Me Bad!

marbled-godwit-on-rock-_mg_6377-lajolla-ca
Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens handheld with the EOS-50D. ISO 250. Evaluative Metering +2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/5. Be sure to click on each image to see a larger version.

Wow, I was beyond swamped last week getting ready for my trip to San Diego and getting things in order at the home office or–to put it more accurately, the office home.  I will be adding two rooms on the western end of the house: an exercise room and a 3rd bedroom that will serve as a storage area for prints and product.  We have slowly outgrown the house so there is no choice but to enlarge it. I apologize for having been away for so long.

I did a program and a live demo on Saturday and on Sunday at Photo Expo West in Del Mar, my appearance sponsored generously by Canon USA/Explorers of Light.  All of the programs were well received.  I did get out each morning and created the image above on Saturday in LaJolla.

Three Marbled Godwits flew in and landed in front of me while I was photographing a Western Gull at close range with the 800 and the 1.4X II TC,  head portraits actually.  The godwits were feeding on a limestone shelf about three feet high.  There was a narrow gap between that shelf and another almost adjacent one.   My hiking boots, the ones that I will be using at Bosque in the afternoon, were protected from the salt water with my NEOS so I simply walked into the narrow gap to get right on sun angle.  Then I either kneeled or sat if there was a convenient rock available to get right down to the bird’s level.   A big wave splashed over the top of the NEOS on my left foot and another soaked my butt while I was sitting.  If I had had only the 800 lens with me I would have had to move way back and up the sloping beach;  even if I had kneeled behind my lowered tripod I would have still been well above the birds and the resulting images would not have been anywhere as pleasing or intimate as this one.    The background is the Pacific Ocean.

western-gull-head-portait-_d4i6001-lajolla-ca
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with a 1.4X II TC and the EOS 1D MIII. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/14 set manually.

This gull was sitting peacefully on a rock.   While standing behind my tripod the background was a mix of yellowish sandstone and breaking waves.  To attain the Pacific-blue background that I wanted, I lowered the tripod so that the lens was about 2 feet off the ground.  I was hoping that the bird would yawn but that was to no avail.

As you can see, the tripod-mounted 800 f/56. and the handheld 400 DO complement each other beautifully.

Yikes; I should have mentioned that BAA Bulletin #305 can be found online by following this link:  http://www.birdsasart.com/2009/11/13/birds-as-art-bulletin-305.

Bulletin #305

Here are the featured items:

  • COMMON SENSE PHOTOGRAPHIC ETHICS
  • ON-THE-ROAD AGAIN
  • TRIPOD HEAD HELP AND INFO
  • PHOTO EXPO WEST APPEARANCE/NOV 15/16
  • ALBUQUERQUE APPEARANCE/DEC 1
  • LONG ISLAND APPEARANCE/DEC 8
  • ROBERT O’TOOLE’S APTATS II/Pre-Publication Discount Offer
  • CANON 600 IS FOR SALE
  • SAN DIEGO ITP
  • POSSE NEWS/ROBERT AMORUSO
  • IPT UPDATES

Item 1 is particularly interesting.

I will be back soon.  And I head to Bosque on Thursday November 19th.

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