View Full Version : Gortex is a pale imitation

03-20-2010, 12:07 AM
Stood for a while watching these two yesterday. They were dunking themselves repeatedly. It's apparently part of the courting behavior. I was just fascinated with the way water sheeted off of them.


Wicked Dark
03-20-2010, 07:53 AM
makes me cold just looking. you've caught that sheeting action well.

03-20-2010, 11:16 AM
Cool birds, This might also look good with a tighter crop.

Mad Aussie
03-20-2010, 05:39 PM
Good timing to get that sheeting.

03-20-2010, 07:46 PM
Nice shot! I agree with Marko - I wish I could see more detail on the birds. Maybe a longer lens would have been required though.

03-20-2010, 08:18 PM
They actually made it easy to catch the sheeting action. They were at their routine long enough that I just kept shooting and figured I'd get something that turned out. I'd also spend some time throwing away a whole lot of shots.

Marko, I agree that this would look better with a tighter crop. It's the same problem as the hawk - I wasn't that close to them, and I'd cropped quite a bit already. I'm always hesitant to crop too drastically, because things get blurry after a certain point.

Masp, I'd love a longer lens, but I haven't managed to win the lottery yet. (Darn!) Maybe one long enough for some of the pictures I try for will make it into the budget in a year or so. But for detail, how's this?

(She was nesting. Between two garages. Can't understand why she'd glare at me like that)

03-20-2010, 11:14 PM
Masp, I'd love a longer lens, but I haven't managed to win the lottery yet. (Darn!) Maybe one long enough for some of the pictures I try for will make it into the budget in a year or so. But for detail, how's this?

Oh, this is amazing. The texture of the features is really nice. It's interesting that even though it looks like you are shooting in bright sunlight, the highlights look crisp but not blown out.

Maybe she's just curious about your camera rather than glaring. You're lucky to live in an area where there are ducks roaming around the residential areas. All we get are pigeons. Not that I have anything against them. :)

As for getting a longer lens, tell me about it. :D I've been researching dozens of lenses trying to find something inexpensive with good reach and image quality that won't feel like there's a brick attached to my camera.

03-21-2010, 04:10 PM
Oh, she was glaring at me. She'd hunker her head down like this every time I moved. I probably could have gotten a bit closer, but I wasn't going to chance it.

Two things helped this photo. The first is that I cropped it down, eliminating almost all of the garage doors, and the blown out portions that went with them. The other is that I shoot bracketed, always. When you're dealing with animals, especially birds, things can change rapidly, and there just isn't time to change the settings on a camera. The bracketing gives you a good chance of having at least one image from a set that's workable. This one started off as the darker image. Once the garage doors were eliminated, it was just a matter of lightening things up overall, with a little extra attention to the head, and contrasting it a little bit.

To answer your question in the other thread, the kit lens is the only one I have, so everything gets shot with it. I was shooting with an Olympus SP-550 before that, and a Canon Powershot A-10 before that. They taught me to find out what the camera was capable of and to learn to work within those limits. Doesn't mean I didn't try for pictures anyway; I did, a lot. And most of the time threw the results away. I also learned, with the Olympus, to pay attention to animal behavior. That camera has a pretty bad shutter lag, so I had to anticipate movement, or to respond the moment I heard or saw movement. So the lens I have now? Yeah, I'm still going to take shots it isn't capable of, and throw most of them out. But my odds of coming up with a picture, whether because of maneuvering or trying an odd angle, are better, because of what the prior cameras forced me to work with.

As for the geese, you can have some of ours. They winter over more and more, and they're everywhere. Every surface they walk on is covered with goose poo, and they're incredibly hard on the grass. We don't mind them, we just don't want so many.

For wildlife shots, go to any parks around, or apartment complexes that have ponds. You should have squirrels (who know what a ziploc bag is. Carry peanuts, and you'll soon have them chasing you down the path for a handout) and the small songbirds. If anyone has a bird feeder up, that will be your best spot for shooting. They'll scatter when you first show up, but if you stand still, they'll soon be back. "Bird brain" has some truth to it. Don't discount pigeons. There have been a couple of lovely pictures of them posted here - I know MAW has posted some, don't remember who else. We have them here, too, and I know they're skittish, so learning to sneak up and shoot them could probably teach you quite a bit.

03-21-2010, 08:59 PM
Ahh, goose poo. That's the part of having cute animals around that's easy to forget. :) I'll remember to try bracketing exposures. Right now I'm shooting with a dinky little compact, but fortunately it does support bracketing. As soon as I get my DSLR, I'll be going to take some decent pictures though. When I finally make my decision on which one to get that is. :D

By the way, have you looked at the Nikon 55-200 VR lens? Based on the excessive amount of research I've been doing, it's a kit lens for the D3000 and D5000, but it has very decent optical quality for the price (see photozone.de or slrgear.com). The normal price is $225, but it's only an extra $100 when buying a D3000 or D5000, so maybe you can strike a deal with someone who is buying a new Nikon or probably find one used. Also, some of the knowledgeable folks around here may have good advice on which of the longer lenses are a good deal.

03-22-2010, 05:32 AM
very nice captures