Canon 5D Mark II, 60-300mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, iso 640
Three bald eagles were having a dogfight with some seagulls in my backyard Saturday night. The shots with multiple birds didn't thrill me, but I like this one. Big Mama, flying right into Fall sunset light.
Every so often I post a pic that I think is along the lines of one of my blogging/photo heroes, Diane Varner. I took this one last night, right in my own backyard. Kind of like she does with nearly all her photos. Nice to live in a beautiful place.
I was really enthusiastic about going to Skellig Michael, a foreboding hunk of rock off the coast of Ireland. Basically used as a monastery since the 6th century, it is a place I read about early in my life (see wikipedia entry).
Unfortunately the day we chose to go had miserable weather in the forecast. 8-10 foot seas, solid rain. The ride out to the island was one of the most unpleasant boat rides of my life. I am a very experienced boater, and I was duly impressed by how stoically my photographic companions tolerated this trip.
Once on the island it was obvious we would not be hiking to the top, where the monastery is. The conditions made it much too dangerous.
But no matter, puffin pics were in the making! These gorgeous creatures live there in abundance. They are very tolerant of photographers. Sometimes just as interested in us as we were of them, it seemed. They look a bit clumsy, but I assure you in the air they are not. They are very fast and agile fliers. Catching them just about to land was quite a trick, most autofocus cameras were just not up to the task.
All of my favorites are where I had positioned myself such that I'd have the beautiful sea in the background, like this one. Pretty nice bokeh for f/6.3, the max aperture for this lens at the long end of the zoom.
Canon 5D Mark II, 70-300mm, f/6.3, 1/500, iso 1250
Almost a year ago to the day, I was in contact with the then owners of our Washington home as they were moving out. In nearly every email, Paul mentioned how much I would be enjoying the migratory waterfowl that spent time here each spring.
Last night the tide was in and these gorgeous birdies were catching the evening sun on our "big rock." It's too bad they are so skittish, I wish I could get down to the beach and get more of a frontal shot. But this way we can see the amazing plumage.
Okay, one of you birders, chime in and tell us the species!
We stayed with relatives last week in Palm Springs. You know the place, sunny and warm every day in the Winter, right?
They have bird feeders in the backyard, which gave me plenty of opportunity to try out my new camera - the Sony Nex-7. I got this camera mainly as a casual travel partner. Not heavy/bulky like the Canon gear, not expensive like the Leica. It was "camera of the year" last year due to technical specs and some cool handling features. I planned on taking it along on major photo trips with the Leica.
Like others, I have found the autofocus pretty worthless sometimes. Manually focusing it is a pain. But sometimes it just works, like here.