|Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 250. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/8.|
As most of you know I flew from Panama to Orlando and continued on to NY’s JFK that same day (17 AUG). The next morning at 5:55am I met the three IPT participants. As it turned out, the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge was on the disappointing side but the Common Tern/Black Skimmer colony at Nickerson Beach just east of Point Lookout, NY was quite excellent. After the IPT I visited my Mom who lives in Holbrook, Long Island. On Monday 24 AUG I headed back to the JFK Days Inn for my early morning flight back to Orlando on Tuesday. I left my Mom’s early and headed to Nickerson Beach for one last chance at the terns and skimmers. There was a nice sunrise but the wind was from the north with just a bit of west in it. A northeast wind in the early morning would have been great but with some hard work and good thinking I was able to create many fine images. In fact, with the less than ideal conditions I was sort of amazed at how many good images I created that morning. So far I have optimized 17 from that single morning. The first of those was created at 6:15 am (see above) and the last at 8:12 am. I will share a bunch of those with you below so that you can get an idea of how productive a top pro can be in less than two hours (he said modestly…)
|Handheld Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens with the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 200. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/4.5.|
I knew exactly the image that I wanted to make, a skimmer in flight just to the right of the swath of the rising sun but I did not think that I had much chance of creating it as the camera was having trouble holding focus when it saw the sun’s bright swath. To try for the composition that I wanted I manually chose the focusing sensor just to the right of center (while working in AI Servo AF as I always do with moving subjects). I did not look at the images in the field but when I saw them on the computer I was thrilled with this one as it was sharp, it was exactly as I had pre-visualized it, and as a bonus, the bird was barking! (Skimmers sound a bit like dogs when they call.)
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/100 sec. at f/5.6.|
The young terns stand by themselves on the beach begging to every adult tern that flies by whether they have a fish in their bill or not.
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/125 sec. at f/8.|
This juvenile skimmer is exhibiting begging posture. I would never have made this image with film as there was another bird in the lower right part of the frame. With digital I knew that as long as the two birds did not merge that I would be able to cover the remaining parts of the offending bird with some Quick Masks after cropping.
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/200 sec. at f/8.|
I was much too close to this bird to fit it into the frame so I made a few photographs of the front end of the bird and then, allowing about a 20% overlap, photographed the back end of the bird. The two images were converted and then stitched together using Image/Automate/Photomerge in CS-3.
|Handheld Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens with the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 400. Evaluative metering + 2 stops off the sky: 1/800 sec. at f/5.|
I sat on the beach to prevent having the horizon line cut through the landing birds. Check out my BPN post of a similar image of a skimmer with a fish: http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?p=333594#post333594. It was also created on the morning of 24 AUG and features some good thinking on my part as well as some good Photoshop work.
|Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop" 1/1250 sec. at f/6.3.|
Each morning the Great Black-backed Gulls would kill a skimmer fledgling or two for breakfast. For more in this series check out the BPN thread here: http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=44544
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D MIII. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/8.|
This bird was a bit tight in the frame but I chose to capture the image without attempting to back up knowing that I could add canvas above and right as described in Digital Basics: http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=44544.
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/13 set manually.|
This young American Oystercatcher was oblivious to my presence as I approached carefully while crawling behind my flattened tripod.
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/9.|
Though I took several hundred images of the predation that morning, I kept only 19. This was the last keeper.
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark III. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/6/3.|
I created this image just before 8:15 am. Notice that the light is relatively harsh and that the sun is fairly high in the sky. After I created this one I headed back to the motel to begin packing. See y’all soon.