Great News & Galapagos Day 1/July 6: Bachas

Great News: Over the next few weeks I will be publishing my Galapagos journal here on the BAA Blog one day at a time 🙂

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This image of a male Galapagos Yellow Warbler was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, a 25mm Extension tube, and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/125 sec. at f/5.6 in Tv Mode. In the low light conditions on the Galapagos in June I often found myself working in Tv mode with ISO Saftey Shift enabled to ensure a minimum shutter speed. If using the 7D and some of the other pro-sumer bodies, you can do the same thing by setting Auto ISO. Learn about our Mark IV and 7D User’s Guides.

The Galapagos Photo-Cruise of Lifetime actually began a bit early when Juan Salcedo, the world’s very best and most knowledgeable Galapagos tour guide, met us at the Quito airport and was flooded with questions from the eager participants. We had a great flight to Baltra and all were excited to board the beautiful Beagle, a motor sailing yacht. The boat was lovely and the crew pleasant and more than eager to help with our luggage and our gear and to ensure our safety.

Our first landing was a wet landing; you step off the panga into a foot or so of water. We were at Bachas on Santa Cruz Island. It was a great way for the group to get their feet wet if you will, an easy landing and a short beach walk. After getting my 800 and the 70-200 f/4 from the crew, I sat on rock, carefully Johnson baby-powdered my feet, and put on my socks and sneakers. Just then, Juan called out, “Striated Heron fishing on the lava rock”. A beautiful young heron, similar to our Green Heron, was stalking what we thought were small baitfish in a tidal pool. To ensure a proper sun angle I had no choice but to walk into the Pacific Ocean with my powdered feet and dry sneakers. Such is the life of a bird photographer. The bird was actually catching polychetes, small invertebrates known locally as fireworms. All of the group got some images of both the handsome immature heron and the Sally Lightfoot crabs that adorned the black rocks.

The rest of the walk went well. We photographed first summer Semipalmated Plovers and a colorful Greater Flamingo filter feeding in a pond set back just a bit from the ocean. We ended our walk photographing a male Yellow Warbler of the Galapagos race as is fed on the white sand beach posing only for an instant every now and then; my one keeper graces the opening of this series.

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This image of a young Striated Heron with a polychete was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/7.1.
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Juxtaposition images feature one subject in sharp focus and a second, usually softly focused subject pleasingly offset from the main subject. This image of juxtaposed Sally Lightfoot Crabs was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3. Processing this image was somewhat problematic as I simply added too much light with the full sun, the dark background, and subjects with bright highlights..
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This filter-feeding Greater Flamingo was photographed with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II teleconverter, and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/11. Limited to only the central sensor with an f/5.6 lens and the 1.4X I focused on the spot where the bird’s front leg entered the water and then leveled the image and cropped a bit from behind the bird..

5 comments to Great News & Galapagos Day 1/July 6: Bachas

  • Nice photos. Have got to go there.

  • avatar Brian Young

    Good to have you back in contact,
    Hope you packed plenty of Tac powder.

  • These are delightful photos, Atie.

    I am especially impressed with the young Striated Heron, seen so beautifully against a very complex background.

    And the creative crop on the Greater Flamingo is fantastic, as it challenges my notions of what’s possible when preparing an image for display.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for your kind words Bill. The trick with that image was where to focus in the first place! I am pretty sure that Denise had a better angle than I did on the striated and pretty sure that she got a better image.

  • avatar Elizabeth Lodwick

    Beautiful pictures. I would love to see a photo of the photographer at work. Looking forward to each day. Thanks