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Messages - steven kessel

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31
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 04, 2014, 10:13:44 PM »
Pappa Smurf, what you call a "Sparrow Hawk" looks like a juvenile Cooper's Hawk to me.  They're quite common where I live.  Here's a juvenile that I photographed recently.

32
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:43:36 PM »
Red Wing Blackbird, strutting his stuff.

5Diii, 400DO, ISO 320, aperture preferred, f7.1 @ 1/1000

33
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: June 01, 2014, 09:20:20 PM »
Young female Bobcat portrait.

Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, aperture preferred, f7.1

34
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: May 25, 2014, 08:36:58 PM »
Wow, Eldar, that's a superb shot.  This was shot in the wild?  Where?

35
Black & White / Animals in Black and White
« on: May 21, 2014, 10:03:06 PM »
I post from time to time (bird portraits, best animal photos, bif) and like just about everyone else's images, the images that I post are in color.  But, sometimes, black and white just seems to make a stronger statement.  Here's a photo of Polistes flavus wasp, a native of the Sonoran Desert that has the unique ability to stand and even walk on the surface of water without falling in.  I like this image in color but I love it in black and white.


36
Lord of the wetlands.  Not my usual style but I just like this photo.

Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting, ISO 400, f6.3 @ 1/2500

37
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: May 20, 2014, 12:03:32 AM »
I guess this qualifies as an animal shot.  Polistes flavus  wasp standing on water.  These wasps are native to the southwest U.S. and have the unique ability to stand on water without breaking the surface tension.

Taken with a 5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens, ISO 320, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/800

38
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 19, 2014, 09:57:37 PM »
Yellow-eyed Junco with lunch.

Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/1200

39
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 15, 2014, 07:32:42 PM »
The limiter switch on my 400 DO has two positions, 3.5 and 8 meters.  I was inside the 8 meter limit.  Usually, these birds are pretty shy but the location where I found this one is man-made lake in a public park on Tucson, Arizona's west side.  Periodically, the lake is stocked with fish and that attracts both wading birds and fishermen.  They coexist amicably, the fishermen don't bother the birds and the birds get very used to people.  So, it's an ideal place to photograph ducks and wading birds, including Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Black Crowned Night Herons, and Neotropic Cormorants.

40
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 15, 2014, 02:15:38 PM »
Black Crowned Night Heron in breeding plumage that I photographed yesterday afternoon.

Canon 5Diii, 400DO, ISO 320, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/1200


41
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 10, 2014, 07:29:22 PM »
Spring song.

Canon 5Diii, 400DO, ISO 320, aperture preferred setting, f7.1 @ 1/400

42
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 04, 2014, 10:32:56 PM »
I haven't posted anything in a while so here's one that I took this afternoon.  Female Wood Duck.  Much less colorful than the male but I think subtly beautiful nevertheless. 

Canon5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 500, aperture preferred setting, f5 @ 1/320

43
As I understand it both my old 100mm f.28 non-L and my 180mm f3.5L produce 1:1 images.  The difference is that I must get much closer to my subject with the 100 in order to get 1:1 image size than with the 180. 

I do mostly wildlife photography and I find the 180 to be ideal for that purpose.  Being able to back off a bit means that my subjects -- often insects -- are made less uptight and tend not to be so skittish as when I'm photographing with the 100.  The 180 also functions as a superb short/medium telephoto.  I've made a whole series of hummingbirds in flight shots using the 180 in lieu of my 70-200 f4 L and the difference in sharpness is astonishing.  The 180 is simply a MUCH better lens for that type of work.

I love my 180 and I was surprised to read somewhere recently that Canon is going to discontinue it.  I probably take more pictures with that lens than with all of my other L lenses combined.

44
Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: April 29, 2014, 10:37:51 PM »
Great Blue Heron touchdown.

5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 320, "M" setting f7.1 @ 1/1600

45
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Birds in Flight tips
« on: April 18, 2014, 10:47:50 AM »
Sure, I'll share my "secret" settings.   ;D  For birds against a blue sky I use the center focusing point plus the four auxiliary points.  For birds with trees or other items in the mid-ground I use center point only. 

A couple of other tips.  I always use H1 Servo  and I have the autofocus set to "quick mode."  I also configure the autofocus to "continue to track objects, ignoring possible obstacles."

One more tip.  Be sure to set the limiter switch on your telephoto for the appropriate distance.  Setting for the closer setting means that the lens will "hunt" to find focus and take longer to lock on.

With all of this, it's still a hit or miss affair much of the time.  It's a lot easier on a sunny day, with a blue sky for a background.  It becomes really difficult to capture birds in flight when it's overcast and/or when the background is cluttered.

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