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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

William H. Majoros - Bird Photographer

I stumbled across geneticist, wildlife photographer and published fiction author, Bill Majoros', rather comprehensive work on Bird Photography, an e-book available online (graciously offering it for free for those of us who would read it on his website). He is working on an actual paper book that you can buy in store. The book is called "Secrets of Digital Bird Photography" and it is very thorough in the explanations involving how to photograph birds. I'd have to say that I was very impressed with its comprehensive information and wish that I could own a copy of the paper book already. I would have to say that book if it is every published will be a "must have" manual for anyone wishing to learn the techniques of bird photography.

Check out Bill Majoros' site at and take a look at the book "Secrets of Digital Bird Photography" under Publications.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Birds-In-Flight - Seagulls

Still practicing capturing birds-in-flight. The little buggers are fast and it's not very easy. The fast birds like crows and ravens are tough to capture unless you're shooting at roughly around 1/1600 to 1/2500th of a sec. In low light, like cloudy weather you have to push your ISO up to 1/800th of a second. It will put a lot of noise into your photo, however a good noise control program in post processing will do a good job of removing it. I'm starting with gulls which when gliding are easier to capture than crows which will change direction very quickly and thus makes it difficult to track.

Still trying to get the hang of tracking birds, but it seems like it is really tough to get them completely in the frame. I'm looking forward to taking the 70-200mm VRII out, The 70-300mm G is OK, but unfortunately, I seem to get a lot of chromatic aberration. That makes it extremely frustrating to use that particular lens even though I can fill the frame with the extra 100mm of focal length.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Serpentine Fen - May 27, 2008

It's been quite a number of years since I've gone down King George Blvd. down to Serpentine Fen. Serpentine Fen is a wildlife sanctuary for migratory birds. It's a part of the Great Pacific Flyway - a major north-south route for migratory birds. It's a place for birds such as great blue herons, ducks and other wildfowl to take time, rest and refuel for their journeys. Since most birds travel the same route every year, birders and ornithologists can generally predict what time of year a certain species will reach a certain location.

map of Serpentine Fen

Map of the North American Wild Bird Flyways

These photos were of the first trip we made to Serpentine Fen in 2008. We did do one the following year, however the photos are still on the computer that will not boot so I'm going to have to remove that drive and have it installed in a hard-case so that I can transfer the photos onto the laptop drive.

The trip allowed us to photograph great blue herons and white-crowned sparrows. I also saw what appeared to be a juvenile bald eagle however I couldn't get my D50/70-300mm f/4-5.6 G combo up fast enough to get a clear bead on it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snowfall Warning - Fraser Valley

Evidently there's a snowfall warning for the Lower Mainland. Evidently the weather gurus were right today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Green Timbers Urban Forest Park

Green Timbers Urban Forest Park is unique in Surrey. A forest located in an urban setting, the park brings a bit of the wild into Surrey. Home to ducks, pied billed grebes, a great blue heron and other forms of wildlife, it is a great little hideaway for those who are nature inclined but who can't go too far from their home.

For me, this is a 20 minute walk to Green Timbers from where we live. It provides us with the opportunity for practice photography in taking photos of wild mallards who tend to frequent the duck pond between April and November. It is a welcome bit of forested area where I can commune with nature and feel like I have the opportunity to see wildlife that I don't ordinarily have the opportunity to see without having to take a long trip out by bus. It is a welcome location within walking distance.

For more info about Green Timbers, one can visit the website at Green Timbers Heritage Society Website and learn what they do for the conservation of this jewel in Surrey's Nature Conservancy. There is nothing more beautiful than a sunny day, watching the glint of the sun off the water and seeing mallards practically walking up to you. It's a great place to place to spend a few hours or an afternoon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Corms at Canada Place

"Why am I stuck here with a couple of dump ducks???"

"belly-ache, belly-ache, belly-ache!!!"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ikebana Style Photography

I've been experimenting with other styles of photography, however I'm been leaning lately towards ikebana style photography. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging. Instead of photographing "arranged" flower arrangements, I've been looking at how branches interact naturally and using those bare branches in a photographic manner so as to imitate "ikebana". Here are some examples:

Hopeful Bloom


Moribana Hi-Key Photo

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nikon N50

Gastown Photo had a sale on 35mm film cameras. The 35mm film cameras are slowly becoming outdated and thus dropping in price like a rock. My wife picked up an Nikon N50 for $5.00 plus tax. The camera works and it loaded the film once we got the CR6 battery in the camera. You can't beat $5.60 for a 35mm camera.

The Nikon N50 manual in .pdf: Nikon N50 Instruction Manual

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

The Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 ultrawide lens is a nice lens for those who want to do landscape photography. At 10mm at the widest, it is a DX lens which on the APS-C sensor comes out to about 15mm with the 1.5X crop factor. The 10-24mm is a well-constructed lens with a metal F-mount. Test shooting the lens in the London Drugs store, I noticed just how wide the lens is. This is a zoom lens with an aperture of f/3.5 at the 10mm range and a f/4.5 at 24mm.

The main competitors are the Canon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 USM for Canon users, the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 and an earlier version in f/4-5.6 available in both Nikon and Canon mounts. Sigma also has an 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6. Pentax also has a 12-24mm with an aperture of f/4 at all focal lengths. Olympus has it's 9-18mm f/4-5.6. Sony also has a 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6.

For those who want an ultrawide lens with a fast aperture of f/2.8, there is the Tokina 11-16mm. But those who have a DSLR without a integrated lens motor will be restricted to manual focus with this lens as the lens does not have a in-lens autofocus motor. Namely those with a D60, D40, D40x, D3000, D3100, D5100. D5000 bodies.

Nikon 10-24mm f.3.5-4.5

the angle of view of the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wildlife Photographer Meme

Just had to create my own "Wildlife Photographer Meme. Borrowing a few photos to round out the photography. I'll redo them when I get my own Nikon 600mm f/4.