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Messages - Don Haines

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: November 25, 2013, 05:53:30 PM »
Apologies for the picture quality.. these are VERY heavily cropped images taken in poor light, handheld, from a long distance away. I did not have a decent lens with me when this happened....

For the last week or so there has been a huge flock of geese behind my house. The bay froze completely over last night (-18C) and in the morning the geese were standing on the ice. As I was looking at them a Bald Eagle swooped down and landed on one of the geese. They all took to the air, this one tried, but with an eagle on it's back it did not get far.

I did not know that eagles hunted geese, and would not have believed it without seeing it.... has anyone else seen this behaviour or heard of it before?

Canon General / Re: TEN YEARS FROM NOW.
« on: November 25, 2013, 05:38:21 PM »
4.  Small, high quality cameras will be attached to animals.  Cats will take awesome photos of humans in odd sleeping positions.

Thank you.  Just what I needed this morning.   :P

Been there.... done that.... Fluffy slept all day.... boring!!!!

Canon General / Re: TEN YEARS FROM NOW.
« on: November 25, 2013, 05:35:09 PM »
10 years from now the 7Dmark2 is FINALLY released..... people are still waiting for the updated 100-400F5.6...

EOS Bodies / Re: Just Touching the Surface of Dual Pixel Technology? [CR1]
« on: November 25, 2013, 02:43:21 PM »
Higher Dynamic range?? Would be an obvious choice.

1 Pixel pulls low info, 1 pixel pulls high..

Yea, that's what I was thinking. Especially ever since Magic Lantern started doing that with the dual-readout line skipping on the 5d3. Not quite the same thing, but if the dual-pixel setup lets them have a different read-out/amp for each photosite per bayer CFA point...that'd be pretty awesome. Remains to be seen if they can maintain the good high ISO performance as they are essentially cutting the size of each photosite in half.

HDR is almost a given..... but with 20 million plus focus points and gobs more computing power you can expect to see object tracking autofocus that puts the capabilities of the 1DX to shame...

Aircraft are pressurized to the equivalent of 10,000 feet (3K). If cameras couldn't take it there would be a lot of very unhappy tourists....

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: November 24, 2013, 05:39:28 PM »
So, my question is, what is the concensus or accepted standard relative to nature photography.  What's generally considered acceptable and in what context.  Obviously, shooting specimens in zoos is fun and yields, in many cases, very wonderful photos and I personally wouldn't put it down. 
Interesting question, and some good responses. Personally, I don't put feed out for wildlife as it changes the dynamics and their behavior. For example, where I live in Australia, we have King Parrots. Beautiful, colourful birds that will take seed from your hand. However, they are easily scared off by other birds, even pigeons will hassle them away :)

If I put seed out, the King Parrots will feed, if I stand there. Then, if I move away, the Bronze Wing pigeons will come in, followed by the Crimson Rosellas, which are then chased off by the Galahs, who are then pushed to one side by the Corellas, the Lorikeets and then they are all moved off by the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos :)

All in the space of 10min, I can go from 2-4 King Parrots to 20+ Cockies :)

Plus, the smaller birds, such as the Pardalotes, Fairy Wrens, Eastern Spine bills won't come to a feeder, as it's too open, and they prefer the dense shrubs.

As it is, I have 20+ acres of bush behind my place, and if I time it well, morning or late afternoon, I can find an area where the birds are feeding in the bushes/trees and wait, until something pops past. In this case, its about learning the behaviors of the birds in question, which is all part of the fun for me.

On a nice day, sitting for an hour in the bush isn't a bad option ;)
I live in a rural area, surrounded by very good farmland and there is a LOT of corn growing here. The farmers let it dry as much as possible in the fields, and then harvest it just before winter. Spillage occurs, and the migrating flocks of geese are now making the area a huge stopover during migration... they have lots of food to eat during the day and a sheltered bay to spend the nights on. We humans have most certainly altered the migration pattern and it seems like every year more and more geese stop here..

