A goose is a bird

On Friday night, I made up my mind to wake up early and take a walk at Huntley Meadows.  It’s been a while since I spent a few hours at Huntley.  Spring went quickly and the summer heat is oppressive.  The birds are most active in the early part of the day.

I’ve been using my Sony RX10IV for most of my photography lately.  This is a great camera.  It’s light enough to carry everywhere and it has an incredibly useful zoom range and good built in image stabilization.  Where I used to carry a tripod and a long zoom into Huntley, I just carry the RX10IV and shoot away.  It’s very liberating.

One thing about the setup that I find indispensable.  Without the tripod, you try out different angles on the same subject.  Not that you can’t do that with a tripod mounted camera, but it’s a much faster process when you use a handheld camera with a nice lens that you know can do what you want it to do.

What I really wanted to do is shoot bird pictures.  Alas, although I got up before daybreak, I hesitated long enough (about going out in the heat) that by the time I did get to Huntley, the sun had been out for almost an hour and a half.  Not great.  And so, the birds that I hoped to see were not in view (they were probably there, I just could not find them).  There were ospreys flying and diving, but they were never close enough to get good pictures of them diving.  There were herons that stood on the water, but they were just lounging around.  There were egrets, further still, also lounging around.  A bluebird sang then went into its nest.  Birds aplenty?  Yes.  The early bird gets the worm is a saying that applies to humans, especially bird photographers.  The early guy with the camera gets the birds.

Still, there was a goose that wandered into close proximity.  And with its partner, flew up into the sky in an opportune moment.  I was tracking an osprey, but saw the two large birds in the periphery of the scene, turned around and pressed the shutter button.  The RX10IV has a great AF system.  It focuses quickly and tracks the subject quite well.  Not quite as good as the top of the line Sony A9, but that’s a bigger camera and the lens I want to use with it won’t be out till next month.  And if someone wants to give me that lens, well, I’d take a picture for you.

And that’s how I managed to get a decent goose in flight picture.  Born of frustration, but given an opportunity to do something unplanned.  Sometimes (actually, most of the time), opportunity knocks.  You just need to listen for the sometime faint sound (or in this case, a momentary rush at the edge of the viewfinder).  You never know what’s out there.  And that’s a good thing.

And there were other things aside from birds.  I almost got sunburned staying out too long.  And didn’t bring enough water.  Still, it was a nice morning to sweat.  Take pictures.  And be inspired.

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So go out there.  Take a walk.  Be surprised.  And let nature rejuvenate your mind and soul.

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Yellow, but not Totally

As I was leaving Green Spring Gardens, I noticed a nicely backlit hedge of yellow flowers.  After a few pictures of the flowers (from behind), I walked up the short incline to take a closer look at the flowers.  Thin clouds close to the horizon diffused the light emanating from the afternoon sun.  Still hints of directionality, but much less harsh.   A good opportunity to take some flower close ups.  In the midst of all the yellow, there were insects hovering about. Before I started taking pictures with my macro lens, I never really paid attention to the bees flying about.  I was more concerend about that random bee sting not being so random.  It turns out that bees, for the most part, are more intent on sipping nectar than aiming that stinger on an unsuspecting photographer.  And, they are pretty good models to boot.  Just don’t touch them.

I have to say it.  Mellow yellow, with a twist.

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Seven is a Lucky Number

On the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventeenth year of this century (okay, the 7 stuff breaks down on the fourth descriptor), I was fortunate enough to have my camera and macro lens at Meadowlark Gardens.  Some of the best macro images I took over the summer (and in the last few years) were taken that day.  Moth or butterfly?  Beautiful either way.

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How often do you get a bee “facing off” “against” a moth (second image)?  Or two bugs sitting on a beautiful flower filled stem (first image)?  Or have a moth willing to have a lens close enough to see elements in its eye (third image)?