Saturday, October 10, 2009

My First Blog...

Well here it is. My first blog. I'll get to the actual blog in a minute but I'll just take this time to give a bit of an introduction for those who don't know me. I'm a photographer from North Vancouver, BC. My passion lies with wildlife photography but I'm also big on landscape type stuff. My portfolio can be seen here... I'm self taught and have been shooting for just over 2 years now. These blogs will be my way of sharing the details of each shoot with anybody who reads them. I'll try and toss out the odd tip or trick and I'll keep things simple because that's how I learned and hopefully you will learn something too.

Now for today's shoot...

I left my place in North Van around 6am and was off to Tsawwassen to meet Raf, a friend, at McDonalds before the photo session. After the quick meal we headed off to Boundary Bay Park. I often head to Boundary Bay to try and photograph Hawks and Owls but this time the goal was a sunrise shot. I've personally never been a huge fan of yellow sunrises or sunsets but today was a bit different. Rays of sun penetrated the clouds and basically lit up Mt. Baker (located in Washington State). It was a really cool sight and I'm glad I had my camera there to capture it.

1/350 @ f/3.5, ISO 400, 160mm
We had each taken a few photos of the sunrise and headed back to our vehicles. Raf got called into work so I was on my own for the next location, which was The Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Ladner, BC.

If you've never been to Reifel, there's this creek that is on the right hand side of the road and runs from the entrance gate to the parking lot. Today this creek was PACKED with ducks. I mean absolutely PACKED. I've never seen it like that before and I realized it was because I've never been to Reifel at this time of year. As soon as I got out of the truck, a familiar sound rang out and right away I knew what all those ducks were there. BOOM BOOM BOOM...shotgun blast after shotgun blast. Hunting season is open and those ducks in that creek, are smart ducks...Reifel is pretty well the only piece of protected land in that area.

With the ridiculous amount of ducks riddle figured out, I grabbed my camera and headed into the sanctuary. It was a pretty slow start. Not many ducks were flying and for the most part they were all just resting in the water. I didn't mind though because the light was still pretty dim. I took a few test shots at f/5.6 ISO 800 and was only getting 1/30 shutter speed... not even close to fast enough for waterfowl photography. I could have bumped my ISO higher but that just means more noise in the photos and there's no need for that.

After some patience, the light finally improved and the birds started to get active. There still weren't many flying so I ended up just taking a few "duck in the water" type shots. I'd prefer to get action shots, such as flight and behavioral type stuff but sometimes it just isn't meant to be. Although today I did get one preening photo...

1/1500 @ f/5.6, ISO 640, 400mm
Anyways that's about it for this morning. The rest of the photos can be found here .

Thanks for reading,


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