Archive for the ‘March 2010’ Category

I Prefer To Photograph Small Birds

March 28, 2010

While most photographers like to go after the large birds of prey for their dramatic poses and overall regal presence, I prefer to shoot the small birds. The tiny little Warblers and insect eaters like Kinglets and Flycatchers.  Large or small, they both have their challenges.  It can be difficult to locate large raptors and they tend to keep quite a distance. It is, needless to say, quite exciting when you do spot one. However, if they see you first, which they usually do, they don’t hesitate to fly off which tends to leave you with yet another shot of a large bird’s rear end in flight.

Is this Seagull hiding from the Eagle?

Looking for dinner

The small songbirds birds are more my style though and I always look forward to their spring arrival. The little ones seem to be everywhere in the summer and they can be just as challenging to photograph, if not more so, than the large raptors. They rarely sit still, but they also have this curiosity for new things which brings them considerably closer to investigate your presence.  Of course close is a relative term depending on the length of your lens.  I like their charm and their cheerfulness. They seem so delicate and yet they are able to survive some very harsh conditions.

Common Redpoll keeping warm by fluffing it's feathers

This Common Redpoll is a tiny finch that is able to withstand bitter cold. They fly south to spend the winter here and then return to the North for breeding.

Northern Parula

It won’t be long now before the little Warblers are back here singing their summer song and I’ll be out in the woods or on the pond looking for them. Can’t wait.

I guess if I had to give a photo tip for capturing small birds it would be… Walk softly and carry a big lens.

One Of Those Days

March 22, 2010

Sometimes photographing wildlife is very frustrating and more often than not the reward is not worth processing. Then there are days when everything is just out of reach of your lens.  For me that seems to be the case quite often.

I’ve been wanting to photograph a coyote for quite some time. It’s one of the few larger mammals here on the Island and I have rarely seen one let alone had a chance to photograph one.  This week I saw one AND I had my camera with me, but it was a field away from me and a 400mm lens just doesn’t have enough reach for that.  (Heavily cropped)

Coyote

After that disappointment I went over to the National Park and it seemed there were Eagles everywhere. I saw at least a dozen of them.  Again, they seemed to stay just out of reach of my lens.  (Heavily cropped)

Eagle In Flight

Eagle on the Marsh

Eagles Fighting

And the best shot of the day…

Common Crow

Oh well tomorrow is another day.

Seal In The Harbor

March 9, 2010

I was driving over the bridge at Covehead Harbor yesterday and spotted a little black blob in the water. At first I thought it was just a lost bouy but it disappeared for a few seconds and then re-appeared so I knew it must be a seal. I drove down to the harbor to have a look and noticed that it was eating a fish.

Interesting to watch how it maneuvered that flat fish around with it’s flippers while floating on it’s back.

Harbor Seal

The Kodak Hawks

March 7, 2010

My parents did not take a lot of photos.  We had a camera.  An old Kodak Brownie Hawkeye that Mom would take out on special occasions like first communions and any other day when we were forced to dress in our Sunday best.  There were also times when it was used to take photos of us at our worst, like when we were camping in Northern Ontario for weeks with only two changes of clothes.  But most of the time the camera sat on the top shelf of the bedroom closet. In fact all of the photos ever taken with that camera fit into one cigar box and a small album.

Then there was the Kodak 8mm Hawkeye 8 movie camera with it’s 13mm f2.3 lens.  Wind it up, press the button, and shoot.  Wow, what a familiar sound; that 24 frame per second sound of the camera and the projector.  It reminds me of every time I ever had to get dressed up, or down.  Again, this was kept in the top of the closet and only taken out for holidays and special occasions. Of course the movie projector was taken down for special visitors. Those lucky devils likely appreciated that we only had a handful of films for them to watch.

The Kodak Brownie and Hawkeye

Funny how not only the photos but the cameras that took the photos can bring back such vivid memories.