Black Skimmers at Dow Plant
Made my first trip to the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport, TX last weekend for their annual open house to see some of the 2000 Black Skimmers that are nesting in the middle of their plant. They have one of the largest nesting colonies along the gulf coast and they have done a great job of maintaining the nesting area in an old parking lot in the plant since the late 1960’s.
It’s not an ideal set up for bird photography but it was very cool to see that many Skimmers in one location and get a few photos. They apparently started nesting late this year with all of the rain in SE Texas so there were very few chicks to be seen.
Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on tripod with Wimberley II gimbal head
1/4000 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation
1/2000 sec @ F9, ISO 800, evaluative metering
1/500 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation
1/640 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation
1/8000 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation
I participated in FeatherFest again this year with helping out Larry Ditto on his advanced photography field trip and class. The field trip went to San Luis Pass west of Galveston. I haven’t been there in a few years so it was nice to go back and check it out. The weather wasn’t very cooperative with fog and cloudy sky’s. Typical around here lately. Luckily there were some black skimmers around. I took my ground pod and shot from the prone position most of the time.
Had a great time and got to meet some nice people and to see Larry again. The class room setting the following day included a critique of the photos from the previous day. Larry did a very good job with the critique. The session ran a little long but most everyone stayed to see all of the photos.
Here are a few of my shots, taken in between my lock-up issues with my camera. My first skimmers actually skimming this year.
All taken with Canon 7D and 100-400 lens
1/400 sec @ F5,6, +1 exp comp, ISO 800, spot metering, fill flash with better beamer
1/640 sec @ F4.5, +1 exp comp, ISO 500, spot metering, fill flash with better beamer
1/1000 sec @ F5,6, +1 exp comp, ISO 400, spot metering, fill flash with better beamer