More wishing, more older photos
For more time that is. As of when I’m beginning this post, I haven’t had a chance to get outside at all, let alone test any of the theories that I developed about my camera gear from my last post. I still have photos of motherwort flowers that I shot back in July to post, even though they are fairly good photos.
If I had shot that photo two years ago, I would have been in a rush to get it posted, but this year, it’s just another good photo of a flower that I saw. I also have this photo of a buttonbush flower from the same time frame…
…as well as this photo of what’s left when the individual tiny flowers die, shot more recently.
I have butterflies…
…and dragonflies also.
And of course, I have lots of bird photos left over.
I remember that catbird very well, he was an expert when it came to mimicking other birds. He could even do the “laugh” or whinny of a sora, not an easy task.
I’m going to empty out a folder of saved photos all shot back in July, so that I have room for new photos when I do get a chance to shoot more.
While I’m at it, here’s some more photos that didn’t make into posts earlier this summer.
What I should do is to take the manual for my 7D Mk II with me while I’m working. I’d have time to read it while I’m sitting at the loading dock each afternoon as I’m waiting for the trailer to be unloaded, then reloaded. Now that I’ve come very close to good settings for birds in flight, I should save them to one of the three customizable modes available to me in that camera. I’ve been holding off from doing that until I knew for sure what worked, unlike when I got the 60D body when I saved poor settings before I was ready, then had to go back and tweak them all the time. The process of actually saving the settings isn’t difficult, but I have to remember to set each and every setting that I want to have saved before I save it. With all the settings that I have to change, that’s not an easy task.
I’d also like to learn how to shoot better videos, so reading the manual would be a good idea, so that I could learn the proper settings for what I want to achieve. I shot this video of the sandhill cranes thinking that they were either about to take flight, or that the one was going to do one of their dances, but it turned out that the crane was just limbering up its wings.
However, I’d almost have to have the camera with me as I read the manual, or I’d forget things by the time that I had the camera in my hand and was trying to save all those settings. I’d rather not have my camera bouncing around in the truck with me as I cross the state each day. It would also be a wise idea to wait until I’ve used the 100-400 mm lens that I plan on purchasing in the next month or two, to be sure of the correct settings for that lens before I program the camera. I may find that I have to tweak the settings that I’ve come up with for action photos slightly for that new lens.
I was going to wait until December to purchase the 100-400 mm lens, as a Christmas present to myself, but I’ve moved the timetable up for it. Everything that I’ve added to my kit has come with a learning curve, and I doubt if this lens will be any different, as it has some features that I’ve never used before. I want to have a solid handle on using it before next spring, and as slow as winter here can be for photography, getting a jump on learning the lens is a good idea.
I know that a new lens isn’t going to guarantee great photos, but the 100-400 mm lens will be a great addition to my kit. The ability to pick-up a bird in flight at 100 mm then zoom in on it as far as is required will be much easier than trying to get the bird in the viewfinder at the 420 mm fixed focal length as I do now. The same applies to small birds in thick vegetation, the ability to zoom in after getting the bird in the viewfinder is one of the things that makes the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) so effective for small birds. I’m also hoping that like the Beast, the auto-focus of the 100 -400 mm lens will be faster than the 300 mm lens and 1.4 X tele-converter, since Canon programs their lenses to slow down the auto-focus when an extender is used behind them.
That zoom lens should also be just the ticket for times when I find a large bird perched somewhere, such as the eagle in my last post. I could zoom in for good portraits, then zoom back out when the bird takes flight. That’s also where having the bird in flight settings saved in the camera and ready to use with a quick turn of a dial will come in handy. Most large birds let you know before they take flight, so I should be able to shoot portraits using the best settings for them, then once the bird alerts me that it’s going to take off, I can quickly turn the mode dial to action settings, and shoot the bird in flight with the best settings for those photos.
The 100-400 mm lens is smaller, lighter, and more compact than the Beast is, so it should be easier to keep up with birds in flight than I found the Beast to be. However, I have to say that using the 70-200 mm lens and 1.4 X extender was a joy to use for the flying birds in my last post. If only I hadn’t had to crop as much as I did for the hawk in the image above, that 100 mm extra of focal length means that I wouldn’t have to crop as much if at all.
Before I forget, there were kestrels everywhere at the wastewater facility this past weekend, there were times when I was watching three, four, or five of them at a time. However, all I was able to get was this poor photo when one landed in a farm field.
The thing that I wanted to remember to pass along is that I watched as a crow harassed one of the kestrels for quite a while, chasing the kestrel all the way across one of the large fields. The crow that chased the kestrel was one of a small flock, but none of the other crows joined the chase, which I found odd. The crow made several passes at the kestrel, but as small and quick as they are, the kestrel was able to easily avoid the crow’s attacks. A couple of times the kestrel attempted to turn the tables on the crow, and attack it, but as well as crows can fly, the crow was able to assume a defensive position, ward off the kestrel’s attack, and turn the moment into an attack on the kestrel. Since most of the action took place approximately 400 yards (400 meters), I didn’t bother trying to shoot any photos, I just watched the action play out.
Speaking of crows, I have a photo of one left over from this past weekend…
…along with three more photos of other birds.
I also have a few photos from a recent walk around the park near where I live. After a dry first half of the summer, the recent heavy rains have brought a few fungi.
And, after rain earlier in the morning, I found this spider had found a place to take cover from the rain.
The flowers have loved the rain as well.
But, I’m seeing more signs of autumn’s approach all the time.
I was missing a toad for this shot of a toadstool.
Another sign of autumn, goldenrod and goldenrod soldier beetles.
Along with grapes that are ripening.
As I was walking along, I noticed these flowers, but they were all hanging facing down.
So, I did something unusual for me, I twisted one of the flowers around so that I could see its face, I’m glad that I did.
Well, that not only emptied out one of the folders of images that I shot around home, but it also put me over my self-imposed limit on photos in one post, so I don’t have room for this one.
That was shot last Saturday, but I still have more from around home shot earlier in the year. Hopefully, I’ll get to those soon, before the snow starts flying around here. But, if I don’t, at least I’ll have the memories of one of our fleeting summers to share while it’s cold and cloudy here.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!