My day job and non-cooperative weather has kept me away from photography lately so it’s time to dig into the archives. Found this Avocet that was coming into his breeding plumage at Bryan Beach, TX last summer.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II head
1/500 sec @ F4, ISO 500, evaluative metering
One way to get action shots of shorebirds is to shoot a burst of shots when their head starts going towards the water. You can catch some interesting splashing photos. In this case, the Avocet ended up with a water “halo” around his head.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4x III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head
1/500 sec @ F11, ISO 500, evaluative metering, – 1/3 exposure compensation
1/400 sec @ F11, ISO 500, evaluative metering, – 1/3 exposure compensation
Found almost perfect conditions yesterday along the gulf coast with low tide, 36 deg F temperature, calm winds and sunshine. Was hoping for still as glass water but it wasn’t quite there. Found several flocks of American Avocets just off shore. Good opportunity to try out my repaired camera by getting sand all over it. Was successful at that, along with getting very close to some Avocets. Laid down on a sandbar with water on both sides of me and waited for the Avocets to walk closer. Got some shots looking towards the gulf and remembered one of my golden rules, look behind you. Turned around and found several Avocets walking in the water right behind me. Slowly pivoted on my stomach and got lots of close-up shots as they kept walking in front of me along the narrow stretch of water between my sand bar and the next one. Can’t wait to go out again.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens with 1.4x III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head
Aperture priority, 1/640 sec @ F11, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -1/3 exposure compensation, 700mm
This Avocet appears to be yelling at the waves to stop them from coming in. Didn’t work but added some interest to the shot.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens with 1.4x III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II head
1/250 sec @ F8, ISO 500, evaluative metering, + 1/3 exposure compensation, fill flash with better beamer set at -3 stops
The last few weeks have been a challenge so it was good to get out again to take some shorebird photos, although the alignment of the stars must have been off yesterday.
While driving to Galveston, an electronic sign along the interstate showed that the ferry to Bolivar was going to be shutdown from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., which meant that I could get to Bolivar but couldn’t return on the ferry. A two-hour drive home going around Galveston Bay was the alternative. Turning around wasn’t an option as it was going to be low tide at Bolivar and the shorebirds were calling. Although I had spent quite a bit of time the night before getting prepared for this excursion, I decided at the last moment in my infinite wisdom not to take my camera bag. It’s too small to hold my 500mm lens when the 1.4x is attached. Bad decision as my supply of CF memory cards were in that bag. Luckily there was one 32 gig card in my camera that was enough to get me through the mornings shoot. Arrived at Bolivar before sunrise and geared up. Another glitch in the system was a hole in my rubber boot. Beginning to wonder if someone was trying to give me a major hint. Ended up ignoring the pending signs of doom and had a good time with capturing photos of Avocets, Willets, Marbled Godwits and Snowy Egrets.
There were hundreds if not a few thousand Avocets feeding just off shore. This lone Avocet landed nearby just after sunrise and rested on one leg with its beak nestled in his feathers. Got close to him by crawling on hands and knees and got this nearly full framed shot. He kept his eye on me but didn’t spook.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4x teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head
Aperture priority, 1/500 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 700mm
Being close enough to Avocets where they fill the frame doesn’t happen to me often enough but it’s very cool when it does. It helped on this trip to have my 1.4X teleconverter installed along with my flash. Had to crank up the ISO to 800 since the clouds were out at sunrise.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens and 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II head, fill flash using 580 EX II w/better beamer
1/320 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, fill flash at – 3 stops, 700mm
1/400 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, fill flash at – 3 stops, 700mm
My goal for the last trip to Bryan Beach near Freeport, TX was to concentrate on Avocet shots as some of them are in full breeding plumage. Of course, when David and I got into position near the pond, most of the Avocets were on the other end. After getting some Skimmer shots, ended up moving to the other end in search of the elusive Avocets. Ended up doing the old belly crawl to get close to them, which is always fun in the stinky muck around that pond. Well worth the effort to get close to these guys. The interesting part was after getting in to position, I felt something started crawling under my stomach. Likely a small crab but I wasn’t about to move at that point so was glad that it didn’t bite.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head
1/640 sec @ F9, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation