December 17, 2014, 09:56:43 PM

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Messages - steven kessel

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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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: April 17, 2014, 03:35:15 PM »
Here's one of my favorites.

Canon General / Anyone still shoot with an FTb?
« on: April 14, 2014, 10:05:24 PM »
I'm not even sure that this is the right forum but I can't find anywhere else this fits.

My first Canon was an FTb that I purchased back in about 1973.  I loved that camera and took a lot of pictures with it, mostly transparencies and Tri-X B & W negatives.  A few weeks ago I was rummaging around in a closet and discovered the camera, neatly stored away.  It's in flawless condition and I still have the lenses that I purchased for it including my personal favorite, a Bell & Howell/Canon FD 24 mm f2.8 (yes, Canon was briefly a subsidiary of Bell & Howell, back in the 70's).

The camera is in flawless condition.  It probably needs a tuneup, a thorough cleaning and the shutter should be retensioned, but aside from that it's absolutely good to go.  I really got excited for a while thinking about taking some pictures with it.  But then, I was hit with the practical considerations.  Do they even make transparency films?  And, if so, what do I do with the images? 

So, I'm wondering.  Does anyone out there still shoot pictures with this old warhorse?  What do you shoot?  What do you do with the images?  I'm intrigued with the idea of going back into transparency shooting just for the sheer hell of it, but I'm daunted by the fact that this is apparently an extinct technology.  Your thoughts?

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: April 03, 2014, 12:01:32 PM »
As long as we're on the subject of hummers . . . .

Canon 5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens, ISO 200

It depends on what you like to photograph.  But, as a Tucson resident whose passion is wildlife photography, let me add my two cents.

1.  Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.  The grounds are a large desert preserve and there is plenty of wildlife, both on exhibit and roaming free.  The highlight of the day (until April 19) is Raptor Free Flight at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  The two shows are different and they afford the opportunity to get fantastic closeups of birds of prey in flight and perched.  A must!

2.  Sabino Canyon.  A great place to photograph lizards and, possibly, a snake or two.  It is a well known location for seeing Gila Monsters in the wild this time of year.  No guarantees, but your chances there are better than in most places.  The area around Sabino Dam is a hot spot for wildlife watching.

3.  Sweetwater Wetlands.  This is a man-made marsh on Tucson's west side.  Take Interstate 10 to the Ruthrauf Road exit, then take the west frontage road south for one mile, turn right on Sweetwater drive, go about 200 yards and it's on your left.  The ponds and swamps there attract lots of birds, including some fairly exotic species like Soras.

4.  Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park.  A great place for photographing Great Blue Herons.  Also take the Ruthrauf Road exit on I-10, head west one mile, turn left on Silverbell, go south about 1/2 mile and it will be on your left.

Lenses / Re: Canon 400mm DO
« on: March 30, 2014, 12:59:27 AM »
I should have noted that both of these photos are at least 50% crops from the originals.

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