Got you, Kingfisher!

So, if you've ever tried to photograph a Kingfisher of any kind, you know how incredibly frustrating that can be.

One morning while down in Florida, we chased one for probably a half hour before we conceded.  First, the little things are super, super fast.  Secondly, it seems every time you get your camera setup and almost ready, they wait until a nanosecond before you hit the shutter then  they fly off.  You repeat this process several times and they continue to watch you setup and fly away before you can trip the shutter.

One morning, I guess we were living right.  We were actually shooting an osprey that was having a fish on another tree and out of nowhere this Belted Kingfisher came and landed on this other dead snag not very far away.  He would land, scan the water for a fish, dive down and then come back to the snag for a bit.

ISO 640, 600mm, F/6.3 @ 1/1000th second

Hover over the image to view camera settings.  Click the image to view it larger.

Now, when I tell you he would land, dive and come back....the little boogers are so fast that he did it several times but never sit still very long at all.  So, I had to be quick.  Luckily, the osprey sat on his tree so long that I had plenty of shots of he had already finished his meal.

This image was made using my Sony A77 II and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  All mounted on my Sirui Tripod and PH-20 Gimbal Head.

Mexico Beach Fishing Pier

During the last week, we had one sunrise in between workshops.  We decided to get up even earlier and make the drive over to Mexico Beach for sunrise.

I had never been here, but I heard a rumor that they had a big fishing pier and, since I am a sucker for those, I was on board.

I went with a specific objective in mind.  To try and capture longer exposures while the color was good.  I accomplished this by using a Tiffen Apex 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter.  Adding the filter really allowed the water to be a lot smoother which enabled more of a reflection of color off the water than you would have been able to get without the use of the filter.

ISO 400, 24mm, F/11 @ 25 seconds

I captured this image using my Sonay A7Rii, LA-EA3 Adapter, Tamron 24-70 Lens and Tiffen XLE Apex Filter.  Of course these long exposures can't be done without a solid platform.  I was using the Sirui W-2204 waterproof series tripod.  Since it is waterproof and sand proof, it was sure nice to leave a shoot on the beach and not have to run home and clean sand out of my tripod!

The Boat Docks

I have returned home from our Apalachicola, FL Workshop and finally got a chance to look at a few images.

We photographed sunset at the boat docks in Eastpoint, FL on different occasions with different workshop groups.  This area offers several things that can be used as excellent foreground options.  Boats, piers, pilings and tools of the oyster trade can all be used as foregrounds for photos while the sunrises and sunsets provide colors for the sky and water.  It's an area that can be photographed at either sunrise or sunset and offers very different light during each time.

Here's an image I made at the boat docks at sunset on our last workshop day.  I was drawn to the pier and the fishing net someone had left there...probably just for me.  So, I kinda hung out here at this pier and waited for the colors to get just right.  The colors didn't disappoint.  I loved the colors and reflections, especially the reflection inside the half sunken boat.

ISO 100, 24mm, F/16 @ 0.6 seconds

I made this image using my Sony A7RII, LA-EA3 Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  All attached to a new tripod I was trying out that I fell in love with, the Sirui W-2204. Not only did it hold the camera more stable than I could have asked, but the leg sections are sealed to make it waterproof and sand proof.  If you've ever done a shoot on the beach, you can appreciate that!