EOS Bodies / Re: New EOS-1 in 2014 [CR1]
« on: November 24, 2013, 04:43:42 PM »
So, please, what EXACTLY is so compellingly innovative about the A7r that makes it "pioneering new territory"?

Isn't it obvious?  There are two things that make the a7R compellingly innovative:  AvTvM likes it, and Canon didn't make it.

That seems to be it!

Digital cameras are a mature industry.... The last "groundbreaking innovation" was the invention of the digital sensor, which was in reality a refinement of work done with photo-diodes... the only thing in the last 10 years that comes close to innovation was dual-pixel technology.... a new and wonderful way of doing live-view focusing that for some inexplicable reason was also invented by Olympus and is on the OM-D EM-1...

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: November 24, 2013, 02:43:08 PM »
"It is no more cheating than hiring a model for a studio shoot..... and the best thing is that chickadees will work for peanuts"

Of course I agree, that's a great line:)  I'm not some kind of purist, and being new to this I haven't acquired much if any bias but I am aware from the last couple of years of observing that there does seem to be hints of bias out there.

After jrita's reference to set ups I started looking carefully at my New Stokes Field Guide of Birds, looking a the background and perches and I guess it's apparent that there are some set ups in the book that have yielded excellent photos. 

I have lots of mountain ash trees around my acreage and that translates into excellent Bohemian waxwing opportunities.  A look at the Stokes book and hey, same kind of shots.  Not exactly surprising, obviously.  Likewise, my mountain ash trees have yielded great sapsucker shots.  These are essentially equivalent to "set ups", I guess.

However, being the analytical type I am, I then wonder about the implications of all the different perspectives.  Here's an example.  As a little guy of maybe 7 or 8 I received a wonderful, hot off the press, Birds of Alberta book (late 1950's vintage).  I am well aware of the positive influence that book had on me.  Some pictures were missing, many were decent paintings and many were, by todays standards, very poor photos.  Later, in the early 70's I purchased the much improved 2nd edition and at some point became aware, I'm quite certain, that some of the shots were taxidermy.  As a teen I was into taxidermy myself and mounted a fair number of birds - relatives would bring their window kill etc, and my mother's freezer was a source of conflict in the home, so I think my judgement was accurate. ;)

So, my question is, what is the concensus or accepted standard relative to nature photography.  What's generally considered acceptable and in what context.  Obviously, shooting specimens in zoos is fun and yields, in many cases, very wonderful photos and I personally wouldn't put it down. 

Maybe this is something already beaten in some thread (link??).  If not is it worthy of a thread?  I'm not a fan of elitism and am not interested in generating negativity with this, just curious.  Any comments?


There are certainly limits to what can generally be considered "acceptable and true or real". Personally, I would never consider a songbird setup, or baiting waterfowl, to be "fake." Sometimes, even with $25,000 worth of equipment, you just can't get close enough. As Don said, it isn't any different really than hiring a model...only instead of paying your "models" in cash, you pay them in...seed, peanuts, corn, shrimp. ;)

The line really has to be drawn where you begin to interfere with the birds (or wildlife) directly. There are some photographers who are not above capturing and tethering wild birds, manually placing them in closed habitats in order to get a shot. I consider that crossing over the line. If a bird is bred in captivity, or properly trained as in falconry, then I don't see any issue, but to take a wild bird and cage it is too much. There are plenty of bird hospitals where owls, raptors, etc. are kept for a time during their recovery where, if you simply cannot get good shots out in nature, you can go to get closer shots of birds in captivity. Just, don't lie...to yourself or others, when you photograph birds in captivity.

WORSE though, there have been far too many reports of photographers actually breaking the birds wings to keep them from flying off!! That is beyond the pale, and just plain evil. Similar things have sometimes been done with wild animals...breaking a leg to keep them in close proximity. These things are just wrong, and should NEVER be done.

