Thursday, October 19, 2006



Blogger micki said...

Camera - Minolta Maxxum 7000
Film - Fuji HQ ISO 200
Shutter Speed - 1/750
Aperture Setting - f-8 Program Mode
Lens - Sigma 170-500mm lens @500mm
Manual focus so I wouldn’t scare him off
Scanning Method - My scan from my cheap little hp officejet 5510v all-in-one copy/scanner/faxer/printer

Back to yesterday’s image for a minute. Many commented on the cleanliness of my scanner. I had just cleaned it. Two of the little “smudgy” marks were actually birds that were flying around when I shot the image. As the sun had just risen above the trees, the birds began to make their flights higher into the sky. My shutter speed (if you hadn’t noticed) was only 1/6th of a second, so all but the largest of the birds blurred. Now, as for the long streak in the sky, I have no idea what that was. It’s on the print, though, and it doesn’t look like a lab error or scratch. It must have been something in the sky. The smudge farthest to the right was one of those marks that happens when I place my glossy prints on the scanner’s glass and the weight of the lid presses the print onto the glass. The lighter the area of the photo, the more likely the mark will appear. I haven’t posted quite a few images because I can’t scan them without the marks appearing. Anyway, I was considering asking my daughters to perform a little of their clean up magic on the blurred birds yesterday, but I decided against it. The birds were there when I took the pic and so they stayed. Now, is that being too much of a purist? Maybe. After all, if I found the photo worthy of enlarging I might have the lab tech remove those blurred birds. When I took the shot, I couldn’t wait for the birds to stop flying around, or I would have lost my pink light. If I can’t get exactly the perfect image (although I didn’t know what the birds would look like in the photo) do I not shoot? Is it OK to shoot and then fix it later in the darkroom or computer post processing? Where does the photography stop and the image making begin? Ah, that is the question, and the answer is different for each of us.

OK, do you remember reading week before last how I had gone down to get the mail and spotted one of my two resident (and elusive) birds at the river’s edge? I rushed back home, grabbed the camera, and came back to find he was gone? Then saw him? Then scared him off? Then he came back while I was looking at my B&W prints that had come in the mail. So I took seven pics of him from inside the van? I put the tripod on the passenger seat, two legs on and one leg lengthened and sitting on the floor. Then I mounted the camera with the 500mm and shot until he was hidden behind the grasses. This is the closest I’ve been able to get to this tall, skinny fellow. Both of these are the same shot. One shows you how close I was able to get, the cropped and enlarged version shows you what I’ll be able to capture when I get a teleconverter. :o)

9:04 AM  
Blogger bkphotography said...

Oh oh, I get to be the first one to comment... YAY.

Ehm... hehe I have to say I just pictured you inside your van behind your tripod and waiting for the perfect moment to trip the shutter. Ah, those are the fun things, 'hunting' and waiting for the right moment to 'shoot'.
I have to say, please, go and get yourself a teleconverter, not because the second one sucks, more because of how really well the shot came out!! Have fun, you.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Don said...

I like your shot of the Great Egret. All the gremlins and bugs that give us fits shouldn't ruin the basic quality of a shot for us. The teleconverter will make a fine additon to your equipment.

9:32 AM  
Blogger PhotoSam said...

likt it, bird shots, ornithology was always a fascintaing option for my as a kid (it souds weirder than it is)...8/10

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Great composition and color. Good shot!

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Lovely shot of these elusive birds.

We have quite a few that hang around the park up the street from my house, and yet they are so difficult to capture with the lens. Just when you think you are close enough and framed up and ready to shoot, they fly. It's like they have a sixth sense that you are there, it's rather irritating.

Recently a friend of mine told me about a class that her friend gives on traditional film photography retouching and restoration techniques (yes that means without a computer). It sounded really interesting and I was tempted to go, but the $400 price tag for the classes was a bit more than I had to spend. I had never gotten to the photo-retouching courses in the classes I took so many years ago.

I was recently at a studio that restores the old glass plates, and they rarely use anything other than traditional techniques to restore these amazing photos. They had a gorgeous selection and they only used the computer to restore one after they had done all they could with tradtional methods. They showed me the originals and the restored ones, it was the most amazing place...if I can remember the name, I will post it on my blog. It was in a shopping vilage in North Jersey on the way to High Point and it was such an awesome place. They had prints that were 10 feet wide that were not done on the computer, it was unreal.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous AG said...

These are such graceful – and shy – birds and y’ve done well to get in so ‘close’, I’d say. If you can, try out a teleconverter before you buy : the results rely much on the optical relationship to the lens you use.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous armeen said...

yeah i remember the story, so it was this shy guy that you were talking about. considering the lens that you were using, you were pretty far away from him. i find bird photography very challanging and i think you did a good job trying to capture him :)

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Ashish Sidapara said...

Love it!

2:04 PM  
Anonymous anton said...

Beautiful creature - well captured.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Doris said...

Sometimes it is hard to tell when a scanned image :-) I have scanned a couple older photos recently and to the eye they look good but after scanned they are full of noise and well white spots LOL go figure.

What a wonderful shot! I Love my converter! But what I really really want is some tubes for my macro work!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Jasp said...

There is something really satisfying in capturing wildlife isn't there ?

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

What a beautiful and graceful looking bird. Excellent capture, Micki! Your Christmas list is growing ... :-)

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Still said...

Subtl portrait in grey... Nice one!

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Gavin said...

I feel so lost because I haven't been here in quite while, which is annoying. Hopefully I'll have more time to visit in the next couple of weeks. Fantastic shot to come back to, I think I prefere the bottom one, the space at the top works very well.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous John said...

elegant shot, good luck with the converter, you will loose a stop or two.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Naturegirl said...

A beautiful photo! Egret has a special meaning for me I'll email you and tell you.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Gardengirl said...

These photo's are not only beautiful, I find them very calming. Thanks for sharing

7:52 PM  
Blogger Chris Fry said...

Isn't he just a beautiful proud bird? Great shot Micki and well worth the effort to get it.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Dave MacIntyre said...

Magnificent bird! And a great shot Micki!

8:11 PM  
Anonymous outdoorexposure said...

beautiful shot..they look elegant wt long skiny legs and neck:-)

8:28 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Great capture, Micki.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

Beautiful shots. I may have to use your technique to get close to the Great Blue Herons on the beach near our house.

3:47 AM  
Anonymous david said...

you're very lucky to have such lovely creatures on your home turf; excellent shots.

4:35 AM  
Anonymous NoWords said...


6:18 AM  
Blogger Cool Daddio said...

I did immediately think that this must be the van story picture. Great shot. About 20 times closer than I ever get.

7:18 AM  
Blogger frame of mind said...

I was beginning to wonder when we'd get to see some shots of this proud creature - worth the wait, for sure :-)

8:04 AM  

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