My first shot was actually taken in the parking lot, this girl was walking around in the grass right behind my truck (Mallard Duck).

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Mallard Duck

Not sure what this guy is, someone needs to help me identify it.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Duck

Napping while standing on one foot, showoff (Canada Goose).

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Sleeping Canada Goose

I think this is a Northen Pintail, beautiful birds.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Duck

Just a common blackbird, but a break from the waterfowl photos.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Blackbird

The ducks are everywhere.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Ducks

I like how this guy shows up in camo, even a camo lens coat, and there are kids running around in pink and purple yelling.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: camo dude

Managed only a couple of good action photos.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Mallard in flight

 

And the geese are all over the place too.  You certainly don't need a big zoom lens to get some good shots of birds here.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Geese on path

This guy was constantly hissing at me. Come to think of it, must be a female :)

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: goose hissing

Spring is here, flowers are popping up.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: flowers

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: flowers

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: flowers

The first time I have ever been this close to Sandhill Cranes

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Sandhill Crane

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Sandhill Crane

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Sandhill crane closeup

Not the most graceful creatures when they take off though.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: sandhill crane flying

 

 

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: sandhill crane flying

The Sandhill fly-by, they almost look like jets.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: sandhill flyby

Out of nowhere, a duck fight breaks out.  It was a ball of white water and feathers accompanied by a lot of noise.

[tag-gallery tag=duckfight columns=4]

This little guy was collecting all of the bird seed the visitors left for the ducks.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: squirrel

And what landed in the water the carp would clean up.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: carp

On my way out, I had to stop to take a few shots of these Snow Geese.  There were hundreds of them.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: snow geese

I had to stop one more time as I was heading into Ladner as I saw these tow Bald Eagles in the tree.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good angle on them.  More eagle photos can be seen from my visit to Brackendale.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagles

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagle

They didn't stick around for long.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagle flying

I had my lens on manual focus as it was having a very hard time getting the eagles among the branches.  Unfortunately, when they took off it didn't make for a good shot.  Too bad, this would have been nice.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagle


Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Bald Eagle Photography in Brackendale

I took a trip with my friend Andrew to Brackendale to find some Bald Eagles.  The eagles were not hard to find, but certainly not easy to photograph.  Most of the time they were quite far away, but occasionally they would fly by a little closer.  The eagles gather here to eat Coho Salmon that have died after spawning.  I guess eagles are lazy, and prefer to let dinner float by rather than waste energy catching it.

I borrowed a huge 400mm f/2.8 lens with a 2x teleconverter from my boss, which was a huge help and allowed to me to get some good shots.  I wouldn't say any of the shots from the day were excellent, there was heavy cloud cover and relatively low light which meant a lot of the shots were at ISO 400 or even 800.   Add to that slower shutter speeds, and a lot of the shots just didn't turn out very well.  Considering this was my first time at this location, the first time shooting the 400mm, and the first time on a dedicated trip to shoot eagles I think I did ok.

Aside from the eagles, we were treated to a few nice views during the day.  Both shot with the 400mm, the darker blue image is a 3-shot HDR.

Portfolio Brackendale Mountains

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

These are some of my favorite shots from the day.  First, a juvenile eagle was flying towards me and about to land in a tree.  Of the 5 shots I got of him, this is the only one worth posting. (In case it's not obvious, you can click the photos to view the bigger version).

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Another flight photo, this one I attempted to pan the 400mm to get some shots, most were blurry or had only a part of the eagle in the frame.  This one turned out better than I thought it would.

Bald Eagle in flight Brackendale BC Dec 2011

Sometimes, eagles are not the graceful and majestic creatures we think they are. When you have to go you have to go.

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Some shots of the equipment used.

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

The following photos are not great, but I thought I'd include them as they capture a flight sequence and my attempt at capturing the eagles in flight.

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

And more, not good due to slow shutter speeds, but capture a moment when an eagle swoops in to steal the salmon away from the others.  Incoming!

 

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

And the rest of the images from the shoot worth posting.  They include a Great Blue Heron, which often go ignored when the eagles are there but they are no less interesting nor any less beautiful.

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Great Blue Heron Brackendale BC Dec 2011

Bald Eagle in flight Brackendale BC Dec 2011

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip

Brackendale Eagles Photo Trip


Bald Eagle in flight Brackendale BC Dec 2011

Brackendale, Sneak Peek

I took a trip with my friend Andrew to Brackendale today to find some Bald Eagles.  The eagles were not hard to find, but certainly not easy to photograph.  Most of the time they were quite far away, and occasionally they would fly by a little closer.  I borrowed a big 400mm f/2.8 lens from my boss, which was a huge help but a monster to try and pan as an eagles did a fly by.  Too tired to process photos today, but here are two from the trip.  More to come soon. another When we first showed up at the main viewing area, the eagles were far away but this fellow was close and didn't mind posing for a photo.  It's a Great Blue Heron, you can see a past photo I took of  a heron here.

Great Blue Heron Brackendale BC Dec 2011

 

I also managed to capture a couple of eagles in flight, this was one of the better shots.  The lens really is huge, so this is no easy task.

Bald Eagle in flight Brackendale BC Dec 2011