The National Parks Traveler has published my latest photography article to their site. Click on the photo to go over there and check it out.
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to capture a good image of this neat bird. I know, blackbirds are blackbirds are blackbirds (aka ordinary), but those chevrons of bright orange-red are quite the eye-grabber. And these birds have such a pretty song.
This photo was taken out at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, here in southeast Texas, not too far from where I live. I had my Canon 1DX attached to the 500mm prime lens. Thanks for my efforts at losing weight and building up some arm strength, I was able to hand-hold the camera/lens combo (IS turned On) and grab some shots of this red-wing blackbird.
I finished every single one of my errands/chores yesterday so I could drive out to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge this morning to see what might be there: tall grass and reeds and cattails with lots of water but not much birdlife – at least, not in the area in which I found myself and nothing near to me and my 500mm lens. The clouds on this morning, however, were dark and fluffy and big and presaged the coming storms predicted for today. So I pulled out the other tripod and my Canon 5DSR with the 16-35mm f//4 IS lens, affixed a circular polarizer to it and used my grad ND filter to bring out the texture in the clouds.
Clouds are a photographer’s best friend. They add drama and character to an already lovely scene and can really spice up an otherwise ordinary or ho-hum scene. The thing about photographing awesome clouds, though, is that you also need a frame of reference or some scale. So don’t just photograph the clouds themselves. Your viewers won’t know whether this was a horizon-filling scene or just a small spot in the sky. Add some ground or buildings or *something* to the cloud scene.
Copyright Rebecca L Latson, all rights reserved.
I told a FB friend of mine that this was what I used my 500mm lens for (in addition to a prop for selfies, grin). I decided to take a drive out to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge this morning. It’s been raining so much lately that I figured there might be plenty of birdlife out there. I did see quite a few birds, but not the usual suspects. Anyway, as I was slowly wending my way back to the refuge entrance, I noticed something in the road ahead of me go into the bushes. It was pig-sized and I thought it might be a wild pig, except that I noticed a furry, striped tail flicking back and forth as it entered the greenery. So I stopped the car where I saw the wildcat enter the bushes, rolled down the passenger side window and hefted my 11-lb camera/lens combo to capture (yes, handheld) a few shots of this gorgeous creature hiding and peering out from among the leaves. I am tickled with the photos and also rather pleased and proud that my arms are strong enough to get handheld shots with this behemoth lens when the situation calls for it.
May 26 is Red Nose Day, an annual event designed to help kids living in poverty. Click on the image for more details.
I won’t kid you. I first saw the add for this event in Walgreens and thought to myself what a fun photo op it would be, before ever really realizing that for just $1, I’d also be contributing to a good cause. In 2014, I learned about this rather late and all the red noses at Walgreens had been bought up. So I bought a red nose from Amazon.com and donated to the Red Nose Day fund. Last year (2015), I forgot about it because I was dealing with all of the things an Executrix deals with upon the death of my mother. This year (2016), while visiting a Walgreens in Yakima Washington back in April, I bought the “official” red nose.
In case you were wondering, this photo was taken in my ersatz home “studio” (aka livingroom), with a Canon 5DSR, a Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens at the 70mm focal length, lights and the white umbrellas. Settings were ISO 250, f6.3, shutter 1/20. I had to do a little de-saturation of the reds and pinks in the image, and I used a little noise reduction as well. Both hands held cameras, so I placed the remote shutter release on the floor used my toe to hold down the button.