American Bittern (2 images)

Started Apr 29, 2012 | Discussions
Kim R
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American Bittern (2 images)
Apr 29, 2012

Finally I got one (several actually) out where I could capture them. Whoop!

Comments and critique are always appreciated and considered.

E-5 425 mm
Exposure Time 1/500 sec
Aperture f/8
ISO Equivalent 1250
Metering Mode center weighted (2)
Exposure Program manual (1)

E-5 425 mm
Exposure Time 1/500 sec
Aperture f/8
ISO Equivalent 1250
Metering Mode center weighted (2)
Exposure Program manual (1)
--

KimR

'The very fact that I find myself in agreement with you other minds perturbs me, so that I hunt for points of divergence, feeling the urgent need to make it clear that at least I reached the same conclusions by a different route.'

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hgreblo
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to Kim R, Apr 29, 2012

Nice capture Kim; the photos are nicely done and thanks for sharing them with us.

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OlyChamp
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to hgreblo, Apr 30, 2012

You make this sound like you had won the lottery with this capture. Great opportunity well taken.

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Lois Ann
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to Kim R, Apr 30, 2012

Lucky you! Were these taken at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge? I have only seen one once, and we usually go there twice a year or more.
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Kim R
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Lois Ann
In reply to Lois Ann, Apr 30, 2012

These were at RNWR on the 21st.

He was along the canal on the right just after you make the first corner on the 4 mile loop. I was there early.

In the second image he was thumping like a Sage Grouse does during mating. What a cool and strange sound.

I took quite a few image of him before he hunkered down and out of sight. Then I drove the loop and returned to the same location and tried calling him with no success on getting him but a female appeared and started hunting along the canal and I images her doing that. I had an appointment in Portland at 10:00 and was not wanting to leave. However about 9:30 I needed to leave but turned on the AB call on my i-touch and two males flew in nearby and almost immediately. I think I had them and could have got images by working them a bit more but had no time, had to go and could not stay for the show but they were competing for the girl.

Ran back out there Sunday morning and the ABs were on the other (left) side of the road but further out... I had not much time and drove the loop and headed back Hayden Island to start the trip home as it is a long ways and we needed to be to work Monday.
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KimR

'The very fact that I find myself in agreement with you other minds perturbs me, so that I hunt for points of divergence, feeling the urgent need to make it clear that at least I reached the same conclusions by a different route.'

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jennyi
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to Kim R, Apr 30, 2012

Yahoo! Good shots of it, too! I would love to see another one, but doubt I ever will. It was just a miracle we saw the one we did.
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Kim R
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to hgreblo, Apr 30, 2012

hgreblo wrote:

Nice capture Kim; the photos are nicely done and thanks for sharing them with us.

Thank you

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Kim R
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Thane
In reply to OlyChamp, Apr 30, 2012

OlyChamp wrote:

You make this sound like you had won the lottery with this capture. Great opportunity well taken.

I am not sure what it would be like to win the lottery but I would certainly like to try that at some time.

Getting to image the ABs was certainly a high point though. If you had ever tried to do that or even observe them you would understand as you can spot one, take you eye away for a fraction of a second and when you look back they have disappeared. Here is one the Left Coast of US they do not get tamed down as they do in such places as the boardwalks in FL.

I remember one time I had Marn with me on a refuge over by Union, OR and she spotted one as we wear traveling at a very slow speed (a few miles per hour). She brought it to my attention, we stopped and it could not be seen and it was like it just vanished into thin air. We were both a bit excited just to see it but we would have liked to image it too.
--

KimR

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Kim R
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Thanks Judy
In reply to jennyi, Apr 30, 2012

I think you will see one again some day if you keep trying. Take your time when you are around those marshes and use the field glasses a lot too.

On the day I took the images of this one and later in the day I returned to the same spot to try to see it again. After about 20 minutes there and a few "calls" to encourage him there was no sign by ear or eye one was around. I started to leave and actually started the vehicle when I looked down the bank of the canal there in plain sight was a female American Bittern about 30 yards distance. I was amazed that I could look so carefully for some time and then the bird would appear in the open and with only low cover near by.

I remained in place and took many image of her too a she was hunting frogs along that bank.
--

KimR

'The very fact that I find myself in agreement with you other minds perturbs me, so that I hunt for points of divergence, feeling the urgent need to make it clear that at least I reached the same conclusions by a different route.'

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Zindanfel
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to Kim R, Apr 30, 2012

Photos of critters in habitat always carry more interest, even drama, than zoo snaps. Maybe because the field shots often represent substantial extra effort by the photographer, as you've described so well here. Your account of the scramble to coordinate photography and other commitments is almost a third "picture" of your day.

Good show.
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jennyi
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Kim
In reply to Kim R, Apr 30, 2012

How did you make the call, with your bird sound thingie? Maybe we need to get one.
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Kim R
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Re: Kim
In reply to jennyi, Apr 30, 2012

jennyi wrote:

How did you make the call, with your bird sound thingie? Maybe we need to get one.

i-touch and 8 dollar case from Bi-mart that is also external speaker.

