Brief Walk at the Park....

by Russell Smith December. 15, 2019 308 views

Rather than an early morning walk I wanted to go with a later afternoon walk at the park. I was not expecting to see as much as I do in the morning because well at 1500 hours things are starting to find a place to rest for the evening. At least during the winter months. I also wanted to see if a theory was correct about the direction of light at one of the locations in the park. It was not quite what I planned on it being but does give me an idea of where the afternoon light falls.

One of the first birds that I saw when I went to check about if the Otters were out playing was this beautiful Great Blue Heron looking like a statue. I think they are starting to loose their non breeding plumage and starting to get their breeding plumage in.

Now this time of the year through early spring we have a Visitor that to those who live up north would look at it and think Spring.... The American Robin

Overall the Robin shot is just ok. I know there is better shots out there for me to take with it I just have to get past the mental block of its a Robin .

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Nancy Andrea D 1 year, 9 months ago

oh wow, great shots!!

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Nancy Andrea D 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you :)

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Olga Helys 1 year, 9 months ago

#1 Wooooooooooooow

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Olga Helys 1 year, 9 months ago

:) Thank you

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

Nice shot of the heron, the light makes him stand out.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you.
The light made it a challenge to do and also exciting to try. Honestly to get this one I tried 3 different comps and adjusted the settings a couple of times. What made it a challenge is that it was sidelight and the heron was in shade/shadow. I wanted an exposure where the highlights in the back were highlights but not enough to grab your eye and distract (I think I accomplished that part) but knowing roughly how much I can "lift" the shadows/midtones and not introduce excessive noise I had to drop the SS down to a point (beyond what I am comfortable with) that slight movements could cause motion blur. To counter this I went with about a 6-10 shot burst every time I pressed the shutter. Of those 6-10 there were only one or two where motion blur (from me or the bird Ill explain later) were not prevalent. Now for the motion blur from me part. I use a Manfroto Elements Aluminium tripod with a ball head (less than ideal for wildlife). The tripod is relatively stable for the setup I am using. The ball head well not so much if you are in the market for a ballhead I would suggest friction control in addition to the knob that loosens or tightens the ball or pano part of the head.  Also I was standing on a dock that had canoes moored on it. Not a rock steady platform on spongy wet soil. Oh back to the adjusting for my highlights. Histogram and honestly studying how the shot's histogram looks on the back of the camera vs on the computer has allowed me to figure out how far right I can push it and still get usable highlights. Short translation I have borked enough shots up that I started paying attention to it.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 9 months ago

Speaking of histograms, I am now forcing myself to look at it more than I have in the past, so as to better understand where I want to be. I normally like my shots to the left of the histogram because I like them more "moody" than not but sometimes this desire to be moody, has caused me to be way over the left side, so now watching more attentively. As to ball head, I purchased the Sirui K20x ballhead and I am quite pleased with it. It is a much tighter ballhead than my previous one and quite strong, but didn't break the bank.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

The Sirui is one of two that I am looking at for when I get a new tripod. It took me a while to understand (on more than an analytical level) how to work with the histogram. Now after a "safety" shot I will look at the it and make a quick judgment on how things look on it. Most of the time it is close and I only have to move it a tad bit to one side or the other to get it where I want so I can finish it in post.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 9 months ago

No matter the hour of the day there are always different things to see in a wild environment. Love the pictures

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 9 months ago

I would agree if nothing else the beauty of the land. I know I have said it many times but if I do not get out in nature even if it is a dirt road in the country I would loose my mind. It is something I require to have somewhat of a balance in my mental life.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited