A goal of mine is to photograph all the wild birds in the yard.
Easier said than done.
Some birds, like the sparrows and wrens, don’t seem to mind being photographed. Others, such as cardinals, orioles and goldfinches (aka, the “pretty” birds), are rather shy for the camera. They require research and strategic planning. A little luck doesn’t hurt either.
Like clockwork, every afternoon the goldfinches visit our sunflower birdbath. I’ve already tried on several occaisions to get a good shot; however, none have been successful. It was time to give it another go.
The first to arrive was an adult male with his bright yellow plumage and black stripes. He was instantly startled by the sound of the shutter, so I only got one (poor) shot off before he flew away. Next to visit was an adult black-capped chickadee, who also didn’t like the camera and retreated quickly. Damn. Was this how the day was going to go?
Less than a minute later, a juvenile goldfinch arrived! How lucky! The juvies aren’t yet experienced enough to be so easily spooked by the camera, so I was able to get off a few shots.
"Earning My Stripes" (American Goldfinch, Juvenile) Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640
This is most likely a juvenile male, but one can never be sure at this age.
Tell your dad, I’ll be ready for him next time!
Who says you need a rainbow to find a pot of gold?
“August Gold” (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/10, 1/125s, -0.7EV, ISO 400, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -0.7EV
With the torrential rains of Tropical Storm Danny falling, the last thing I wanted to do was head outdoors with camera in hand.
Until I remembered what day it is.
Four years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, taking 1,800 lives and leaving more than one million people homeless. Puts a day of rain into perspective pretty quickly. So, with that in mind, I donned the gear and was determined to find a fitting subject.
The wind gusted and the rain struck my face as soon as I stepped out. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy and, as the ground squished under my feet, I prayed for some inspiration. Thankfully, God must have been listening since something divine directed my attention towards our small grey shed.
And there, it was.
Scaevola aemula – a common annual dripping with the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.
“Remembering Katrina” (Scaevola aemula ‘New Wonder’, aka Fairy Fanflower) Nikon D300, 105mm macro, F/7.1, 1/80s, -1.7EV, ISO 640
“Teed Up” (African Marigold) Nikon D300, 550mm (400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/16, 1/60s, -1.0EV, ISO 400
Many of my photos ‘happen’ while shooting something else.
Earlier today I was having more fun with the chipmunks (and missed a really cool shot of a grey squirrel and ‘munk facing off – grrr!) when I spotted this little bee warming his wings on the marigolds.
Hmmm, that could be something, I thought.
So, I snapped a few frames but, he really wasn’t doing anything particularly interesting and he wasn’t the “cute-little-bumble” type bee but rather the “nasty-yellow-jacket” kind. (Nothing against the yellow jackets, but folks tend to like the fuzzy-wuzzy bees best).
Anyways, I moved my lens to scan the other marigold blooms and noticed that one of the flowers looked like a giant golden-orange golf ball sitting atop a tee.
Click, click, click and boom! Just like that we have today’s image.
If every day could go this well, that would be great!