Saturday, July 10, 2010

Camera Critters: A Far Encounter And A Close Encounter

For today's post we feature two photos, one taken at extreme distance and the other at quite close range. I spent most mornings last week looking for bachelor groups of large bucks.  This involves being in a likely area at daybreak and remaining until shortly after sunrise when most whitetail activity ceases.  This particular morning was already hot with a promise of scorching heat and humidity to come.  I did see three bucks shortly after dawn, and two were very large for this area, but it was early in the morning and they were extremely far away, so I used the Canon XL-H1 video camera to record this action.  When I was leaving the area I came to a creek cliff overlooking a distant creek bottom.  I was pleasantly surprised to see three hen turkeys with several young feeding at the edge of a barley field as the first rays of the morning sun bathed the countryside in a warm glow.

Distant Flock Of Hen Turkeys With Young
At first I videotaped the turkeys with the 500mm attached to the XL-H1 which gives an effective focal length of over 3,600mm in 35mm camera terms.  With that completed I mounted the Canon 7D and 2x extender on the 500mm which gives an effective focal length of 1,600mm in 35mm terms. What is impressive about this photo is that the birds are about 300 yards or 900 ft. away.  The photo is slightly cropped to give a more balanced composition than the original.

While it is satisfying to take a passable shot at extreme long range, it cannot compare to being extremely close to the subject as the next photo of a Rufous Sided Towhee demonstrates.  I have seen these birds all of my life, but have not been able to get acceptable photos of them until lately when they began using the natural backwoods bird feeder

Male Rufous Sided Towhee
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