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Thursday, February 24, 2011


Yeh, I admit it, I only got this shot because the 1D is so damn fast. If the woodpecker can get this close to the edge of the frame with 10fps I would have gotten nothing with my 7D at 8fps. Surely Canon should bring out a 12fps camera, maybe a 1.6 crop with 12MP or so...if they can pump 8fps with 18MP then surely they can do that :)

Having used my 7D again at the weekend I have come to the concolusion that Canon are idiots. Or not, when it come to making money. The 1.6x is nice to have for a wildlife tog, but 18MP is not necessary. 10MP is not quite enough, especially on the 1.3x crop 1D, especially considering most stock agencies need at least 10MP files....that does not allow for cropping much. The ideal camera would be a 1.3x crop with around 16MP...oh wait...but look at the price! OK, a 1.6x crop with 12MP and better AF, becasue using the 500 with a 2x TC is cool, and useful!

Or maybe I should just take more pictures instead of worrying about the pixels. Stick my 7D on mRAW, reduce the noise and use the 1D whenever I can for bigger critters? But the 1DIII does not have we go again :(

Friday, February 11, 2011

Memories of snow

No sooner had I started my buzzard campaign than the snow melted, I am gutted. Without the snow they simply do not hang around very long, with snow the are hungry and will sit for ages scoffing my rodents. Not as ahppy with such shots as when they are perched on picturesque bits of wood but you do capture some interesting expressions and eye contact. Enjoy.

This is an older fellow, he did not hang around long at all once the shutter went off.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The thief of always.

On Saturday I setup a new perch for the buzzards, hoping they would land on a more natural looking piece of wood. I also added a closer perch, with lovely nuts and stuff hoping the jays would keep away from my buzzard bait. Of course, it did not work and they prefered fresh rabbit to peanuts. Damn. The woodpecker seemed happy enough though.

 1DIII, 500 f4
1DIII, 500 f4, 2xTC

Monday, February 7, 2011

The sunshine blues

My buzzard campaign for 2011 began with a bang, brilliant I thought. Of course mother nature had other ideas. Bright blue skies and 15°+ temperatures. No snow, no frost, no problem for them to find food. Damn. Still, I tried and was rewarded with one visit, although brief, better than nothing. Of course the sun blew a highlight or two but at least he landed on one of the better perches ;)

On the up side, Canon have announced a 200-400 F4 lens....YEEESSSS!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

While we are waiting

Shooting buzzards, or any raptor, can be a long and boring experience but occassionally there will be something to fill in your time. Jays, being part of the crow family, will eat pretty much anything be it peanuts or fresh meat, they will invariably arrive for a nosey. Of course I am about the correct distance away for shooting large buzzards, so the little jays require a little more focal length. But the 2X TC does a decent job, even wide open.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Close but no banana

Buzzards. They are large birds. One would expect to hear them coming, get your shutter finger ready and fire off some cool landing shots. But no, they are phantoms and simply appear. It takes only one second of distraction, pouring a cup of tea from the thermos usually does it, and there they are. Sitting, patiently, watching, waiting, listening. Always on the wrong too it would seem, be it the fence post or the dead tree, they still don't land on mossy perches. So getting any shot of a landing buzzard, allbeit a bit late, is an achievement for me. I am getting there.

Thanks to Edwin Kats for his kind words and advice on processing, I have alot to learn. His pictures speak volumes - Edwin Kats

1DIII, ISO400, 500 f4 L IS

1DIII, ISO400, 500 f4 L IS