Tim Boyer Photography

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Crow

Canon 7D Mark II Post #1 -- First Shoot Review

The Canon 7D Mark IITim BoyerComment

These are my first images with the new Canon 7D Mark II.  If you have this camera the first thing you need to know is Lightroom 5 or any Adobe product will not be able to download and preview a RAW file.  You will need to shoot RAW & Large JPEG or use the Canon Utilities to convert images into tiff files.  Adobe will have an update shortly.  Probably pretty soon since so many photographers have pre-ordered this camera.  

Male Mallard on a cloudy November 2nd at Renton, Washington's  Gene Coulon Park.  Image created at ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/200 of a second.  I was using the 7D Mark II and the  600 mm f/4 lens with a 1.4 Extender.  I like the drop of water below the bill.  A little post processing in LIghtrRoom 5, but no noise reduction.

Mallard ISO 800
Mallard ISO 800

This Horned Grebe was again created at ISO 800, something I never would have done with the older Canon 7D.  No noise reduction slight processing of the tiff file in LightRoom 5.  1/500 of a second, f/6.3.

Horned Grebe ISO 800
Horned Grebe ISO 800

Female Mallard 1/160 of a second, f/6.3.  She was in the shade, and this would have produced some noise in the older 7D, but nothing here, with the new 7D Mark II.

Female Mallard ISO 800
Female Mallard ISO 800

This Crow image was created at ISO 1600, 1/200 of a second at f/8.  Again with the 600 mm f/4 lens and the 1.4 Extender.  Cloudy day, best kind of light for a black bird, but I also was pleased - again - no noise. Nice!

Crow ISO 1600
Crow ISO 1600

I had some time to experiment with a resting Mew Gull.  The first one is ISO 800 at 1/800 of a second as f/6.3.  It's a little soft, but not bad for a cloudy day.

Mew Gull ISO 800
Mew Gull ISO 800

Mew Gull ISO 6400!   Created at 1/6400 of a second at f/6.3.  Okay, it's a little softer, but there was no noise reduction, and it was shot at ISO 6400.  Something I never would/could have even tried with the older 7D.

Mew Gull ISO 6400!
Mew Gull ISO 6400!

So far I like this camera.  Fast ten framed per second, a lot faster than the 5D Mark II I've been using, and a very noticeable difference.  Not very much noise, kinda like the 5D Mark III.  I noticed the autofocus was faster than the older 7D, and I think faster than the 5D Mark III.  Acquiring birds was very quick.  So, I'm very happy with my first day of shooting with this camera.  Now I'd like to go out and get some nice birds in some great light.

Enjoy!

Thanks

Tim

Bird Quest 2014 #12

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

Shorebird migration continues on the Washington Coast.  This past week -- Wednesday and Thursday there was great weather on the Washington Coast and while there were fewer birds than a week ago, there are still thousands and thousands of shorebirds out there.  

California Gull hanging out in some good Washington Coastal weather.
California Gull hanging out in some good Washington Coastal weather.

I use the car as a photo blind a lot, and this works really well for gulls at the beach since they're used to a lot of vehicles.  Well, some people even feed the gulls from their cars ;-) so the  gulls are habituated to cars and humans.  Taken with a bean bag drapped over the window/door and the camera and lens resting on the beanbag.

Crow, let's just say American.
Crow, let's just say American.

I was really hoping I could get some more Raven  images, but the crows were more plentiful and cooperative.  Oh well, next winter then.

Killdeer trying to figure out if it should do the distraction display or if I wasn't a threat.
Killdeer trying to figure out if it should do the distraction display or if I wasn't a threat.

Killdeer are so funny, they're nervous and curious at the same time.  This one ran towards me, then ran away form me several times, trying to figure out what I was doing.  I just sat and watched, not making any noise or sudden movements.

How to Get Close:

The next three images were made on an incoming tide.  As the tide came in I was laying in the sand with my camera and lens mounted on a Skimmer Ground Pod II (made by Naturescapes) and a Whimberley gimbal tripod head.  As the birds are pushed towards me by the tide, I slowly crawl a little closer to them.  Moving very slowly it's possible to become just part of the  landscape, and they will eventually get closer than the lens will focus.  At this point I crawl backwards very, very slowly so I don't scare them and either continue to take more images or go back to my car and let them feed.  Shorebirds need a lot of fuel for their migration, and I don't want to have them waste any energy by me spooking them.  I think these eye level images of shorebirds are the best way to create an image of them in their environment, at their level we don't tower over them or look down on them, and it's easier to connect with them.  It's also possible to get even lower by using a ball-head on the Skimmer Ground Pod,  Then then lens will be only a couple of inches above the ground.

Sanderling looking for the  next meal.
Sanderling looking for the next meal.

This Sanderling is still pretty much in non-breeding or basic plumage.  Other Sanderling were already starting to get a little brown and a reddish coloration on thier necks and heads, their breeding or alternate plumage.  This is a great time of year to study molt or feather changes in birds.

Semipalmated Plover eating a marine worm.
Semipalmated Plover eating a marine worm.

Shorebird congregate wherever there is plenty of food.  The stretch on beach I was on was loaded with marine worms.  There was also a limited clam dig open when I was shooting and I was told that clam diggers look for where the birds are and that's how they know where the clams will be.  I watched the clam diggers and the shorebirds use the same stretch of beach, the birds were actively feeding within several feet of the clam diggers.  Neither bothered by the other too much.

Western Sandpiper searchiing for food.
Western Sandpiper searchiing for food.

Although it appears as if  the Western Sandpiper is looking at itself in the reflected water, it's really just a search for the next worm.

Enjoy!

Thanks & Good Birding

Tim

Birding/Photo Project 2013 #2

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

These images were taken on January 2nd prior to my San Diego Workshop.    Seems like a slow start now I'm 6 with 494 to go on my goal, but I have about 50 species to add from the recent Sand Diego Workshop.  

A coy American Coot at Gene Coulon Park, Renton.
A coy American Coot at Gene Coulon Park, Renton.
Crow eating spawned salmon at Gene Coulon Park, Renton.
Crow eating spawned salmon at Gene Coulon Park, Renton.
While Mallards are very abundant and we see them everywhere, they are still quite striking in the right light.
While Mallards are very abundant and we see them everywhere, they are still quite striking in the right light.