I had a chance to try out my long lens to photograph wild animals. I went out with the Tamron Tours and the Mikes Camera folks to The Wild Animal Sanctuary near Keenesburg Colorado a few weeks ago. They had a class the night before and we loaded up on the bus the next morning to go out there.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary has a novel way to allow us into to see the rescued animals. They have elevated walkways to allow the public in. The animals don’t feel under stress if you’re in the sky to them. The Wild Animal sanctuary is speciallizing in rescuing animals that have been kept as pets, or roadside zoos or other unpleasant circumstances for wild animals. If you want to take pictures the animals have much more room to road around so using a long lens is a very good idea.
The folks from Tamron let us try out long lenses to get our pictures. Since I already had a Tamron 150-600 zoom I was just there for the experience. This is the first time I tried pairing that lens with my Nikon D500, so this was the equivalent of a 900 mm lens. Since there was no problem with light, I used a 1/2500 sec shutter speed to get a steady picture.
Got up this morning, and went out with the Mike’s Camera and Hawkquest to take pictures of raptors.
Here I was spending some time with my infrared work. Just doing the channel swap resulted in a picture that seemed a bit otherworldly. Which might be a good look for Comiccon, but not for wildlife. So I did a bit of work on this picture with NIK filters by DXO. I applied a slight green filter in the software to pop the eagle out from the trees in the background.
Kin and his folks did their usual unobtrusive job, finding ways to get us good shots. And the Mike’s Camera folks were around to help us with getting the best shots. I was the only one doing infrared, so that’s what I wanted to share.
Eagles have two fovea in their eyes so they can see better than we can, but they can’t see in infrared any more that we can.
There’s an expression that some photographers use that all they have to be brilliant at, is just for 1/125 second. Which works pretty good at normal speeds. Those of us who are night photographers, might say 30 seconds or in some cases 5 minutes. This weekend I went out to Music Meadows Horse Ranch, to take pictures of horses with the American Photo Treks guys. So I was trying to be brilliant at 1/1000 of a second.
The folks at the the ranch, Elin and George were wonderful with the horses, getting them to gallop down the path we asked for, so that all of us who were learning to photograph horses had a chance to learn what we were doing. So these horses were moving and they all avoided these photographers who concentrating more on their settings than avoiding horses. And the American Photo Treks guys were there to assist whenever we had questions.
These folks work the ranch also offer guest rooms if you don’t want to find a place in town. They also offer winter riding which isn’t very available in this area. During the season they also raise beef. Their tag line is Music Meadows – Home of Sangres Best. Which is an apt description.
They were kind to me, and let me wander their barn, so I could see some of the behind the scenes feel.
For those of you who wonder, the Nikon 3D AF mode, works very well to track the horses in motion. The horses had enough different colors so that it was able to lock on to the subject.
I still enjoy shooting digital. Earlier that day I took this picture of an American Kestel.
In her case, I was enjoying the delicate coloration.
With the D810, I can print much larger than I can with my 35mm film cameras.
To paraphrase Thom Hogan, there are no magic camera settings. In the case of the high resolution Nikons, they reward you by giving great results when you pay attention to good technique.
I went out this morning to practice using a long lens with the Mike’s Camera and HawkQuest folks. Since I don’t usually take pictures of birds, having their experts was interesting.
Yes, this is probably the same bird I took pictures of last year. Here I was experimenting with a gimbal head, so it was easier to get a stable picture.
Last week I went to the Columbia Gorge to shoot waterfalls. It was a class with Rocky Mountain School of Photography, and taught by Doug Johnson. Doug had many excellent suggestions. One of those was just how much rain gear you should wear while shooting the waterfalls. My thought was it didn’t matter just how much it was raining, the spray off some of the waterfalls was intense.
Doug was commenting that most people kept asking him how much photoshop he was using, since no one believed it was that green. And it really was that green, Oregon and the West Coast have had an incredible amount of precipitation this year.