Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only read Carson’s The Sea Around Us this past spring, and Silent Spring in August. It was Silent Spring that changed our thinking about the environment and led to the Wilderness Act of 1964. Although the Carson refuge extends for about 25 miles along the coast from Wells, Maine, North, only Wells provides parking and boardwalk access to humans.

The first two scenes show just a tiny portion of these wetlands._DSF1042 _DSF1045 I attached my 2X converter to my 100-400mm zoom lens to provide an 800mm look at Great Egrets off in the distance.IMG_4836 They had two young with them, as shown the following photograph.IMG_4833 We are about half way through the fall migration, these birds will be soon on their way to the Everglades or elsewhere along the Gulf coast.

I drove a couple of miles up the road to Parsons Beach which adjoins Rachel Carson. It’s privately owned, but open to the public. As you can judge by the homes, the coast is occupied mostly by the wealthy._DSF1048 _DSF1049 The beach wasn’t too populated. Of the sunbathers there, no one was going into the water. _DSF1056

-From Portland and the mid-coast

Image destabilization

It seems I’ve run into a problem with the 100–400mm lens that I purchased this past June.  The image in the viewfinder began jumping around when I pressed the shutter button half-way—often this would continue even after shutter release.  I contacted Canon’s customer service. Based on my description of the problem they suspected the image stabilization had failed.  I sent the lens to their service center and they accepted the lens under warranty. I hope to have it back in about another week.  I’ll let you know how the process went, as well as how the lens works when I get it back into the field.

Canon’s 100mm – 400mm lens

I’ve been using Canon’s f/4.5-5.6 L USM IS lens since June and I must say I’m very happy with it. It certainly takes time to learn since I have no super-telephoto experience. It’s heavy; with the camera it weights about 5 pounds. Nevertheless, even with my slender build, a 3 or 4 hour foray into the field doesn’t seem to pose neck strain, though tripod breaks definitely help.

Although the USM autofocus is very quick, it’s not so effective when photographing birds where there are often leaves or branches in front of or behind the subject, often resulting in an out-of-focus bird. Manual focus seems to be the better alternative under these conditions. When extended to greater magnification, the image stabilization feature helps but you really need to brace the camera against something solid if you’re shooting at less than 1/800 of a second, otherwise the image will not be sharp. As always, it’s important to know your subject so you can be in position with the necessary camera settings to get the best shots. (More photos at: http://sfielding.photoshop.com)

My next challenge will be to capture landscapes with a compressed effect that cannot be done with a shorter lens.

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