Pic Share 1

Not every photo has come with a great learning moment or is part of a larger narrative. So today I just wanted to share a few miscellaneous moments, and encourage you to share photos of your own!

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Adolescent Red-winged Blackbird
Canon T3, Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM
1/2000th, f/4, ISO 3200
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Sparrows
Canon T3, Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM
1/2000th, f/4, ISO 3200
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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Canon T3, Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM
1/2000th, f/4, ISO 3200

It may be a simple picture, but this shot of what I believe to be a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is my favorite image to date. Wildlife photography is often more a science than an art. This image, however, appeals to me the way a painting might. The muted colors, busy background, gentle rain, and posture of the subject give me such a strong feeling of melancholy.

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Red Fox
Canon T3, Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM
1/2000th, f/4, ISO 3200
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Red Fox
Canon T3, Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM
1/2000th, f/4, ISO 3200

After my trip to Hawk Mountain, a beautiful Red Fox was generous enough to come almost within petting distance of my kitchen window. I sprinted to my camera and managed a few nice shots! Sometimes you’ll spend all day sitting on a mountain and not get a single shot. Other times the wildlife may come and find you instead!

Do you have any miscellaneous picture you’d like to share? Post a link in the comments!

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Challenge: Birds in Flight

The best way to get better is to practice. After taking more than 1000 images with my new lens I felt ready for a challenge. We have all seen beautiful images of soaring songbirds and hunting raptors; what better for a challenge than birds in flight? After missing so many shots during my Lake Day, I knew I needed some more practice. I spent much of my time since then working on this challenge, and feel comfortable crossing off one of my short-term goals: learn about approaching birds and predicting flight patterns. So with today’s post I want to talk a little about some observations I made and lessons that I learned from this challenge.

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Lake Day

The weather was sunny and warm – the perfect weather for a lake day. So I woke up early, packed up my gear, and embarked on a photography quest. My hope for the day was to practice photographing birds in flight; although the wildlife at the lake had other plans.

There were not many birds flying, but I did manage to get a few decent photos. My primary subjects were Double-crested Cormorants. They spent most of their time diving into the water and feasting of fish. Slightly awkward flyers, the Double-crested Cormorants would occasionally take off from the water and fly low across my field of view.

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First Light

With my new 300mm lens in hand I headed out into the fields and woods surrounding my house and a nearby pond. I didn’t have any particular goals in mind for this shoot, except to try out the new lens and see what kind of results might be possible. There are several bird feeders set up around the house that attract song birds, woodpeckers and squirrels alike. I decided to camp out near one feeder handing from a blooming dogwood tree. Depending on where I sat I could fill the background of the image in a number of ways, but primarily shot so that a large red barn in the background would create a bright creamy bokeh.

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Starting Off

My exploration into the world of photography began a few months ago when I purchased a Canon Rebel T3 for astrophotography use. I had been slowly acquiring the gear required to take pictures of planets, galaxies and nebulae, and the last thing that I needed was a camera. I purchased the T3 in an effort to accomplish my astrophotography goals and save a little bit of money compared to the higher end models. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do any astrophotography since I purchased the camera as I go to school in a city with too much light pollution. My first goal for the summer is to bring my astrophotography gear to my family’s home in VT and finally use my camera for its intended purpose.

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