BirdJam Software that converted all Western Species Calls (Stokes) to a library to
load to i-touch.

In i-touch the calls are in Alphabetical order and can easily be brought up.

Also other menus are there if one wants those - Western All, Western All Phylo Order (for the more scientific inclined), Western Crazy Birds, Western Fields and Grasslands, Western Forests, , Western Mash, W. Nocturnal, and many other groups to choose from.

(other calls can be added with BirdJam - Eastern Species, some foreign locations, frogs, etc.)

Even when playing one if you happen to hear another you can go to it while the other is playing. So say you were playing a Belted Kingfisher and happened to hear a Waxwing you can switch on the fly.

I just keep the calling to a minimum to not upset the birds of change their habit. Actually reaction to the calls are often most immediate and/or soon after the call is turned off.

Note (a bit on the soapbox) : Some people have a fit about any calling, baiting, etc. yet they are the same ones who will feed the birds in their yard and blatantly approach carrying their Swarovskis Scopes and rudely set up and talk when someone else is in camouflage and attempting not to disturb birds and wildlife and sometimes run their own calls when they think no one else is arround. It seems almost as a show for "Look at my expensive Swarovski." The arrogant bustards!

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KimR

'The very fact that I find myself in agreement with you other minds perturbs me, so that I hunt for points of divergence, feeling the urgent need to make it clear that at least I reached the same conclusions by a different route.'

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Kim R
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Zin...
In reply to Zindanfel, Apr 30, 2012

I have shot in the zoo a couple of times ... because I was there with kids and for practice. I generally do not show those images to others and actually usually do not keep them but it is good practice.

I personally do not care to view zoo shots that others have taken ... usually. On occasion an image will represent something highly unusual and those are an exception such as mom orangutang covering up with a blanket and holding a young one or the like. Unfortunately for me many times the zoo background spoils even these exceptions IMHO.

Life is generally somewhat of a scramble to meet all commitments no matter what they do. Working those things that we most enjoy, family, friends and photography (3 for me) into the schedule is usually always good.

Thanks for viewing and for your comments too.
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KimR

'The very fact that I find myself in agreement with you other minds perturbs me, so that I hunt for points of divergence, feeling the urgent need to make it clear that at least I reached the same conclusions by a different route.'

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Richard Franiec
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Re: Really nice...
In reply to Kim R, Apr 30, 2012

A great captures of elusive AB in the wild.

If I could make one suggestion it would be to carefully adjust contrast and brightness of the scene.

Thanks for sharing

Richard

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Marn
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to Kim R, Apr 30, 2012

Those are great ... i know how hard they are to get .. and not fun .. they are fast ...lol

Marion

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Henry Falkner
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Re: Really nice...
In reply to Richard Franiec, Apr 30, 2012

Richard Franiec wrote:

A great captures of elusive AB in the wild.

If I could make one suggestion it would be to carefully adjust contrast and brightness of the scene.

I wondered if it was just me. To me they look wildly overexposed.
Kim, are you using a dying CRT monitor?

Otherwise, the pictures are great captures.

Henry

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Kim R
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Henry...
In reply to Henry Falkner, May 1, 2012

Thank you for your comment and inquiry I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I wondered if it was just me. To me they look wildly overexposed.
Kim, are you using a dying CRT monitor?

No I am not using a dying CRT monitor. I am using a NEC Multisync LCD 2690 WUXi that is calibrated for color, contrast and 'brightness considering ambient light' here. The calibration is done with a DTP94 puk and Spectraview II software.

I doubt if it is "just" you. It may look overexposed to others besides you too. Our eyes are different and out monitors are different. Subjective to some extent I suppose.

However it does look good on my monitor (my opinion of course) and the histograms of these images show no overexposure, true it is exposed to the right but nothing blown.
Screen shot (click to expand)-

The nice things about histograms is they do not trick us like our eyes do and really they are not tricked even by a monitor.

I do agree with the comment from the previous poster about contrast as an adjustment there can add a bit of detail to the head/face but brightness I do not think is an issue.

Is the monitor that you are using calibrated for color and brightness Henry?

Otherwise, the pictures are great captures.

Thanks.

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KimR

'The very fact that I find myself in agreement with you other minds perturbs me, so that I hunt for points of divergence, feeling the urgent need to make it clear that at least I reached the same conclusions by a different route.'

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Kim R
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Richard...
In reply to Richard Franiec, May 1, 2012

Thank you for your input.
Appreciated.

Considered and checked a bit. Contrast will be adjusted a bit, brightness not an issue AFAIAC but contrast adjustment will make it seem that was adjusted too.
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KimR

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daddyo
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Well done, Kim!
In reply to Kim R, May 1, 2012

Excellent job, especially at that focal length -- nice and sharp. Talk about an Auto-focus nightmare scene -- geez!

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wwcove
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Re: American Bittern (2 images)
In reply to Kim R, May 1, 2012

Very nice images! Exposure looks to be right on target. Just wondering why you did not use a lower ISO since your subject looks still and you could have shot with a much lower shutter speed. Or did you have a large lens requiring a fast shutter speed?

Keep up the good work!

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