Archive for Sirui EP204S monopod

Happy Halloween

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2017 by lilybug1960

Happy Halloween.
 
I couldn’t just post an image of the perfect owl, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, for Halloween and not do a little research about the holiday. Halloween is also known as All Hallow’s Eve. It marks the start of a 3 day celebration of remembrance of those that have passed. A lot of the traditions are of Celtic origin. A lot of the foods that are associated with Halloween are based with Christians and the absence of eating meat on this day for things like apples, potato pancakes and other vegetarian items, lots of things that are associated with harvest as well I guess. So don’t feel guilty about eating the harvest of candy, its a tradition.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-800E, Aperture Priority mode, f8, ISO 800, resulting in a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and L10 head, MindShift Gear TrailScape 18L, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear, #Halloween

Day 1 at PhotoPlus and Unrelated Hawk

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2017 by lilybug1960

Day 1 at PhotoPlus and Unrelated Hawk.
 
This Hawk has nothing to do with this post, sort of. So yesterday was the first day of PhotoPlus up here in NYC. When I was boarding the airplane yesterday in Atlanta, I saw my friend and fellow photographer Rob Knight getting on board as well. I asked if he was headed to the show and he said yes. I asked if he was interested in sharing a cab, and again he agreed. Talking with Rob was a nice distraction for me in the cab because it took my attention off of the near 500 collisions we would encounter on the way to the Javit’s Center. Now it takes me a couple of trips to get used to style of driving up here, it reminds me of cars trying to merge at the drive thru at Bojangles if the Cajun Filet biscuits were 5 cents for a morning. I also realized they put a little tv screen in the back seat to cover up all the honking that goes on. I think if your horn is broken up here, you could be in serious trouble.
 
I checked in at the Javit’s Center and got my name badges, then started to wander. I saw lots of old friends up here so far. I talked with a lot of photographers, who are super interested in all the cool gear available. I saw and/or talked with photographers that were here for the networking, meeting folks and some hoping to get sponsors for their businesses. That is always kind of funny to watch. I know from experience of being here before, it is amazing how some folks will just come to the show to convince the manufacturers they “need” to send them free gear. Its part of the business, I know, I have sponsors, but some folks are pretty ruthless in their attempts.
 
I got to hang out with some great folks at the Tamron Booth, it is the one time of the year I can see all of them at once. What a great group of folks, I am honored to call them my friends. Same with the folks at the Sirui Booth. The photo industry is small enough where everyone almost knows everyone, much like my hometown of Jasper. One huge highlight of hanging out in the Tamron Booth was seeing and playing with the new Tamron 100-400mm Di VC lens. What a great lens! I did a few images to test it shooting fairly far away and was really impressed with the sharpness! It will be hitting the streets soon and at $799 it will be a huge hit!
 
My presentation at the Tamron Booth was a lot of fun and I had a crowd of “standing room only” folks, not because there were hundreds of people but because there were no chairs! Seriously though, they were super, very interactive with my presentation and had lots of great questions. Ken Hubbard, from Tamron, and I left shortly after the presentation to head over to the Lincoln Center for my presentation to the Sierra Photo NY group. The area of the Lincoln Center we were in was where the Julliard and NY Opera folks meet. I didn’t know what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised so many folks from the big city came to hear a country boy talk about photography. Again, lots of great questions, they laughed at my jokes (don’t judge them for that), and we went out to a great little diner after the presentation. Just a fantastic group and I look forward to seeing many of them again in the next few days as well as the future.
 
Back to the Hawk, it is a 6 month old Red-tailed Hawk from the picnic last week. I haven’t had the opportunity to get the camera out here yet so I had to post something! I added a few new birds to my life list so far, the Blue Light Warbler and the Red Light Warbler, both make the sound similar to sirens. Both are active during daylight and at night. My favorite so far is the Yellow Cab Horned Warbler, which makes the sound of a car horn. You hear a lot more than you see. 😉
 
I will say this, I really like the people of NYC, they are friendly, helpful and honest. I asked directions from several folks and it amazed me at how they would go out of their way to help. Very much like my hometown, just several million more folks here.
 
I won’t give all the details on the image, I’ve rambled enough, but it was made with the Tamron 150-600mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-800E and a Sirui EP204S monopod. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Red-tailed Hawk, Adult female

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2017 by lilybug1960

Red-tailed Hawk, Adult female.
 
Along with the Eurasian Eagle Owl, the falconers brought 2 Red-tailed Hawks. One was a 6 month old juvenile female, the other a 5 year old female. The main way to tell the difference without sending in a feather for testing is the size of the bird. Larger birds of prey are typically females. I have photographed this particular bird two years ago at the picnic that year. She is a beauty for sure. Weighing in at just under 3 pounds, she is an incredible hunter according to the handler. He said she will be released back into the wild next year. By law the falconers have to release them again once they reach breeding age. It is still an amazing feeling to be this close to such a beautiful bird!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-800E, Aperture Priority, f8, ISO 800, shutter speed of 1/200th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and L10 head, MindShift Gear TrailScape 18L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear, #MCTGA

“You looking at me”?

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2017 by lilybug1960

“You looking at me”?
 
The only thing more mesmerizing than seeing the orange eyes of a Eurasian Eagle Owl would be to have them staring through you like this one did to me. She was fascinated by the sound of the camera and the feet on my Sirui monopod. The great thing about using a long lens, like I did, was the minimum focusing distance of the Tamron is close enough that I could fill the frame with the owl’s face almost with very little post process cropping and be far enough away not to scare the owl. The owl was moving so I had to move back a little to leave room in the frame as it shifted left and right slowly. I think people see an owl like this and don’t realize how strong it can be. This owl is over 2 feet long and almost 6 pounds. One person asked if they could move in beside the owl to get a photo with it. The falconer replied, “only if you don’t need that ear”. I thought that was the quote of the day for me.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-800E, Aperture Priority, f8, ISO 800, resulting in a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and L10 head, MindShift Gear FirstLight 20L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

Eurasian Eagle Owl and a Picnic

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2017 by lilybug1960

Eurasian Eagle Owl and a Picnic.
 
Yesterday was the Annual Member’s Picnic for the Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia held at a private residence in Tate Mountain Estates near our house. Evelyn and I have been involved with them for about 20 years now and have been donating our services for them as well. They help to preserve the lands around us for future generations to enjoy, so we believe strongly in their mission. At yesterday’s meeting a newly acquired property, Forry Farms, was dedicated by the MCTGA along with the Forry family to their late parents who were long time supporters of the MCTGA. All I can say is what an incredible gift by the kids to keep their parents dream alive for generations to com.
 
Every year they have a group of Falconers bring in some birds for people to see and learn about their craft. This year there were 2 Red-tailed Hawks, a Lanner Falcon, and this beautiful Eurasian Eagle Owl. Although it looks similar to our Great Horned Owl, it is significantly larger and native to Europe. These Falconers are always a pleasure to talk with and we are going to do a Birds of Prey workshop with them in the future.
 
Get involved with local conservation efforts if you can. It is very rewarding and you meet some of the greatest people all of which share your love of the outdoors. If you live in Georgia, check out the MCTGA!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-800E, Aperture Priority mode, Matrix metering, f8, ISO 800, resulting in a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, Vibration Compensation active, Sirui P204S monopod and L10 head, MindShift Gear TrailScape 18L backpack, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

American Kestrel

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2017 by lilybug1960

American Kestrel.
 
This is a male American Kestrel I photographed at the Outdoor Discovery Center last week in Holland, Michigan. I wanted to discuss two things relating to not only this image but many others. First, it is a captive animal in a center and can not be released into the wild. Birds in a center will often have jesses, the leather straps on their legs, don’t be dishonest and try to remove them and try to pass the bird as a wild bird. Quoting my friend Andre, “don’t lie”, just show the bird as it is. There is nothing wrong with photographing birds in a center. It teaches you how to apply things that you are learning when you do get out in the “wild” and are shooting the birds in their own environment. Plus it is a chance to just get a great image of a beautiful bird!
 
Secondly, I see birds like this or even in the wild cropped really tight in the image. I think back on one of the many lessons that John Shaw taught me, and that was to leave room in the image around the subject. He used to joke, “if you can’t make it good, make it big”. This really resonates with me because I like to get tight on the bird, but only when it shows perfect detail. Filling the frame with a subject to make up for sharpness or movement works against the photographer. In addition, you are killing any chance you have of marketing the image in either digital or print form. If it is too tight and you are making a print, often you will end up clipping part of the bird. Leave space, you don’t always have to fill the frame with the bird or any singular subject like in macro work as well. I think the background adds so much to the image.
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 900, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear

2 Perspectives, 1 Lens

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2017 by lilybug1960

2 Perspectives, 1 Lens.
 
This is one of the biggest reasons that I feel this lens is such a great lens for “Zoos”. I am standing in pretty much the same spot for both of these images the only thing that changed is the light and the zoom length. I can simply give an image 2 different “feels” by zooming in and out depending on the actions of the bird. I could step in if needed as well, but I am at about 7 feet away for the images. The first one with the wings spread is at about 100mm, the second is at about 220mm. I say it again, it could be the perfect lens for shooting in situations you need wide, and you want telephoto.
 
Tamron 18-400mm Di-II VC HLD lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 2000 (wings spread) and 800, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui EP204S monopod and K30X ballhead, MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear