Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

July 24, 2011

Whatever subjects until it gets cooler

Filed under: Birds, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, favorite places, Non Birds — richditch @ 6:39 pm
Broad-billed Hummingbird female

Broad-billed Hummingbird female

Broad-billed Hummingbird, Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S plus TC14E (1.4x), ISO 400, 1/500th second at f/4, fill flash with SB-800.

I spent a very hot few hours at Boyce Thompson Arboretum one morning a week ago. I was there was a friend who had taken some excellent photos of a fox family the day before and we were both hoping to get some time with the foxes for even better photos. But typically, the foxes never showed themselves and we filled the hours trying to find other subjects in the same area.

I had replaced the 2x converter I normally use of my bird work with the seldom used 1.4x – that made my 300/2.8 into effectively a 420mm f/4 lens just right for the fox den area near the main trail. I’d added my Nikon SB-800 to deal with the shadows where I expected/hoped the foxes would be. When this female Broad-billed Hummingbird parked itself in this aloe I swung the camera in its direction and got off a few frames. I would have preferred the 2x to the 1.4x used here, but I was able to get a usable image by cropping from a horizontal to a vertical. The flash helped fill some of the shadow side in this backlit situation.



Aloe, Nikon D200, Nikkor 70-300 VR lens at 140mm, ISO 400, 1/500th at f/4.8, hand held.

I try to bring along a second camera with a shorter lens “just in case” when I go out with my bird gear. This time I’d mounted the 70-300 VR lens on the D200 figuring it might be handy if the foxes moved around and came closer. That focal length range gave me a good option for this row of aloe plants a little down the trail we were waiting on. I was attracted by the light hitting the green plants and by the repeating shapes. The D300, 300/2.8 and TC14E were mounted on the gimbal head tripod so I just shot this hand held.

Tree Knot

Tree Knot

Knot, Nikon D200, 70-300 VR lens at 82mm, ISO 400, 1/20th second at f/4.5, hand held.

Normally I would have passed this by, but boredom can sometimes control our actions. This really needed more light or a tripod, but I decided to risk the low shutter speed and rely on the VR function in the lens. I like the graphics and texture of this subject, and I’ve played a little with Levels in post processing to bring out more contrast to show the texture to best advantage. Before my time was consumed by an interest in birds 40 years ago this is the type of subject I’d have been shooting on B&W film.


1 Comment »

  1. Great hummingbird photo!

    Comment by Sharon — July 25, 2011 @ 10:16 am

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