Layers of grass, trees, rock and mountains, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Tag Archives: nature
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.
Portrait of a juvenile yellow-crowned night heron
I recently ordered (and finally received) a Canon 5DSR camera body. The thought of 50mp to play around with, to crop away, to do with as I wish, was too great not to pass up for a landscape, birdlife/wildlife and portrait photographer such as myself.
To further break the budget, I purchased several lenses including a Canon 500mm f4L prime super-telephoto. Can you say “photographer heaven”?
Even though the temps here in southeast TX are in the triple digits and extremely humid, I took this camera/lens combo out to Brazos Bend State Park one morning. Actually, I’d gone the day before, as well, with a 1.4x extender attached to the 500mm to make it a 700mm. On that day, I was not impressed, which was too bad since there was quite a bit of birdlife out there during the hottest part of the day (around 1PM). I apparently didn’t do my microfocus adjustments that well with the extender on, because all but 6 photos (ok, not stellar photos), displayed some back-focus issues.
So, I removed the extender that evening, re-adjusted the microfocus, and returned to the park the next morning with just the 500mm focal length. I was pleased and proud with the images that resulted, and even happier with the resolution of the images after much cropping, such as the image above, which is about a 33% crop.
Juvenile yellow-crowned night heron
Portrait of a juvenile yellow-crowned night heron; a 33% crop
A hazy morning on 40-Acre Lake; yes, you can get nice landscapes with a 500mm prime
On gossamer wings; a 100% crop
Bejeweled; a 50% crop
Out on a limb
Blue and green; a 33% crop
I’m blown away with that this camera and lens can do and can’t wait to get back out for more photographic fun.
The National Parks Traveler has just published my latest photography article. Click on this link to go check it out.
I was tooleying around 40-Acre Lake at this park, tripod and camera set up and pointing out toward the wetlands next to the lake. All of a sudden, I saw a flurry of feathers from the corner of my eye. Aiming my camera in that direction, I managed to capture a series of photos of a great blue heron and it’s eel breakfast.
Camera data: Canon 1DX, Canon 100-400mm lens (at the 400mm focal length – the resulting original images were ultimately cropped by about 50%), ISO 250, shutter 1/800, f8