Found this Snowy Egret on the Texas City dike a few weeks ago. Was too close to get a full body shot so went vertical and got this portrait photo. Had to go negative on the exposure compensation to keep from blowing out the whites. Flashing highlight alerts, aka “blinkies”, works very well to show when the photos are over exposed. Just remember on your histogram, expose to the right side but don’t climb the wall.
Was using my back-up camera, Canon 7D Mark II as my 1DX was back at Canon getting a new shutter installed. Started to get a bright line at the top of my photos which led to some research on the web that indicated my shutter was likely starting to fail. Canon confirmed it and got it replaced. Had over 423,000 shutter actuations and it was rated for 400,000. I’ve worn out several shutters on my other cameras so not surprising that this one would go one of these days. Glad that it didn’t happen during my last Yellowstone trip.
Took about 7 days after they received it for the repair so it was time to break-out the back-up camera. My 7D II worked well but it’s not the same as the pro body. It felt like a toy in comparison without a grip attached, but it took good photos.
Taken with Canon 7D II with Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens with 1.4X III teleconverter, 700mm, hand held out the car window.
1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, – 1/3 exposure compensation
Took this shot at the Texas City dike on Sunday morning. There was a small gap in the clouds as the sun started to come up. Started to go negative on exposure compensation as the sun started to pop. Really like how this one turned out.
Used my back-up 7D II as my 1DX is at Canon getting the shutter replaced after over 420,000 photos. My back-up camera works better than my original 7D but it doesn’t compare to my 1DX at high ISO capability plus it feels so small without a battery grip. Works well for a back-up but can’t wait until my 1DX returns.
Taken with Canon 7D II with Canon 500mm F4 IS II and 1.4XIII teleconverter, handheld out my car window
1/8000 sec @ F5.6, ISO 100, evaluative metering, – 2/3 exposure compensation
A first for me, found this Common Murre while on a whale watching trip off the coast of Monterey Bay, CA. He floated by the boat and I was able to squeeze off a few quick shots.
Taken with Canon 7D II and Canon 100-400 II, handheld
Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 360mm
Aperture priority, 1/8000 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 349mm
Spent last weekend in the San Francisco, CA bay area after having business meetings there during the week. My daughter flew into San Francisco on Friday afternoon and we spent the weekend seeing the sights, which included a whale watching trip from Monterey Bay. I had made the same whale watching trip in 2013 and have been looking forward to going back ever since.
With the bad weather that they were predicting for the weekend, we changed the day that we went on this trip from Sunday to Saturday. We missed the rain but they issued a high wave warning for Saturday. We were thrilled that they didn’t cancel the trip but they warned everyone that it was going to be a rough ride on the boat with the high swells.
We went off-shore for about 10 miles and spotted a gray whale. He wasn’t very close to the boat and didn’t do much so we were hoping that it wasn’t going to be the only sighting of the day.
We then came upon a large group of long-beaked common dolphins that came very close to the boat. They estimated that there were at least 250 dolphins. It was cool to see so many dolphins but we wanted whales.
Not too long after seeing the dolphins, they spotted some Killer Whales in the distance. Everyone got very excited with the anticipation of seeing these majestic mammals. We ended up seeing 3 groups of these Orca’s, 15 to 20 total whales. The crew on the boat identified the whales as “offshore Orcas”, which are a rare find. The biologist told us that this was only the second time that she had seen this type of Orca in the past 5 years. There are three types of Orcas and this variety is rarely spotted this close to shore. The dominant male had the largest dorsal fin and there was a baby Orca, which was doing his best to keep up.
It was a real challenge to get any decent photos of these whales with the high swells. The boat would rock up and down violently and it was all that we could do to stay upright at times. We initially stayed at the back of the boat, which was the most stable part of the boat but had to move to the front to see the Orcas when they were first spotted. I about fell over several times when trying to move around. There were lots of people who got sea sick but we made it unscathed.
We had a great time but wished that we could have stayed out longer. We then headed to Big Sur to see the landscapes and further south to see some coastal redwood trees. Drove back to San Francisco on Saturday night and went to Alcatraz/Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday. It was a very fun trip and I’d love to do it again when we had more time.
All photos were taken with my new Canon 7D Mark II and Canon 100-400 II lens, handheld.
Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 286 mm
Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 400mm
Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 214 mm
Aperture priority, 1/800 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 349 mm
Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F8, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation, 400mm
Made a trip back to Bolivar Flats last weekend working as a guide, which gave me a chance to try out my new Canon 7D mark II camera.
From a guide perspective, it turned out to be a good trip with Newton. It was very low tide and we found a large flock of Avocets not too far off shore before sunrise. Got some decent shots and moved on to several other locations shooting Willets, Long Billed Curlews, Marbled Godwits, a Yellowlegs and several smaller shorebirds. Ended up working our way around the bend and found a Reddish Egret and then a flock of Avocets worked their way towards us, as I predicted. What appeared to be a lucky guess was actually an accurate prediction based on several similar encounters at that location. Ended up being a very good morning.
From a testing out the new camera perspective, it was also a good outing. I’m a little too spoiled with my 1DX but the new 7D II worked well. It’s obviously not as good with high ISO as the 1DX but it’s much improved over my old 7D. Looks like it will be a good back-up camera. It’s also very light compared to the 1DX.
Ended up getting the new camera as I recently experience problems with my 1DX. Made a trip during the week of Thankgiving and found that my 1DX wouldn’t focus on my 500mm lens. Experienced issues with the contacts as the mounts were bent up from a previous crash/burn from my kitchen table. Got my lens repaired from a local repair shop in Houston but have to send my camera to Canon as they wouldn’t sell him (or me) a replacement ring mount. Took my old 7D to the Santa Clara ranch a few weeks ago as a back-up but would have had major issues with the low light levels. That convinced me that that I needed a newer back-up camera and getting $500 off during black Friday week also helped my cause.
These photos were taken with Canon 7D II with Canon 500mm F4 IS II mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head.
Aperture priority, 1/1250 sec @ F5, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm
This photo was a little dull due to being taken before sunrise so I increased the exposure in Photoshop to make it more of a “high key” image which worked better.
Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F5, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation, 500mm
Taken after the sun came up