Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Close Encounter With A Calf Elk

I encountered this calf on September 29, 2005 on Winslow Hill, near Benezette, Pennsylvania.

Like whitetail deer fawns, calves are spotted at birth but the spots are gone in most cases by mid-August to early September. This calf was completely changed to the winter coat.

This was another case of an animal that had no fear of humans. I was at a strategic spot, waiting for bull elk to appear, when this animal walked up to me. I had the camera attached to a 500mmF4 Canon lens which gave a good head and shoulders portrait at that distance.

Canon 10-D 500mmf4 - 1/30sec. f4 ISO 200

Be sure to visit Misty Dawn to view more Camera Critters photographs or participate!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sky Watch Friday: First Shots With A Different Lens

Canon 40-D: 17-40mmF4L 1/90 sec. f8 ISO 100

I finally decided it was time to upgrade from the 28-135mm Canon EF that I purchased shortly after I got my first digital SLR. While that lens is an excellent value for the price, it does not compare in construction quality to the Canon L telephotos that I am used to using and the image quality while good is nothing to be excited about.

It was a hard decision between the Canon 24-105F4 L and the 17-40F4L, but I was able to find a used 17-40mm in good condition. I especially liked the option of having more on the wide angle end as 24mm was not that much less than 28mm. It didn't hurt that this lens was only slightly more than 1/2 the price of a new 24-105.

Reviews indicated that is not the sharpest lens in Canon's arsenal, but that it does acceptably well especially if one uses unsharp mask in Photoshop. So far, I have found this to be true. All in all I am pleased with the lens and look forward to using it extensively.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Canon RAW saves the Day!

I admit that this still isn't all that great of an image, but it was an outstanding opportunity!

I saw this turkey getting ready to fly across a stream. It happened so quickly that I was barely able to get the camera to my eye and fire before it was all over. Unfortunately the meter was influenced by the dark area in the center and left portion of the picture and the resulting image was grossly overexposed. It was too bright to salvage had I shot it in jpeg. Since it was shot in RAW I was able to get detail in the highlights, but no part of the turkey is completely sharp. I should have had the camera set in burst mode, then I would have had several frames to choose from. It would have been nice to have captured him just a few feet further to the left so that none of the body was obscured.

Canon 40-D: 300mmF4@f4.5-1/350 sec. ISO 400

Bee On Peach Blossom-Canon 40-D: 100mmF2.8 Macro
f11@1/125 sec. ISO 200

In this instance the subject was static and I was able to use a tripod to steady the camera and a reflector to assist in lighting the subject. It was windy, so I had to shoot between the gusts of wind.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eastern Wild Turkey Gobbling

Early April usually brings a lot of gobbling activity in our area, but things have been slow this year. I usually encounter turkeys each day, but I have not gotten any good still shots of them gobbling or strutting. I am mostly seeing young gobblers also known as "Jakes". Two large gobblers showed up frequently until lately, but they are elsewhere now. I did record one gobbling with the Canon XL-H1 as it passed through a nearby meadow and have recorded some spectacular footage of turkeys fighting which I hope to post as video clips in the near future.

Since I have had such poor luck lately, I decided to dip into the archives and post two shots from a close encounter with mature gobblers from April 8, 2007. Turkeys are more likely to gobble in early morning or in late afternoon and evening.

In this instance a flock of two or more mature gobblers, Jakes, and hens came in front of my blind at 8:37 in the morning. Since the birds were in the woods I was only able to get an exposure of 1/90 sec. F4 at ISO 200.

I had stated in an earlier post or comment that I have never been able to actually capture a gobbler in full gobble, but I later recalled this shot. I still am not happy with it. For a picture such as this to be successful, it has to make one literally "see the sound" which is difficult to do and I am not sure that this is entirely successful from this standpoint.

Canon 10-D 500mmF4

Canon 10-D 500mmF4

Canon 10-D 70-200mmF2.8 L

I was hidden in the blind shown above and used the 500mm F4 which may be seen attached to the Canon XL-H1 camcorder in this instance-although the photos in the post were taken with the 10-D.