armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
It appears that after some poking around after a suggestion by [Bad username or site: neopolaris'/ @ livejournal.com] it appears that the bird I photographed may well be a Bewick's Wren. This is particularly interesting as theoretically based on information on whatbird.com, it's way out of it's back yard. They are endangered in Maryland, and they aren't supposed to come as far east as Pennsylvania, so I may have caught quite a rare occurrence. I wonder if there aren't some ornithologists out there that would be very interested to know about it, but I really don't know where to go to find out.
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
I wandered around the park again for a bit today. Managed to get a distance picture of a what looks to me like a wren:



Not much other than that - got a couple of flying crows, but I keep forgetting to do basic things like setting up my exposure compensation when taking a picture of such a dark bird, so it's basically a blurry silhouette against the sky, so it looks pretty crappy.
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
Got some goodish ones today of flying geese:

photos

Picture

Feb. 17th, 2009 02:56 pm
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
I got only a solitary good picture today. The lake was quiet, so I wandered back behind the lake to the picnic area. Managed to hear a woodpecker in the tree, and got a couple of shots, of which only one really turned out worth anything.
armtuk: Cheetah (photography bird)
Today is Saturday, which means I get to go out during the day and take pictures anywhere I want, well, within reason (Phipps conservatory in Pittsburgh is on my list, but that's a weekend, not a lunch-time jaunt). Based on reading I did, I decided to mount the 100-400mm directly on my camera without the extender, which is supposed to improve picture quality, and also means I get auto-focus back.

It was a good call. Today's pictures I think turned out better than almost anything else I've taken. I noticed right away looking through the lens that colours seemed brighter and the picture seemed very sharp. On these pictures, I hardly did any colour modification at all in Aperture. All I really did was crop, and occasionally sharpen.
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
Today I wandered off to Marsh Creek again in hopes of having more luck that Tuesday.

I got a few shots of birds that I'm thinking are maybe crows on the ice, none really turned out thogh, and I thought I was pretty much done. I started packing up, and as I had just closed the trunk, two crows flew over and landed on top of the building next to me. I was dumbfounded. I stood there looking at them for a minute and wondered if I should get my camera out, if they would hang around for long enough. I dithered about it, and the flew off and landed on the ice, at a good range. I quickly got my camera together again and as I looked up they were flying off to the right. It didn't seem as if they flew far so I hurried around the other side of the building, and found the birds wheeling and dancing over the ice a bit far away, but as I was watching, they started flying in front of the building, and I managed to catch a few shots of both a couple of gulls and a couple of crows (I'm sure someone will correct me here). They weren't the best shots ever, but they might be my best shots ever.

I don't know how to figure out how to get sharper pictures though. I'm not sure it was camera shake, as some of them were as high as 1/2000th of a second. I think they just weren't quite in focus. Because of my lens not being the high end f2.8 lens, the camera turns off auto-focus when you slap on the 2x converter, so it was hand-held manual focus all the way. Given that, I'm not too unhappy. I've only had the lens a few days, and I'm still not used to zooming and focusing and taking pictures all in one go yet.

Pictures of birds flying about Marsh Creek
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
Birds in the parking lot of Staples )

In case you are wondering - this is the second post about these particular birds. I got a chance to edit the photos, so I posted the updated versions and removed the old ones. There was not too much I could do about a few of them. They were over-exposed, and some of the highlights got blown out, so editing couldn't do much for that. I will have to remember that taking pictures of mostly white objects against a mostly black background is going to lead to over-exposure. I didn't have much time to think. We parked outside Staples and I saw this flock of birds sitting in the parking lot, and we were already late, so I grabbed my camera, donned the 70-300mm lens and snapped a view piccies without to much thought or reflection, so I'm pretty happy I got even a couple of workable shots.

Again my extreme apologies for my lateness to the gaming session. I had planned ahead to make sure we had enough time, but various things sprung up and we ended up rather later than was okay. We'll endeavour to be more timely in future.

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