Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

November 23, 2012

A short visit to the Water Ranch

Filed under: Birds, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, Non Birds, surprise results — richditch @ 10:58 am
Raccoon footprints

Raccoon footprints

I was motivated to visit the Gilbert Water Ranch on Wednesday morning by the report of a Swamp Sparrow seen the previous day. That’s a species common in the east (I saw them regularly in my NJ days) but not on my Water Ranch list. I didn’t find the Swamp Sparrow – I couldn’t even find the small flock of white-crowns it was keeping company with when first discovered. But it was a nice visit and good exercise for the 90 minutes I was there.

My favorite shot of the day was the Raccoon footprints I found on the edge of one of the mostly dry impoundments. I really took the photo so I’d be able to compare it to the illustrations in one of my field guides at home and confirm they belonged to a raccoon. I was equipped with my usual birding gear – a 300/2.8 and 2x on a Nikon D300, all mounted on a big tripod with gimbal head set-up. If I had taken the trouble to slip my small, light, cheap “plastic” 55-200 zoom in a pocket on my water pack I’d have used that on the D300 and taken my time here. Instead I grabbed my hand-me-down iPhone 3GS and bent over as far as I could without toppling to take 3 quick frames. I often take multiple frames lie this when I’m not confident I’ll avoid blurring the image (I really like working from a tripod).

I was quite happy when I transferred the shots to my iMac and looked at them on the larger screen. I did some modest tweaking of brightness and contrast, and cropped  a little from the left and bottom for this result.

Bottom line: the camera in the iPhone is very handy and can produce excellent results. It has saved me a few times in the field when I haven’t had an appropriate lens along or when I don’t have the D300 with me at all.

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1 Comment »

  1. I really like this image Rich, it tells a story without the subject even being there.

    Comment by Mia McPherson — November 25, 2012 @ 11:51 am


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