Bird Photographers Always Watch Where They Walk!

I spent most of this beautiful Labor Day weekend out photographing birds at the Brazos Bend State Park near Needville, TX. This state park boasts over 300 different species of birds sighted. There are so many different birds to watch in the park that the state has even published a bird watching checklist showing the most likely location to see each species.

Texas Parks and Wildlife – Birds of the Brazos Bend State Park

Last week I watched a new series of bird photography videos from Moose Peterson on the Kelby Training web site. Who better to learn the tricks of trade from than the master himself, Moose Peterson. In this latest set of videos, Moose was on the Florida coast explaining the best way to approach birds with his trusty Gitzo tripod and Wimberly head. Moose was positioning his rig in about 6 – 8 of water and slowly approaching the birds he wanted to capture.

Now, I think the world of Moose Peterson and have read just about all of his wildlife photography books, but here in East Texas we almost never step foot in the water to get those great shots. And here’s the reason why. (Just kidding Moose)

A Little Snack

A Little Snack
Copyright 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4L with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/9.0, 1/160th sec at ISO 800 on SanDisk Digital Film.

I was right in the middle of getting the shot shown in my Dinner Time post when I heard some thrashing sounds coming from the bank of this small lake about 20 feet away. I turned my lens toward the commotion and caught this young gator (he’s about 2 feet long, so less than 6 months old) just finishing his lunch. I never did spot his momma but they’re the reason my tripod legs always stay high and dry!

Stretch Those Wings

Just a quick post from one of my recent visits to the Brazos Bend State Park. You’ve really got to keep your eye on the subject to catch the amazing behavior of birds just before they take off.

Stretch Those Wings

Take Off
Copyright 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM at 180mm, f/4.0, 1/350th sec at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Bird Photography, Canon 40D, Photography

Bird Photography – Odd Man Out

It’s always interesting to watch different species interact. This White Ibis ran into a group of ducks while hunting for food and looks a little out of place.

Odd Man Out

Odd Man Out
Copyright 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM with a 1.4X extender (monopod mounted) at 420mm, f/5.6 for 1/500th of a second at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

White Ibis

White Ibis
Copyright 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D hand-held, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM with a 1.4X extender (monopod mounted) at 420mm, f/5.6 for 1/350th of a second at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Bird Photography, Canon 40D, Photography

Bird Photography – Alone

Here’s another image I took last weekend at the Brazos Bend State Park near Needville, TX. This beautiful little duck was floating all alone.

Alone

Alone
Copyright 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM with a 1.4X extender (monopod mounted) at 420mm, f/5.6 for 1/60th of a second at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

This image is available as a 16 x 20 fine art print.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Bird Photography, Canon 40D, Photography

Bird Photography – In Flight

Capturing birds in flight is tough unless you have 25 years of experience like Arthur Morris or Moose Peterson. You need the right equipment; camera, lens and support. You need the right kind of light and a good background. Even when all of these things (and many more) come together you still need something else. Some elusive quality that allows you to capture the “essence of flight” rather than just a snapshot of a bird in the air.

Call it intuition. Call it the magic of the moment. Call it luck. Whatever it is, it’s as elusive as “peace of mind”. As alluring as a woman’s perfume. As intriguing as the Great Pyramids and as frustrating as old age. Some days I can almost taste it the moment the shutter clicks. Other days it’s like driving through a heavy fog when you can’t see ten feet in front of you.

I’ll leave it to you to decide which day this was.

Duck In Flight

In Flight
Copyright 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM with a 1.4X extender (Wimberley Sidekick mounted) at 420mm, f/6.7 for 1/250th of a second at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Bird Photography, Canon 40D, Photography

Bird Photography – Learning About Nature

To become a good nature photographer you need to learn a little bit about your subjects. To become a great nature photographer like Arthur Morris or Moose Peterson you need to learn to think like your subjects; to anticipate their behavior and understand how they will react in certain situations.

This is especially true with birds like the blue-winged teal. These beautiful little ducks are a lot like me in that they enjoy the sun and the warmth and hate the cold. Blue-winged teals will be one of the first to migrate south in the fall and one of the last to migrate north in the spring. These wonderful birds will fly incredible distances during their migrations and teals tagged in Alberta, Canada have been found as far south as Venezuela in the winter.

More Teals

More Blue-Winged Teals
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 50D set on aperture priority (Av), using an EF 300mm f/4L IS USM with an EF 1.4X II extender mono-pod mounted. The exposure was taken at 420mm, f/6.7 for 1/125h of a second at ISO 100 on Lexar Professional UDMA digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

As a photographer, the more you know about and care for your subjects, the better your images will become over time. Learning to understand and appreciate the beauty found in nature can’t help but make you a better photographer.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Bird Photography, Canon, Canon 50D