I’m way behind on my image processing and blog posts. I guess this is okay since most photography articles tell us to spend most of our time getting the shots and as little time as possible in front of the computer.
We visited High Acres for the first time in early November, located in Penfield, NY. Surrounded by suburban development, it is nice to see the towns setting aside and maintaining nature areas. It was a nice fall day, though it was a bit chilly at 35º (but nothing like the 10º that we are currently experiencing during the day). We saw several hawks above, along with the usual crows. On the ground we saw Greater Yellowlegs and Great Blue Herons. As you can see in the photograph, above, there are several trails, most of which we hiked over a period of about 2 1/2 hours.
Most of the herons we saw on the ground were standing (you know, doing their mime acts) atop muskrat houses. Since I have countless shots of Great Blue Herons I decided to see if I could shoot a launch sequence. On the one hand, Great Blues are easier to catch taking off than songbirds because herons are so much slower. On the other hand, who knows when they will go? So I got the idea that if I set up my camera at the end of the levy bordering the pond where the heron was located and had my wife then cross it, that would cause him to vacate, much as was the case earlier with the other herons in the area.
Well, wouldn’t you know, she crossed and it just stood there. She returned, he continued to stand still. My wife even waved her arms–to no avail. Clearly, this was an avian plot to thwart the photographer. I ended up standing behind my tripod for about half an hour. Then, he crouched–okay this is it! The heron has departed! I pressed and held the shutter button, and the proofs of my success are below.
We also saw a few Greater Yellowlegs. One bird was relatively near and “agreed” to pose for some shots before taking off. Here is its best pose:
Shortly afterwards, it left to join a couple of its associates further out, but I managed to capture its lift-off.
One of the features I’ve yet to take advantage of on my Canon 100mm-400mm L lens is the image stabilization setting for panning shots. The problem is that when panning shots on the wing occur, there is little time to reset image stabilization from stills to pan. Perhaps you have developed a strategy for switching IS modes? If so, please let me know.
My next post will feature the return of the Red Crossbills.