Getting Addicted

Started Sep 25, 2017 | Photos thread
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Phocal Senior Member • Posts: 2,337
Getting Addicted

Over the years I have shot wildlife from hides, walking thru the wilderness (aka swamps in my neck of the woods), out of a vehicle, and boat/kayak. About 10 yeas ago I started shooting from what are now called recreational or fishing kayaks. I would shoot from the kayak on occasion because it's such a good platform for getting close to subjects, but never really used it on a regular basis.

This summer I made the decision to try and shoot the entire summer from it. I hardly shoot much wildlife in the summer because it so hot here in Texas. Well, this summer was the first time in a number of years that I have consistently shot wildlife all summer. Which is what I was hoping I would do if I tried to shoot exclusively from it. Now, as fall approaches I am not sure I want to go back to shooting on foot. The kayak is just so convenient, a lot like shooting from the Jeep but with the stealth of being on foot. Soon I will also have my kayak hide completed and then the kayak will function with the convenience of the Jeep, the stealth of my feet and the cover of a hide when needed.

I have all the gear I could possibly need with me since I don't have to carry it. The way my new Ascend H12 is laid out, all that gear is very well organized and I can get to any of it very easy while on the water...............most of it in under 2 seconds.

When I see a Great Blue Heron I can approach close enough to capture it with my favorite lens. It's always a pleasure when I can shoot my Olympus ZD 150mm f2.0 without a TC, especially in beautiful morning light.

handheld from kayak

When shooting from foot I only have one camera out, the other/s are in my backpack. I do a lot of crawling on the ground to get close and shoot a lot from my skimmer pod because I like the low perspective. Because of my style, having a 2nd camera easily accessible is really not possible. But from the kayak I can get close enough for the 150/2 and decide while shooting to grab the 2nd body with my 50-200 + 1.4x TC to get a bit closer portrait.

handheld from kayak

Because I like photographing birds catching fish, I position myself to capture the entire bird with my 150/2 (so I can capture all the action and not cut off part of the bird). From that close position I can also have my 50-200 + 2x TC to capture some really tight portraits to change things up. While the 50-200 is a zoom, I honestly only use it at the longest focal length and would be perfectly happy with a long prime lens. Maybe it's time to finally buy that Olympus ZD 300mm f2.8.

800mm effective reach, handheld while holding the camera over the side of the kayak and using the flipped open LCD for framing.

800mm effective reach handheld from kayak

800mm effective reach handheld from kayak

I have started to get really use to having multiple bodies with different lenses within easy reach. When I do head out on foot this fall/winter I wonder how much I am going to miss how convenient it really is shooting from the kayak.

Typical gear I take in the kayak

  1. EM1 w/ ZD 150mm f/2.0
  2. EM1 w/ ZD 50-200 SWD (sometimes switch out for the Bigma)
  3. EM5 w/ Bower 7.5mm Fisheye (sometimes switch out for the 14-54)
  4. ZD 14-54 f2.8-3.5 mk2
  5. EC-14
  6. EC-20
  7. Olympus 60mm Macro
  8. Sigma 50-500 aka Bigma
  9. tripod
  10. skimmer pod

Typical gear on foot

  1. EM1 w/ ZD 150mm f2.0
  2. EM1 w/ Bower 7.5mm fisheye
  3. EC-14
  4. EC-20
  5. Tripod
  6. Skimmer pod

As always, any and all comments/critiques are welcomed


Edit - All photos in full resolution are available in this Flickr album

 Phocal's gear list:Phocal's gear list
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake +6 more
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
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