Thursday, April 23, 2009

Songbird Extravaganza !

My stepfather Tom and I are currently photographing birds together in northern Texas. Today started out a bust. We were up at 5:30am and on location at dawn, but the birds were not cooperating. Our luck began changing mid-morning once we figured out the best shooting techniques. The rest of the day was exceptional - it turnd out to be one of the most productive days of songbird photography of my life.

Tom is a videographer and when we're out together we alternate shooting because the fill flash from my camera ruins his video. I typically get on a bird before him and fire off a few shots. He needs 7 seconds footage and tells me when he's about to film, so I stop flashing. I was so excited about the composition on the gnatchatcher (first photo below) that when he said "don't shoot' my brain heard "go shoot". I fired away, captured the image, and ended up flushing the bird. As a result, he mised the shot. Sorry Tom!

Photo 1: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
EOS 1DsIII; 500/4IS & 1.4x teleconvertor; 580EX fill flash


Photo 2: Northern Parula warbler
EOS 1DsIII; 500/4IS & 1.4x teleconvertor; 580EX fill flash
Photo 3: Prothonotary Warbler
EOS 1DsIII; 500/4IS & 1.4x teleconvertor; 580EX fill flash

Photo 4: Prothonotary Warbler
EOS 1DsIII; 500/4IS & 1.4x teleconvertor; 580EX fill flash

5 comments:

  1. Nice pix, especially Photo 3!

    I just remembered today that Blake and I saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler back on Feb. 14th at the Port Credit Marina - so, guess that was actually my first Warbler sighting for 2009. It will still be interesting to see which is the first Spring sighting.

    :)

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  2. Susan4:44 PM

    Awesome shots! You must have LOTS of patience to get such awesomely posed shots!

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  3. Spectacular Ethan, where are you? Northern Texas covers a lot of territory.

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  4. After seeing your stunning images, I can only say that I wish I were a bird.

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  5. Brian, we were shooting in the Beaumont area, which I guess is more eastern TX than northern. These species have wide breeding ranges in the south & eastern US, there's nothing unique about where we shot them... just that we know the area from previous birding trips.

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