Challenging Start to Warbler/Songbird SUV Trip « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Challenging Start to Warbler/Songbird SUV Trip

Well, Chris and I were supposed to be on Dauphin Island on Thursday afternoon but slept in the Brandon, FL motel that night.  I brought my Toyota Sequoia in for the 90,000 mile service even though I had only 80,000 miles on the vehicle.  I figured that it would be a good idea bring it in before the long trip, but worried that they would somehow screw up a good thing; the SUV had run perfectly for all 80,000 miles with only oil and filter changes at the local Jiffy Lube.  Well, the service with the timing chain and a new water pump ran just a shade under $2,000.  

 We sailed on Tampa Bay for spoonbills with Captain James Shadle on Wednesday morning and then headed to the motel to pack the car.   Just a few miles from the motel every warning light on the planet came on in the vehicle that followed by strange sounds from the engine and that by plumes of steam and smoke.  The short story is that the hose to the thermostat was put back in place but that the mechanic neglected to clamp it….  A temperature sensor in the engine computer sensor was burned out.  We were not supposed to get my truck back until late Friday at the earliest but miracale of miricles, it by Thursday night and we were good to go in the morning and will be leaving for Alabama at 5:30 am.  Yes, I am an early riser. 

The mishap with the vehicle allowed us to spend a great afteroon at Fort DeSoto on Wednesday and Thursday  morning with Jim Neiger on Lake Toho in search of Snail Kites. 

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This Roseate Spoonbill image was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark III body. ISO 500. Evaluative Metering +1 stop off the sky set manually: 1/1250 sec. at f/8. Whenever I am trying to create flight images I stop down a bit to f/7.1 or f/8 if I have enough light for a bit of extra depth-of-field.
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This image of a dancing fishing Reddish Egret was created with the handhled Canon 400mmm f/4 IS DO lens and the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/6.3. I find it much easier to handhold when trying to follow erratic action than to work off a tripod and in addition, it is easier to move side to side to stay on sun angle. I used 45-Point AAFPS to make it easier to hold focus as the bird veered and twisted about.
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This young male Snail Kite image was created witht the Canon 800mmm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/9. The key to create this image was using 45-Point AAFPS so that I could acquire focus with the bird in the center of the frame and then recompose without losing focus.

Instead us allowing a challenging situation to get us really angry we saw it as an opportunity to explore new options and create some great images.

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