Photographing in a Downpour/East Pond Insanity & the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Shorebird Report « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Photographing in a Downpour/East Pond Insanity & the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Shorebird Report

Stuff

After the very wet morning photo session, I spent a great hour with Dr. Dan Holland, my Long Island Active Release Technique chiropractor. Then I spent some time with my Mom, did a little shopping and cooking, and worked on this blog post. I meet three of the 8 IPT folks for an add-on private morning tomorrow. After our working brunch I will head back to my Mom’s for some rest, drive to the IPT motel, and meet the group at 8pm.

Including the time spent on image optimization this blog post took about 1 1/2 hours to prepare; that is practically like a day off :).

Singh-Ray Drop-in Filter Clarification

After going back and forth with my friends at Sing-Rey yesterday I have learned that the following is correct:

To order either the 3 stop Resin or the 5-stop Glass filters for the super-telephoto drop-ins folks will need to call Singh-Ray at 800-486-5501 (toll free) or 863-993-4100. If for Canon, tell them which 52mm Mor-Slo filter you want to order, give them the code artie10, and then arrange to send in your filter holder. Why do you need to send your filter holder? They need to confirm a perfect fit for each order and they will install and clean the filter. Folks using other brand lenses need to let them know the size and will of course need to send in the filter holder after ordering. Did I mention that you need to give them the code artie10 to receive your discount and to ensure that I get my affiliate credit ? πŸ™‚

Click here for more Singh-Ray info and for the B&H filter holder links.


shorebird-flock-feeding-in-downpour-_y5o5320-east-pond-jamaica-bay-wr-queens-ny

This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X.. ISO 1600 (set by ISO Safety Shift). Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/6.3 in Tv mode. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the closest bird and recompose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Shorebird flock in Armageddon Downpour

Photographing in a Downpour/East Pond Insanity

The plan was to meet Chris Billman at the refuge “rain or shine.” When I left my Mom’s at 4:50am, it was not raining. As I traversed the Southern State, it was drizzling a bit. That became rain once I got on the Belt Parkway. By the time we had donned our rain gear at JBWR it was raining pretty good. Only one of us brought some photographic gear. πŸ™‚ Once we got out the the East Pond we had to deal with rain, hard rain, and more than a few minutes of Armageddon: periods of 30 degree slanted downpours with gusts to 30mph from the southwest. What fun.


semipalmated-sandpipers-feeding-in-rain_y5o5368-east-pond-jamaica-bay-wr-queens-ny

This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 222mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X.. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/60 sec. at f/7.1 in Tv mode.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the closest bird and recompose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Medium-sized flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers feeding

East Pond Conditions

Water levels were somewhat higher than would be optimal. We had about 400 birds on the South Flat; most were Semipalmated Sandpipers with a smattering of Leasts. In addition, there were a few Semipalmated Plovers. There would typically be a few White-rumped and Western Sandpipers on this date but who could see? I identified a single Short-billed Dowitcher in Image #3. Can you spot it?

As you can see in each of today’s images, there are the big mats of algae that typically occur every few years.


shorebird-flock-in-flight-blur-_y5o5354-east-pond-jamaica-bay-wr-queens-ny

This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 105mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X.. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/60 sec. at f/7.1 in Tv mode.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #3: Shorebird flock in flight blur

Why TV Mode?

Plus 1 stop EC (exposure compensation) was pretty much fine wherever I pointed the lens. With ISO Safety Shift enabled the camera would raise the ISO to achieve a given shutter speed. If I wanted an image fairly sharp, I simply set the shutter speed to 1/60 or 1/80 or 1/100sec. If I saw the flock take flight, I would drop down to 1/30 sec. It is somewhat ironic that my very favorite pleasing blur was created at 1/60 sec., one of my “sharp” settings.

Your Favorite?

Please take a minute to let us know what you think about today’s images? Like ’em all? Hate ’em all? Like one or more? Wherever you sit, please let us know why.

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6 comments to Photographing in a Downpour/East Pond Insanity & the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Shorebird Report

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    I really like the first image. The affect of the rain on the vegitation makes for a unique affect which is very pleasing to me. The second image, ummmmm. But the panorama affect fo the flock provides a feeling of the space these birds use to live. Good job in weathering the elements.

  • avatar Charles Scheffold

    Sounds like a blast! πŸ™‚

    I am at home with a pinched nerve in my shoulder. Would rather be out in the rain I think LOL.

    Hope you enjoy your trip to Nickerson! You and Denise made it my favorite spot.

  • avatar Warren H

    I like the fisrt image, they way it appears to transition from painted art at top to sharp image at bottom. I could see this hanging on a wall in a nice frame….

    As for the dowwitcher, there is one bird near the center of the image with much larger wings. (Wings in down position. It is just right of the center of image and is just above the line between water and green background. (wing tip just about touching that line.) That’s my guess…

  • avatar James Saxon

    The first image is my favorite. I like the way the photo is divided into three distinct areas with the birds, algae and the driving rain. The birds do not seem to be bothered by the driving rain, but seeing the streaks of rain in the image provides the viewer an appreciation of the weather conditions. TV mode was used to allow you to either increase/decrease the shutter speed to produce whichever effect you wanted for the weather and lighting conditions.

  • avatar Jim Brown

    Like #1 and #3 big time. Stay well, Artie.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. That is just what we got on Nantucket, about 4 hours later. Hard to see the images well on my phone but I like the third image best, the blur. See you soon.