So long as you are not abusing the creatures you photograph, there really isn't anything wrong with using your knowledge of your subjects to attract them closer. Feeding birds seed, fruit, berries, creating pretty perches for them, etc. is harmless. Especially if they are already in your yard eating seeds, fruits and berries. ;) When it comes to chickadees, they are so friendly they will happily eat right out of your hands, especially if you have peanuts. As far as ornithologists are concerned, setting out bird feeders and seed is of great assistance to migrating birds, which have been encountering increasingly difficult migratory journeys as habitat and food supplies are lost. A lot of scientific data is gathered by participants in Cornell's Lab of Ornithology "Feeder Watch" programs and eBird's birding lists, and this information is used to gauge population densities, behavior patterns, migratory patterns, etc. If you want to "legitimize" your use of setups (which will only attract birds already in the area), then you could consider creating bird watch lists and submit them to eBird, and during fall/winter join up for Feeder Watch and submit your sightings there as well.
I try my best not to disturb wild birds, I don't get too close or chase them...Sometimes it works, sometimes not.. but I try to learn from the failures. Different birds react differently.. As mentioned earlier, Chickadees will eat out of your hand. Geese in city parks are used to people feeding them and you can approach within a few feet and they still ignore you, but where I live you are lucky to get within 200 feet before they fly away.

Loons are another bird where it helps to learn their habits.... you could chase one around a lake all day and never get close enough for a decent shot, or you could just sit still in your canoe with a cup of tea and wait... eventually the loon will get back to where you are and then you can shoot away without disturbing it.

But I must confess, there is one flying creature that I have killed in order to take a photograph....

Animal Kingdom / Re: Car-L" meets the lions
« on: November 24, 2013, 02:15:53 PM »
Lovely! Thanks for posting!

Video & Movie / Re: As the Photographers--What will we do?
« on: November 24, 2013, 12:19:41 PM »
I'm not sure how many of you have seen this one (Link is to Forbes editorial):

WOW! ... even if "the photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, claims he got the shot only incidentally", why did he give it to the editor to be published and why the f*ck did the editor even publish it ... bunch of greedy low life a55holes trying to make money of someones misery.

Yes, Dear Rienz---I am agree with you 1000% "  bunch of greedy low life a55holes trying to make money of someones misery ".
Thanks for share your feeling.

And he "accidentally" got the shot..... The camera was accidentally pointed in the right direction... and the settings were accidentally right for the poor lighting conditions.... and it was accidentally in focus... and it was accidentally framed well... and the flash accidentally fired....  but it is no accident that I do not believe him.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: November 24, 2013, 09:26:43 AM »
I have about 10,000 geese in the bay behind the house! They are LOUD!!!

The second shot is a 7 picture panorama and shows about 5 percent of the total flock....

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: November 24, 2013, 09:24:48 AM »

Sorry...the period at the end got included in the link for some reason. Drop the period, and it should work.

Hmm, but this sounds kind of like cheating!? ;)

Once you see the results, you won't think that. ;D

It is no more cheating than hiring a model for a studio shoot..... and the best thing is that chickadees will work for peanuts :)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Materials used in EOS Camera Bodies?
« on: November 23, 2013, 11:39:59 PM »
Why doesn't Canon use Gorilla Glass for their lenses, so we don't have to worry about the lenses being scratched or damaged?
Because they choose the lens materials for their optical properties, not their mechanical properties...

Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: November 23, 2013, 12:22:55 PM »
Moonrise over Holme Moor, England

Landscape / Re: My dream world = Grand Canyon-Heaven on earth.
« on: November 23, 2013, 12:19:51 PM »
Yes, Just Less than 1 hour at South rim at Grand Canyon, With Canon 5D MK II and Canon TS-E 24 mm. F/ 3.5 L MK II and B+W 82 KSMN C-POL MRC FILTER---, Hand Held Shooting, Here are 3 Photos of  the south rim.
Enjoy, Sir/ Madam

Nice pictures, they make me want to go there....

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