Thursday, June 26, 2008
Ronald "Buckwheat" Saffer and I encountered a herd of cow elk with a spike bull last Wednesday evening. It was one of those evenings with a lot of clouds in the sky. There were periods of sunshine, interspersed with times that the sun was behind the clouds. When the sun did shine, there was very dramatic lighting. Since we were busily photographing the elk, I did not want to change lenses, so at one point I took this shot of the sky with the 100-400mm. This photo is cropped to give it a panoramic look as it is actually more appealing in this format.
One seldom gets to photograph elk against such dramatic cloud formations. I have taken some very effective shots of animals later in the evening, when the shot was exposed to make a silhouette of the foreground and the animals against the sky, but this is one of the few times that I have been able to get good detail and exposure in both the animals ands the sky. I used the f13 aperture to get both the foreground and sky as sharp as possible.
I have not used the 100-400mm much in the last year, but both Salty and Billie Cromwell reported good results with it on the Canon 30D, so I pressed it back into service, and I must say that I am pleased with the results. It did work well on the Canon 10D which I previously used as long as the image was not cropped a significant amount. It seems to be a different story with the 30D and 40D and stands up well to cropping. Is it as good as the 500mmF4? No, but the 500mm is not nearly as versatile. In this case I could not have been shooting video also, but would have had to have the 500mm on a tripod and been further away to get the same composition. As it were, I could use the video camera on the tripod and carry the 40D with 100-400mm on my chest. My favorite shooting method in this case is to rest the rear of the 40D on an accessory bracket on the back of the XL-H1 camcorder and rest the lens in my left hand which is in turn supported by the top of the camcorder near the front of the body. This combined with the image stabilization gives one excellent potential for sharp images.
For more Sky Watch photos, visit Tom at Wigger's World!