5DIII and a Great Blue Heron
7 months ago
I just upgraded to a 5DIII from a 5DII three weeks ago (a VERY good upgrade IMO, just for the better ISO performance - love that 12,800 is usable - and the vastly improved AF). This past weekend gave me the first opportunity to put it through its paces capturing something other than my two small boys. I live no more than 300 feet away from what was for millennia a natural wetlands until it was paved over in the 1920s to make a runway for a air force base (the Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato, CA). The base closed in the 1970s, and for the past 10 years, the city of Novato has been slowly restoring the wetlands to its original state. It's almost done, and I can tell by the amount of birds that fly around my house, that birding is in my future! On a gorgeous crystal blue sky afternoon last Saturday, I was walking on the levee separating the wetlands from my neighborhood, when all of the sudden I noticed a Great Blue Heron swoop overhead. He came in for a landing to feed on the side of the levee, and for the next hour, I followed him, watching him eat, then fly, then walk, then eat. It was awesome! I was amazed at how close he let me get to him!
All of these pictures were taken with the 5DIII, 70-200 2.8 II with the 1.4x extender. It was extremely brilliant, with direct sunlight right around 1:00 in the afternoon when I took these, so the light was a bit tricky. On just about every picture, I dialed down exposure by anywhere from 0.67 to 1.67 stops. I cropped the in flight pictures just a bit, while the pictures on the ground are uncropped. The first series is of him flying, the second series is of him stalking an insect or a worm on the ground, going after it, and prancing with joy afterwards, while the third series is of him walking on the hillside. Thanks for looking!