Osprey at Lake Martin

During my visit to The Gulf States Camera Club Council Convention last week, I was able to take a boat tour of Lake Martin.  On the particular morning I did the tour, it was pretty chilly...around 50 degrees or so.  Due to the chill we didn't see any gators, but we did see several species of birds that hang out at the lake.

One of those birds was this Osprey.  He had just caught a bass and was sitting in the sun feasting.  This Osprey was probably the best lit bird of the morning.  It was front lit and in plenty of morning light.  Most of the other birds were in dimly lit areas so I was excited to get some good light on a bird!

Aperture-priority, 1/1,000 sec, f/8, ISO 250, Compensation: -1/3

I used my Nikon D500 and Tamron 100-400 F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens to capture this image.  Since I was on a boat with several other people and there was no room for a tripod or monopod, I relied on the VC of the lens to help with any movement from either me or the boat.

More From the Female Osprey

On Sunday morning our workshop group got the opportunity to photograph both mom and dad osprey eating a fish.  

Dad brought his fish to the nest to eat.  Mom was none too happy about this.  She screamed and squawked at him the entire time he ate, until he finally left the nest with the fish.  I think she was more upset that he brought the fish to the nest than she was that he wasn't sharing.  At one point while dad was eating at the nest, a mighty brave, little kestrel came swooping in trying to steal some of dad's meal.

After dad left the nest, mom went out and got a fish of her own.  She began eating it within the cover of some trees instead of at the nest.  This worked out great for the group.  The trees were much lower to the ground allowing a much better perspective for photographing her.

Aperture-priority, 1/1,600 sec, f/8, ISO 800, Compensation: +1 2/3, 600 mm

It was very cloudy and the light was not great, so I had to increase my exposure compensation for this by 1 2/3 rds.  Shooting a dark subject on a bright background always throws your camera meter into fits, so you need to adjust your settings to compensate for this.  

This image was made with my Nikon D500 and Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens mounted onto my Sirui P-324S monopod and L-20S Monopod Head.

Osprey

Over the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, I got an invite to go over to a lake in North Georgia to shoot some osprey that were on the nest.  It was a bit of a ride from my house, but boy I'm sure glad I went.  I ended up with some stuff I'm super happy with!

Although I left happy, it didn't start out that way.  I initially tried to shoot handheld.  The osprey were flying around so much that my arms quickly got tired.  I checked my images and the majority of them were out of focus.  I decided to salvage any part of the day I was going to have to go back to the vehicle and get the tripod, which I did.  Mounting the camera on the tripod turned out to be the deciding factor.  I started getting better shots when I could focus on the photography and not my tired arms.

ISO 800, 360mm, F/7.1 @ 1/1250th second

This image was made with my Sony Alpha 77ii, Tamron 150-600mm Lens and Vanguard Photo US Alta Pro 283CT Tripod.

I knew for the shots I was going for I needed a very high shutter speed.  I was shooting for above 1/1000th of a second.  I had to raise my ISO to 800, even though it was pretty bright.  Bumping the ISO and getting the higher shutter speed allowed me to capture this shot of the osprey landing at the nest and looking directly at me.  I was very pleased with this image.