Saturday, May 29, 2010

Camera Critters: Other Species

It seems that I mostly photograph deer, but I do encounter other species as well and while driving across a backwoods stream I saw a pair of Canada Geese with their young.  I quickly shut down the engine and reached into the back seat for the 500mm F4, which had the 7D attached to it. I did not expect to get a usable photograph as the light was very poor and I was only able to get a shutter speed of 1/100 sec. at f4 with an ISO of 800.  I could not use the tripod, but rested my arms on the bottom of the window opening and of course had the image stabilization engaged.  To my surprise, one of the photos actually turned out reasonably well.

Canada Geese And Young

 While I usually photograph Cardinals in the winter, I couldn't pass up a chance at this beautiful bird as he visited the backwoods bird feeder. This one was taken with the 500mmF4 with 1.4X extender.

Male Cardinal

A mourning dove also stopped by one morning.  This photo was taken with the 500mm without the extender and is severely cropped.  The bird flew away when I tried to attach the extender.

Mourning Dove
 For more Camera Critters Photographs, Click Here!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fawning Time At Big Meadows

A fellow blogger recently contacted me for  information about my experiences in photographing whitetail fawns at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park.  I have not went to the park during peak fawning season during the past few years, so the inquiry made me think about the wonderful experiences I have had at Big Meadows and made me realize that I must not miss this exciting time at Big Meadows this year.

Young Whitetail Fawn: June 5, 2005

Most fawns are born from mid-May to mid-June and in my experience it seems that the vast majority at Shenandoah National Park are born during the last full week in May and the first full week in June. I made my first springtime excursion to the Park in 2001 and saw a lot of fawns in the meadow that year.  It was an addictive experience so I returned for fawning season each year until 2006.

Today's post features photos from an especially good morning in June of 2005.  This was the first fawning season that I had my 500mmF4, and I put it to good use, when I found a doe and fawn bathed in the beautiful early morning sunlight near the wetlands in the center of the meadow. The first two photos were taken with the 1.4 extender attached. The one directly below was published the following year in The Pennsylvania Game Commission Calendar.

Whitetail Doe Grooms Fawn
Fawns lie down in the tall meadow grasses when they are not feeding.  If one is cautious they may photograph them as they attempt to hide, but they should not approach them closely enough to disturb them. The photograph below was taken from a distance with the 500mmF4.

Whitetail Fawn Hiding In The Meadow
The deer at Big Meadows are in most cases completely acclimated to humans, but it is best to not approach too closely as the does will become alarmed or may become defensive to protect their young.  It is also a violation of park regulations to do so.