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Messages - steven kessel

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1
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 07, 2015, 03:39:09 PM »
Ruddy Duck, dressed for the prom.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, "M" setting, f8 @ 1/800

2
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 05, 2015, 08:47:54 AM »
On the fence.  Male American Kestrel. 

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 320, "M" setting f6.3 @ 1/1250

3
I purchased the 16-35 f4 L when it first came out.  I've been absolutely blown away by this lens.  It is wicked sharp and the IS works splendidly.  I'm getting blur free images hand-held at 1/40.  For landscape photography I need nothing else.

4
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: December 31, 2014, 11:49:57 PM »
Young Bobcat.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 640, aperture preferred setting, f7.1 @ 1/1250.

5
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 30, 2014, 08:02:29 AM »
Not something you see every day. Juvenile Crested Caracara, photographed this week in southern Arizona.

5Diii, 400 DO + 1.4X Extender, ISO 400, "M" setting, f6.3 @ 1/1250

6
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 23, 2014, 09:07:11 AM »
Just a kid.  Juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. 

Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/3200

7
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:40:06 PM »
Loggerhead Shrike.  Not an easy bird to find or to photograph.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/3200

8
Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: December 22, 2014, 12:58:11 PM »
Prairie Falcon.  I find these birds almost impossible to photograph.  They have superb vision and they are sensitive to the slightest movement, so they can see you coming from a long way off.  They are also extremely high energy birds who are quick to fly.  Getting close to one requires supreme patience and a ton of good luck.  I got lucky with this bird.  Or, perhaps, it was a bit more tolerant of humans because it is a juvenile and naive.  Whatever, I'm pleased that I got this shot.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 500, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/2000, exposure compensation 1 2/3 stops.

9
Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: December 22, 2014, 09:15:06 AM »
Prairie Falcon liftoff.  Photographing these birds in the wild is a huge challenge because they can see you coming from a long distance and they're extremely quick to fly.  I got lucky with this one and my guess is that it had a lot to do with the fact that this is a juvenile bird.  Juveniles of all species tend to be a good deal more trusting around humans than are adults.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 500, aperture preferred setting +1 2/3 stops, f6.3 @ 1/2000

10
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 19, 2014, 02:16:39 PM »
Verdin.  These little birds are a common southwestern US species, easy to find, hard to photograph.  They like to forage within the foliage of small trees and large shrubs and one seldom gets an unobstructed view of them.  I got lucky.

Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/1600.

11
Well, for me it's been unconditional love.  I'm really a rank amateur when it comes to landscapes, my forte is wildlife photography and I've always been at the other end of the lens spectrum.  But, when Canon offered the 16-35 I thought "why not?" and ordered it.  I've been delighted with the results.  It never occurred to me that IS would be a benefit on a wide angle lens.  Not until I started photographing with it.  But, I'm getting razor sharp results down to 1/30 with this lens and my hands just aren't that steady.  And, as for sharpness, well, I never cease to be amazed by what this lens is capable of doing.  I love it!

12
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 05, 2014, 02:36:55 PM »
I get told off in no uncertain terms by a Cooper's Hawk.

Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, "M" setting f6.3 @ 1/1600.

13
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 03, 2014, 02:44:56 PM »
Pied-billed Grebe.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, "M" setting, f6.3 @ 1/640

14
Reviews / Re: Are Gitzo's really overrated?!
« on: December 03, 2014, 02:41:07 PM »
After a lot of thought I went out last spring and bought a Vanguard Alta Pro 253CT tripod and put an Oben BE117T bullhead on it.  The rig has functioned absolutely perfectly for me.  It is sufficiently lightweight that I can carry it easily into the field.  It is easily adjustable and rock steady.  And, it certainly seems to be durable. 

Now, this is not a tripod I'd use with a 600mm lens.  But, it's not really intended for that sort of heavyweight use.  It is just right for what I do tripod mounted -- closeup photography and the occasional landscape.

The whole outfit cost me a bit more than $300 as I recall.  It was money that was very, very well spent.

15
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: November 27, 2014, 03:02:09 PM »
Coyote in my neighborhood.  Photographed from my car.

Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 640, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/1250

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