Bosque Conditions and Kudos

snow-geese-sunrise-fly-in-1-15-sec-_09u0022-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

This Snow Goose sunrise blur was created with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto zoom lens with the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter) (hand held at 98mm) with the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/15 sec. at f/4 in Tv mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Bosque Conditions and Kudos

Simply put, early morning conditions at Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM are excellent this year. The main impoundment and both crane pools are brimming with water and have been disked–cleared of most vegetation. Nearly all the irrigation ditches have been cleared of tall vegetation providing unobstructed lines of sight to the birds. Kudos to Deputy Refuge Manager Aaron Mize, to the rest of the management team, and to the great crew of volunteers for getting one of the crown jewels of the national wildlife refuge system in the best shape it has been in more than a decade.

snow-geese-at-sunrise-_09u0049-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

This sunrise image was created with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto zoom lens (hand held at 168mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/15 sec. at f/4 in Tv mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Sharpness Tip

As detailed and illustrated on page 467 of The Art of Bird PhotographY II (in the section on advanced sharpness techniques) I rested the 70-200 on the tripod-mounted 800mm lens in order to create a sharp image. Below is a free excerpt on the subject adapted from ABP II:

Little Lens on Big Lens Technique

I am often in the field with a big tripod-mounted telephoto and an intermediate telephoto lens, the latter hanging from my shoulder via the Black Rapid RS-7 strap. When the light gets low or when I need some extra depth-of-field, I will often tilt the big lens towards the sky at about 40 degrees, lock the tripod controls, and rest the smaller lens on the base of the lens barrel of the larger lens. Then I reach around the camera that is mounted to the big lens and support the front end of the barrel of the shorter lens with my left hand as shown below. This will get you an extra stop or two of either shutter speed or aperture as needed, whether you are using an IS lens or a non-IS lens.

(Note: a picture is worth a thousand words–sometimes you just gotta buy the book!)

Click here for more on ABP II.

ed-kranepool-in-early-morning-light-_a1c0185-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

This image of the Ed KranePool was created with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto zoom lens with the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter) (hand held at 155mm) with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only) w/FREE Bonus Item – $150.33 Value! [expires soon]! ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop as framed: 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Note the beautiful clean water devoid of vegetation: a photographer’s dream.

The Bosque Site Guide

Great year or poor year, the priceless information in the Bosque Site Guide will help you learn to be in the right spot at the right time. I followed my own advice to a tee yesterday morning and had a small group of friends and early-arriving IPT folks in the right locations all morning. Why waste time driving around trying to figure out where to be on this wind or in these lighting conditions? As I have written before, heading to Bosque without the Bosque Site Guide on your laptop is downright foolish. Why? You simply do not know as much about Bosque as I do. :)

Learn about all of our Site and Set-up eGuides here.

sandhill-crane-in-flight-composition-improved-_09u0077-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

This Sandhill Crane flight image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 1600. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stop off the low blue sky confirmed by histogram check: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update

If you are at Bosque right now or are heading to the refuge in the next week or two and you own a copy of the Bosque Site Guide, you are invited to e-mail and request a copy of the Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update. You will receive a short e-mail describing other current strategies and letting you know exactly where to be in the pre-dawn.

Important Notes

As I only have one short visit under my belt this year so far, the Current Updates e-mail will not be sent until midday on Saturday November 24, 2012. This will give me time to figure out what is going on after 8am and in the afternoons. If you would like to receive this update, please cut and paste the words “Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update” into the subject line and be sure to include proof of purchase. The simplest thing to do is to include a screen capture of the first page of the guide. No updates will be sent unless you include some sort of proof of purchase. Please do not call or e-mail Jim as he knows nothing about this :).

Bosque on Facebook

Visit Bosque on Facebook here and bookmark the page. It’s a great way to keep up on current events and refuge conditions.

Click Heres

Click here for NYC Seminar information.

Click here if you missed the caption contest.

Click here to see BAA Bulletin #423. It includes info on the first MP4 Photoshop Tutorial Video and NYC Seminar info.

If you missed the South Georgia/Falkland Islands Southern Oceans Trip Report, see BAA Bulletin #422.

Shopper’s Guide

Thanks a stack to all who have used our B&H affiliate links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

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And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders :) And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gizo GT3532 LS CF Tripod. This one replaces the GT3530LS Tripod and will last you a lifetime. Learn more about this great tripod here.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.
Delkin Flash Cards. I use and depend on Delkin compact Flash Cards and card readers most every day. Learn more about their great 700X and 1000X cards here or about my favorite Delkin card here.

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3 comments to Bosque Conditions and Kudos

  • First…Happy Thanksgiving Artie.

    Second, with Bosque being my first IPT in 2006, it’ll always
    be my favorite. Just seeing the mountains was amazing for me.
    To this day, I still haven’t seen a sky with so many different
    colors. Beautiful place.

    Third, I still use and preach your tip of using a tripod mounted
    big lens as support for a smaller hand held lens, which you taught
    all of us at the first pre morning blast off.

    Doug

  • Hi Art,
    Love the Sandhill Crane in flight. I think it would be stronger without the out-of focus hill in the background.

    Keep up the great work,

    Don Poggensee
    Ida Grove, Iowa

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