Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The End Of A Blog

Well, I’ve decided to just post my pictures on Facebook instead of trying to keep up both Facebook and a blog.  You can find me over there (http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1614433559).  I may be back to this blog some day… who knows?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Burrowing Owl In Flight

There were at least four burrowing owls this day.  I’ve had other people tell me that they’ve had owls sweep down and knock their hat off or dive bomb their dog.  So far, the owls have always screeched and flown circles around me.

_MG_6483Canon EOS 7D w/ EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM +2.0x
ISO 400, 400mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec (Cropped)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coyote In The Hay

After seeing an owl in our backyard, I was inspired to pay a visit to a nearby parliament of burrowing owls.  As I rode up on my bike this lone coyote trotted up and didn’t seem to have much regard for me.  It keep about 20 yards away at all times, but didn’t seem to mind me being there.  It roamed around, presumably looking for the owls nests.  These burrowing owls are great at distracting you with their calls as they try to lead you away from their burrows.

_MG_6461Canon EOS 7D w/ EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM +2.0x
ISO 800, 380mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec (Cropped)

This coyote stayed around for a while and eventually took off to the other end of the hay fields.  It was at sunrise and it was close enough that I wish I wouldn’t have had the 2x extender in, but I didn’t want to take the time to take it out in case it took off.  I’ve got some great owl shots coming next, Seattle, and some family portraits of the Robinson family.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Backyard Owl

There is an owl that visits us every once in a while.  This is the first time I’ve tried to photograph it though.  Unfortunately, I was not ready for it.  Fortunately, I learned a lot about the shot I want and will be better prepared next time.

The first hurdle was lighting, I ran into the problem of not wanting to use my flash.  I figured I would scare it off if I did.  So, I was left to handholding long exposures at first.  Too blurry!  Solution A, I got out my tripod. But I soon found that the owl didn’t want to hold still for long exposures even if my camera was still.  Solution B, a flashlight didn’t scare it off, but lighting up the power lines along with the owl didn’t make for a great shot.  Alternatives: Using a flashlight might produce a good looking shot if I’m prepared with my longer lens and can get close-up enough to cut the power lines out of the picture.  I could also crop it, but the low light brings out the noise more on a crop.

The second hurdle was focusing in such low light.  It was easier when the owl was lit up with a flashlight, but without it, I was guessing and trying to manual focus.  Next time I’ll try my 50mm f/1.4 lens and see if it able to focus better.

The best picture I ended up is one that I want to improve on next time.

_MG_6245Canon EOS 7D w/ EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
ISO 250, 145mm, f/2.8, 1.0 sec

I still like the shot, but the 1.0 second exposure left the owl’s edges a little blurry.  I think it would have been a great shot if the moon was sharp as well as the owl.  The only way that would ever happen though is to have a very small aperture and a very still owl for an even longer exposure.  Or maybe I’ll take an additional photo with the moon in in focus and blend the two shots together to make one photo with both the owl and the moon in focus.  That sounds like an easier plan to me versus relying on the owl to sit still for 20 or 30 seconds.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Seattle Trip

Christi and I spent this last weekend in Seattle visiting her sister’s family.  It was a very relaxing get away.  Lindsey and Preston were great hosts and tour guides.  I’ve got a load of great pictures from the plane, Pikes Market, the downtown underground, our ferry ride to the peninsula, seals, eagles, bison, the locks, waterfalls, the tulip festival, and more.  This should keep me busy for a while.  He’s one that Preston took of us.

_MG_7122Canon EOS 7D w/ EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
ISO 100, 17mm, f/4.0, 1/800 sec – Cropped