Friday, March 27, 2009

Camera Critters: Closer Is Better-Eastern Wild Turkey

While the last post demonstrated that it is possible to get photographs at long range, today's photos show that it is better to get close.

This Friday morning came in with stars shining, but a thick low lying ground fog made visibility difficult. Dawn found me hidden beside a remote mountain meadow with turkeys calling in the distance. Just before sunrise the fog started to lift, and calling and gobbling drew nearer.

Canon 40-D 500mm F4

As the fog lifted the gobblers strutted on a distant hillside and eventually came past where I was hidden, giving me an excellent photographic opportunity.

Canon 40-D 500mm F4+ 1.4 extender

Even though one may be able to capture images of wildlife at fantastic distances with the big lenses, it is better to be reasonably close if one wishes to resolve detail in feathers or fur.

Canon 40-D 500mm F4+ 1.4 extender

From now until late May is the best time to photograph these majestic birds, as this is the mating season and the males are far more likely to strut and gobble at this time. It is always a challenge to capture them in an ideal pose and setting. I have never taken a gobbler photo that I am completely happy with.

Even though this spot is nearly a mile from where I photographed the turkeys in the previous post, I am reasonably certain that they are the same birds. A large flock may range over a substantial amount of territory, but will usually revisit favorite feeding and courting spots at least once a week and sometimes much more often.

For more Camera Critters photos, click HERE!


Philip said...

Willard Excellent Shots Nice to see their bright head gear during mating season :) great shots

i beati said...

that trio photo is the very best !!!Sandy

Snap said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. Thank you!

Janie said...

Beautiful shots of the wild turkeys. You did a great job getting up close.

fishing guy said...

Willard: Wonderful captures of the wild turkeys. That trio shot is certainly a prise winner.

Leedra said...

The triplets photo is awesome!!!!

Leedra’s Photos For Fun
Leedra’s Greeting Cards
Photography By Leedra

Misty Dawn said...

Willard, that second photo is absolutely BRILLIANT!!! Your photography always leaves me in awe.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Awesome shots! Really enjoying this series. I'm considering the Smokies later this week to do the same thing. Blue Skies.

Tink *~*~* said...

Didn't realize they had so much blue on their faces. The value of a closeup!

Happy Critturday!
Tink *~*~*
Just hangin’ around at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Carletta said...

These are awesome shots Willard!
I need to research turkeys I guess. These are so much more colorful than what I see.
The threesome shot was my favorite!

Have a wonderful weekend!

My post is here: Carletta’s Captures.

Dianne said...

the trio shot is fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

Very nice photos for Camera Critters day!

Ranger said...

Willard; Great shots of the turkeys, as for the eagle picture I think it's only proper to capture it as you see it.

Shellmo said...

Excellent!! In that 2nd photo - they were lined up perfectly together like a gang looking for trouble!

Anonymous said...

Great photos. The second one is especially incredible!

Stacey Huston said...

Willard, they are beautiful..
We actually posted turkeys today. We checked the other day and ours aren't strutting YET! but I am sure as soon as this storm passes, they will.. Still need to go see if the sage grouse are out.. thanks for sharing Willard!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

WOW! You got great photos of these turkeys! Maybe I'll eventually be able to get some good shots like these as they are not hunted within the boundaries of my town, which is 92 square miles. Hmmm. I wonder if they know that. ;-)

Tim Rucci said...

Hi Willard,
This is an interesting series of posts, and some great gobbler shots. I especially like the trio and the closeup of the gobbler. That's some range you have with the video rig too.