Thanks to Bedford Camera and Nikon Professional Services, the new Nikon D6 arrived on my doorstep in the past week. To date, I have been pleased with the results I am getting during my testing. The greater selection of Auto-Focus options has been particularly interesting. Despite a steady downpour of rain, a Black-Crowned Night Heron suddenly appeared out back on the edge of the pond. Shooting with the Nikon D6 and AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens, I followed him as he went about getting dinner….
One of the things that wildlife photography takes is patience and an investment of time. You may get lucky in the first hour of shooting or you may go home without an image after putting hours into the effort. This past weekend was a classic wildlife experience. I was in West Texas on a 12, 000 acre ranch with the primary goal of capturing whitetail images. But there is no guarantee that one is going to be successful. Spent 3 days and a total of 23 hours in various parts of the ranch without much to show for it and then in hour 24 this 10 point whitetail came out of the woods following a doe to exactly one of the spots I had preplanned a shot. Sometimes you get lucky….
While there may not be as many of them as when I was here a decade ago, they are still everywhere!
We have a favorite course we play in the early morning. Every time we play, we drive up to the second hole and there is our buddy behind the tee box making a racket on the dead tree trying to find breakfast….
Morale of this story is be ready. Shooting with the Df and an 80-400mm during a round of golf in Western Florida, I came over a knoll to this wood stork. Camera was all set to go, so it was a straight forward click. Critters near golf courses are used to people so they tend to stay put. The fact that he had just caught breakfast was also occupying his attention….
During my recent trip to the Northern Yellowstone area around Gardiner, MT there were plenty of opportunities for photographing a wide variety of wildlife. And plenty of opportunities to get close-ups via Nikon’s great 600mm or go a bit wider with Nikon’s 300mm or 24mm-70MM. In telling the story, maybe these two images highlight the contrast between the two approaches.
I could have titled this “Confessions of a Former Eyeball Shooter” but that might not have looked too good in Google Searches. There is nothing wrong with a close-up or “eyeball shot” but if you’re in the middle of the winter wonderland of Lamar Valley in Yellowstone can you really show that if all you see is that critter’s face. So working with my friend Moose, and looking back over old files, I see myself going wider to tell the story.
I have been on a quest (hence very little posting) to reorganize my files and make sure they are properly keyworded. Two recent covers were largely attributable to being able to find existing images fast and keywords can certainly aid in that process.
In going back over images, I have found a lot that bring back memories. This one is of a Greater Antillean Nightjar that I almost stepped on while touring some remote areas of the Bahamas several years ago. They basically just lay their eggs, no real nest as you can see from the second image. And it blends in really well as I never saw it until the last second. It never moved but I did. Then at a sufficient length away not to further disturb it, I shot the image below.
Back to Alaska to photograph Alaskan Moose. Have had two excellent days of shooting with friends in the Anchorage area. More to come.