Eastern Phoebe

I got a chance to get out in the backyard and photograph some birds this past weekend.  That is something I haven't been able to do for a while.  If I have gotten a chance to get out there lately, then the birds just haven't cooperated much.  I was glad to see them cooperate a bit this weekend.

A bird that I have not photographed, or even seen, in the backyard before was this Eastern Phoebe.  It was nice to see a new bird.  This guy came in over and over and got his fill of tasty mealworms.

Aperture-priority, 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 280, Compensation: +2/3, 460 mm

If you hover over the image you can see my camera settings for this shot.  I shot this image at 460mm.  I prefer to include the entire bird, and even some of it's environment, in my composition.  I often times see bird images with tails that are cut off, or cropped really tightly to the edge of the frame.  I see photographers get a telephoto zoom lens and they want to use it extended all the way out to it's maximum focal length.  Just remember, it's more important to create a compelling and interesting composition than using your lens at it's longest end.

I shot this little guy with my Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.  As alwyas when I am in the backyard, I was using my Sirui N3204-x and PH-20 GImbal Head.

Bluebird Buffet?

Here's an image I made several weeks back when these bluebirds were still feeding their young in the box.  

Dad was on the box with a cricket and then mom came to join him with a grub.  To the babies I'm sure this was like when I found out the Chik-Fil-A in Rome, GA had a breakfast buffet.  

I can't really explain why, but I love photographing bluebirds.  To me they are so much more fun than other birds.  Maybe it's their personality that I like about them the most.

I made this image with  my Sony Alpha 77ii and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  In a rare event, I was hand holding the camera/lens so I raised the ISO a touch to make sure I had a decent shutter speed.

ISO 800, 230mm, F/6.3 @ 1/400th second

Sharp Dressed Great Egret

About a month ago I got the chance to visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.  And, as everyone knows, you go to the alligator farm to see the birds...everyone knows that, right?  ;)

While I was there a bit early for baby chicks, I was there at prime bird courting and nest building time.  This Great Egret was looking to attract the attention of Mrs. Great Egret.  

ISO 400, 360mm, F/7.1 @ 1/3200th second

This image was made handheld using my Sony Alpha 77ii and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  

Sony A77ii

So, I have no more Canon bodies.  I've switched everything to Sony.  Although I've been shooting the A7R and A7S for some time, it was time to replace my sports/action/wildlife body.  I went with the Sony A77ii.  So far I am very happy with this choice.

I took it for a test drive this weekend at the bird feeders.  The bluebirds in my backyard put on a show.  I photographed them for an hour solid.  

Here's one of my favorites from the day.  This is the female bluebird doing a flyby check on the house.  

Image was taken with the Sony A77ii and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  Camera and lens were mounted to my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT tripod.

ISO 400, 330mm, F/8 @ 1/500th second

Click the image for a larger view.

Spring in The Tetons

There is still some spots available for our Spring in The Tetons Workshop.  If you've ever thought about going, this is an excellent time to be there!

There is still plenty of snow on the mountains and wildflowers blooming in the foreground for your wide, vista, landscape shots.  Wildlife is starting to shake the cold off, get out and around and babies start showing up for interesting wildlife photo ops.  

If you are interested in learning more about the workshop, click the link here.

Here is one of the amazing opportunities we had out there last year.  We got to spend several minutes photographing this Great Grey Owl.  It was liked he posed just for us!  He sat on this branch for several minutes...some of us even stopped shooting  and took time to enjoy the moment.

ISO 400, 309mm, F/8 @ 1/200th second

I was able to capture this image of the owl with my Canon 7D and Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens.  I was also able to shoot at a slower shutter speed than normal by have a sturdy base.  This time I choose my Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT Tripod and BBH-200 Ballhead.