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Picture-A-Week 2020 - Week 43


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Pictures taken between Monday, October 19 and Sunday, October 25.

 

 

 

Rules: See above

That's it. This isn't a contest.

All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising).

Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize.

The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays.

Post one. Post many. Up to you.

Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others!

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2020 has been a non-stop crap storm since late February. Especially in California. Nobody knows what the underlying reasons for the various closure orders are based on. Conditions to be met so our restaurants can re-open change about every week. They are so arbitrary that I suspect that Sacramento has someone in a basement reading Tarot cards or casting chicken bones to come up with them. To re-open, we need to reach a level of ”Red” or “B” on a scale of 1 to 10. maybe not that bad but you get the idea. We don’t eat at restaurants all that often, but the inability to do so makes us want to go out more often. Human nature, I guess. At least we still have drive-thru available and one of the silver linings in the 2020 cloud is pictured here. Thank you In-N-Out!

 

Silver Lining

 

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Dave

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Sunday had unusually large waves and the surfers were out in force at Playlinda Beach near Titusville, FL. I waited until the afternoon in order to have the sun angle on the surfers rather than backlighting them in the morning.  Here's a sample:

 

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Edited by Oviedo32765
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We spent the week at the Outer Banks instead of taking a big trip to celebrate my graduation. I'm not skilled and have a pretty basic set up and no post-shoot processing. What you see it what you get.

 

The dog thought she was digging to China (hopefully not Wuhan).

The sun only came out briefly, and only when I tried to capture the Hattaras lighthouse.

 

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 When I saw this bird flying I knew it was different. I have a hard time focusing on a bird flying overhead and this bird just flew really fast. It’s not a great picture but it’s a very uncommon bird in our area. I believe it is a common nighthawk. 

08234C0C-A8B0-4FA8-9029-AC240A987E68.jpeg

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Finally got around to downloading the handful of shots from this past weekend - it was rainy most of the weekend and I only had a small window to get out to the wetlands and shoot.  Some of the critters:

 

Anhinga with a jewel fish dinner:

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A young basilisk lizard who just ran across the water, taking a breather on a reed:

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A grey-headed swamphen showing off his colors:

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You've heard the term 'snake in the grass'.  This is a little more dicey to find in the grass:

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A green heron poised for the hunt, waiting for fish in the water below to swim by - that neck can reach out a good foot in length to strike the water in an instant:

original.jpg

 

A belted kingfisher pausing on a branch over the water:

original.jpg

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15 hours ago, cruises42 said:

 When I saw this bird flying I knew it was different. I have a hard time focusing on a bird flying overhead and this bird just flew really fast. It’s not a great picture but it’s a very uncommon bird in our area. I believe it is a common nighthawk. 

 

 

It is indeed.  They're 'common' as the term goes, but not at all common to actually see or shoot.  The biggest problem is that they're most often active at dusk and before dawn, and all through the night.  Unless you happen to be lucky to have one roosting near you, generally they're glimpsed in the early evening hours right around sunset, high up in the sky.

The white chevron under the chin, and the white wing bars, are the easiest giveaways to ID them...other nightjars don't have those (not that any nightjar in flight is something anyone sees very often!).

 

Congrats...not a common BIF.  I've been able to photograph them (at quite a distance) only 3 times in a decade.

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On 10/28/2020 at 1:43 PM, zackiedawg said:

 

It is indeed.  They're 'common' as the term goes, but not at all common to actually see or shoot.  The biggest problem is that they're most often active at dusk and before dawn, and all through the night.  Unless you happen to be lucky to have one roosting near you, generally they're glimpsed in the early evening hours right around sunset, high up in the sky.

The white chevron under the chin, and the white wing bars, are the easiest giveaways to ID them...other nightjars don't have those (not that any nightjar in flight is something anyone sees very often!).

 

Congrats...not a common BIF.  I've been able to photograph them (at quite a distance) only 3 times in a decade.

Thanks! Do you have any tips on how to keep focus on a bird flying overhead? My focus kept going in and out. Even though it passed overhead twice I felt very lucky to get 2 photos.

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The basics (which you may have already been using) is of course to first have the focus set to 'continuous' (AF-C).  For focus area, with a bird against empty sky, wide focus area should be fine...but if it's a fairly slow and steady bird not darting about too randomly, you could also narrow the focus zone down to center and just be sure to keep the bird on the center of the frame.  You really likely don't need any advanced tracking modes unless it was really flying erratically and it was difficult to keep it in the center of the frame while panning - in those cases, the newer tracking AF algorithms on a lot of cameras have gotten pretty good.  I never used tracking on any camera until my most recent, as I found it just wasn't reliable enough...AF-C and wide focus area always worked very well for me.

 

If you had those settings already, and focus was going in and out, it could have happened if the light on the bird wasn't great, the focus system might have had some difficulty staying on the subject with flatter contrast.  You look like relatively blue sky, but if it was later in the afternoon or if you needed higher ISO to get enough shutter speed, that could indicate that the light wasn't as good as could be, especially if you had a slower aperture lens.

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11 hours ago, zackiedawg said:

The basics (which you may have already been using) is of course to first have the focus set to 'continuous' (AF-C).  For focus area, with a bird against empty sky, wide focus area should be fine...but if it's a fairly slow and steady bird not darting about too randomly, you could also narrow the focus zone down to center and just be sure to keep the bird on the center of the frame.  You really likely don't need any advanced tracking modes unless it was really flying erratically and it was difficult to keep it in the center of the frame while panning - in those cases, the newer tracking AF algorithms on a lot of cameras have gotten pretty good.  I never used tracking on any camera until my most recent, as I found it just wasn't reliable enough...AF-C and wide focus area always worked very well for me.

 

If you had those settings already, and focus was going in and out, it could have happened if the light on the bird wasn't great, the focus system might have had some difficulty staying on the subject with flatter contrast.  You look like relatively blue sky, but if it was later in the afternoon or if you needed higher ISO to get enough shutter speed, that could indicate that the light wasn't as good as could be, especially if you had a slower aperture lens.

Thanks for your help. I shoot in shutter priority. Is that the best way to shoot birds? My settings were f6.3, ISO 400, 1/1250 sec., 240mm. Because of a dislocated shoulder injury with complications I had to use my old camera so I don't know offhand what the focus was set at. I was happy that I could even use that (Nikon D3400 w/Tamron 18-400mm lens). I'm out several times every day taking pictures of birds in our yard and didn't want to give that up. I had to for a couple weeks then used my cell phone, then a P&S camera, then the D3400. I'm now back to using my Nikon D500 with Sigma 150-600mm lens. Here is the original picture of the Nighthawk. I lightened it and cropped it in my camera and the picture I posted above is the result.

DSC_1609(4).JPG

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