Galapagos Day 5/Afternoon, Urbina Bay, Isabella & BAA Bulletin 334 « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Galapagos Day 5/Afternoon, Urbina Bay, Isabella & BAA Bulletin 334

Galapagos Day 5/Afternoon, July 10: Urbina Bay, Isabella

[Not a valid template]
Both originals for this two-frame top and bottom stitched image were created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 250. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/10 set. II could not quite fit the whole head in the frame along with the spines so I locked focus on the eye and then raised the camera to create the top of the head and back that I needed. Going to a smaller aperture would have brought up much unwanted background detail in the form of dark shadows.

Our wet landing at Urbina Bay featured several of the large, yellow Land Iguanas in decent settings. a circling adult Galapagos hawk, and a host of landbirds that responded eagerly to spishing during the last hour of daylight. The landbirds included Yellow Warbler, Small Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch, and Galapagos Mockingbird. Many of us chose to photograph some pretty yellow blossoms. It was after sunset when Juan finally rounded us all up for the trip back to the Beagle.

[Not a valid template]
This adult Galapagos Hawk began circling closer and closer to us but was way up there. The best move was to grab the 800 off the tripod and hand hold it. Hand holding it with the birds directly overhead is a lot easier than trying to hold it steady with a perched static subject in front of you. This one was created with the aforementioned Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. (Should have been 800). Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/5.6. When going from photographing birds or iguanas at close range you need to remember to switch to far distance range limit. This once I did remember. Then I set 45-point AF as with my unsteadiness it does a better job of holding focus. One of the two properly framed images was sharp.
[Not a valid template]
This female Medium Ground-Finch was photographed in low light with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, a 25mm Extension tube for close focus, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/100 sec. at f/8. As regular readers know, the new image stabilization on the Canon 800 is nothing short of amazing.
[Not a valid template]
By the middle of the first week we were old hands at getting in and out of the pangas safely with our gear. Actually, one person did slip and go down to one knee with a 400 DO lens in the rear pouch of his vest. That would be me. 🙂 But the wool hat kept the salt water off of my expensive glass and I was back on my feet almost before my knee hit the sand. That little excitement occurred on our landing at Darwin Bay, Tower Island on our first full day. I was just a bit careless for an instant. I made this image with the Canon 70-200mm IS L zoom lens handheld at 85mm) with the EOS-7D. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/4. That’s Denise Ippolio getting gracefully into the panga as Juan holds her 500.

BIRDS AS ART Bulletin 334

BIRDS AS ART Bulletin 334 is on-line now and can be viewed here.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is the gear that I used that afternoon at Urbina Bay:

Canon 70-200mm f/4 l IS lens
Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body
Canon EF Teleconverter 1.4X II
Canon EF 25mm Extension Tube
Canon EOS-7D

And from the BIRDS AS ART On-line store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Carbon Fiber tripod

Mongoose M3.6

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our Shopper’s Guide.

2 comments to Galapagos Day 5/Afternoon, Urbina Bay, Isabella & BAA Bulletin 334

  • Peter F

    Hi Art,

    For the hawk shot you mentioned that it should have been shot at ISO800 (rather than 400). Is that because you would have preferred to shoot at 1/1000 instead of 1/500, due to the fact that you were shooting hand-held?

    Just curious.

    Peter F.