September 01, 2014, 04:58:16 AM

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Messages - DominoDude

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1
EOS Bodies / Re: Is Canon now two generations behind Nikon?
« on: August 30, 2014, 07:41:47 PM »
*comes in with a shovel and cleans up the mess that once was a horse*

2
Theater, Concert and Event / Playing For Change
« on: August 30, 2014, 07:32:24 PM »
A shot of Grandpa Elliott from tonight's concert with Playing For Change. (I've got some 470 more, with gritty noise and all, so you might expect to see a few more later on.)

3
Landscape / Re: Ugly landscapes
« on: August 30, 2014, 12:50:11 PM »
Aha! I had trouble finding out where to post my shot, but this is probably better than my first ideas like posting in "Milky Way" or "Animal Kingdom"... :-P

I'm quite sure that in the area I shot this lurks a farmer/artist/painter with way too much time on his hands.

4
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: August 30, 2014, 12:16:34 PM »
One piece of Heron giving his/hers potential prey the evil eye.

5
Animal Kingdom / Re: Let's Get it On
« on: August 30, 2014, 12:12:43 PM »
Am I quick to react or what? Anyways, here's one of birds rustling their feathers.
Eurasian Tree Sparrows from last spring -->

6
I will force myself to use mine tonight at an outdoor concert with Playing for Change. It'll be raining. It'll be (almost) dark, so I don't have to be so ashamed to put it on my camera - no one will recognize it. And I don't care all that much if it gets soaked. If I shoot enough there might be a single keeper to publish later on tonight. I don't fear that the shots will be soft, just that there is a close to infinite chance that they won't be sharp where I want them to be.

7
Photography Technique / Re: Tripod/camouflage for birds/wildlife?
« on: August 30, 2014, 09:25:13 AM »
Tossing in a li'l more info:

I noticed the mention above of playing sounds. I've done that with just one single species, and it was extremely successful. However, one should be careful when doing so. If playing an alarm call while the birds are busy nesting, you can spook them so much that they'll abandon the nest. Xeno-canto is The site to use for finding good bird sounds, and it can help you identify birds if you encounter a bird you cannot see, but only hear.
(Xeno-canto -> http://www.xeno-canto.org/ )
Omni Images also mentioned baits, and to that I can add what a birding friend of mine used while we were looking for a European Stonechat: He had a low plastic box with red squirmy mealworms in it. It had a clear lid, on which he placed a few of the mealworms, while the rest stayed "safe" and unreachable under the lid. The box was placed on the ground with a rigged branch near it, and the birding friend setup his camera so he had focus on the branch. A method he had used before with great results.

If the MFD is too long on a lens, adding an extension tube of suitable size can help.

Happy hunting!

8
Lenses / Re: Your favorite older EF lens
« on: August 29, 2014, 12:05:56 PM »
400mm f/5.6L, the oldest lens still in the current lineup. Lightweight, well-balanced, fast AF, sharp, affordable - the perfect birding lens for beginners and those on a budget.
^ Yupp, I agree exactly with what she said!

9
Photography Technique / Re: Back-button focus?
« on: August 29, 2014, 11:59:00 AM »
I'm using it since day one on my 7D, and I can't even imagine going back to shooting without it. If there would be any drawbacks it would be that since your thumb is occupied pressing the AF-On button, you won't be able to fiddle with the joystick or controlling the dial on the back at the same time.

10
Photography Technique / Re: Tripod/camouflage for birds/wildlife?
« on: August 29, 2014, 11:47:37 AM »
*cracks knuckles, stretches arms and dives in*

Here's part of my process:

My general approach is that the first time I visit a location, where I want to shoot birds, I look around to get a feel for what kind of trees/bushes grow in the area. Are there any traces of other animals? Can I hear/smell/see anything that gives indications of what types of birds to expect in that location? Even more than habitats suitable for nesting, I look for water in all forms nearby - water is crucial for all lifeforms, so it'll better be around!
Secondly I try to build a mental map of how the light and shadows behave, and I snap a few shots of the surroundings. At first visit I don't expect to bring home any superb bird shots. It's more of a reconnaissance.

When I go back to shoot "for real" I go handheld with a 400mm (and with a few other lenses in the backpack). The camera is set up for what I expect to find, and the lens prefocused to the distance at which I'm guessing I will most likely find my "prey".
Normally I don't use camouflage, but I do have a ghillie suit with me if needed. As much as possible I use the surroundings to my advantage, and I tend to not smell like a fresh rose... (The word "reek" should come to your mind.) The phone is on silent/vibration. I move slowly and patiently.

If there are any natural blinds, or birding towers, in the vicinity, I use them. What I see, I see with my naked eye or through my 400/5,6.

If I could afford it, my setup would be different, but I will have to cope with what I've got, and make the best out of it.
Whenever I can I try to pick up some usable knowledge from other birders and wildlife shooters (for example Brutus Östling -> http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/ambassadors/brutus_ostling.do and http://www.brutusphoto.com/aboutprof.php).

And a final tip: If I get birds really close to me, I try to not be curious about them, but make them be curious about me.

What will get you closest to birds? If you grab a handful of seeds and chase around in a park, full of pigeons and sparrows, for 10 minutes, or you take the same handful of seeds and slowly walk into the park, opening the hand and then wait?

11
EOS Bodies / Re: MISSING Camera body feature
« on: August 28, 2014, 01:33:07 PM »
Hmmm.... I don't see any problem. I've been shooting with BBF since day one on my 7D, and the way it works it is AF Servo if I keep the button pressed, and One shot if I just press, acquire focus and then let go.

12
Lighting / Your experience of Metz flashes.
« on: August 28, 2014, 01:26:15 PM »
It took me years to buy my first dSLR, and I suspect that it will take me another bunch of years until I buy my first serious flash.
I had my first experience with a Metz "hammerhead" on a Nikon F-something back in the mid 80's, and it had a colour consistency like no other flash and it was extremely reliable. Does anyone of you have any recent experience with Metz? Quirks and oddities? Hardly known flaws and so on...

13
EOS Bodies / Re: Pricing for the 7D Replacement
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:37:05 PM »
My guestimate would be like 20% up from the initial price of the 7D, so I think we'll land a few bucks below $2000. Usually the exchange rate for serious electronics seem to be 10,00SEK for 1USD (instead of the real 6,98SEK per 1USD), so I won't be surprised if I see it in Swedish shops for 20 000,00 SEK.

14
Lenses / Re: Which lens to take on bike trip?
« on: August 28, 2014, 08:18:00 AM »
I would ditch the pancake, even if it's light, and go with the 70-200 and a set of extension tubes. Should be the combination with the smallest overlap and still give you ways of covering everything from 15mm to 200mm, and with good closeup capability.
The fact that your 70-200 is non-IS might indicate that the 100L Macro would be a better choice for low-light shooting and for the shots with a longer shutter time.

Since you intend to go to Key West, make sure that you have a lens that's suitable for shooting the cats at Ernest Hemingway House! The world lacks photos of cats... ;)

15
EOS Bodies / Re: Are you planning to purchase a 7D2
« on: August 27, 2014, 12:59:54 PM »
For now food and bills are far higher up on the list of things that need attention, so I voted No.
Long term planning involves going FF, with a possibility that I keep my current 7D - a Mark II of the 7D would have to be substantially better to be considered. It would also need to be on the shelves for a couple of months so that the price gets a chance to settle at a more decent level.

My wants are vastly different than my needs, but I'll keep following what happens.

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