The Galapagos Trip Continued, BAA Bulletin 294, and More

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This male frigatebird was photographed with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/50 sec. at f/9.

Folks often ask me, “With the birds in the Galapagos being so tame, why do you bring a long telephoto lens?”  The answer is the same as it is for the Antarctica version of the same question:  sometimes a long lens is the best tool.  In Antarctica, you are required to give the birds some space.  And in the Galapagos, you must stay on the path.  If you examine this image closely, or take a look at the larger version  (click on the photo),  you will notice that the bird is sidelit.  I generally do not like strong sidelight for birds; in this image the light, though directional, is quite soft.  The result:  I like it.

I am almost finished reading William Beebe’s great book on the Galapagos, “Galapagos; World’s End,” published in 1924. One of the coolest things that I learned is that male frigatebirds (man-o-wars in the old days) sit on their nests with their red sacs inflated only before any eggs are laid.  With eggs or chicks in the nest, the sac is deflated as in this image.  There is lots more great stuff in the book–especially the language–and I am enjoying it tremendously.

You can read and enjoy more great Galapagos images and information in BIRDS AS ART Bulletin #294 here:  http://www.birdsasart.com/bn294.htm.  There is a follow-up piece on editing your work and lots more on the Galapagos trip.   And a great photoship background tip.  On a related note, Galapagos 2010 is sold out with a waiting list.  We are taking names (but no prisoners) for the 2011 trip.

The July 30, 2009 BIRDS AS ART Notes is also online for your convenience.  You can access it here: http://www.birdsasart.com/notes073009.htm  Most of you will enjoy and learn from “Photoshop Clean-up Basics.”

I am leaving for the Panama COMBO IPT (being co-led by Linda Robbins) this coming Saturday and then continuing on to New York City on the 17th to lead the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge/Nickerson Beach IPT (AUG 17-20).  If you would like to learn about this trip and the late registration discount, please e-mail me at birdsasart@att.net ASAP.  After the JBWR IPT I will be visiting my 88 year old Mom on Long Island.  She is recovering nicely from some serious surgery on her old new hip.  I will be back in the office on 25 AUG but will have lots of time to post here between now and then.

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2 comments to The Galapagos Trip Continued, BAA Bulletin 294, and More

  • the best Telephoto lens that i have used on an SLR is the Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8 lens. Best image quality ever.~';

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I own a 70-200 2.8 but prefer the much lighter f/4 version for bird and nature photography. Which version do you own? (I use my f/2.8 only to photograph my granddaughter’s dance recitals.)