Near my house there is a overflow pond full of reeds. A few weeks ago hundreds of small birds were there (starlings, I suspect). I did not get out in time to try and photograph them, as they wheeled in the sky then settled in the reeds to chitter and chirp. When I did go out last week there was one, solitary bird: a breeding male, red-winged blackbird. It was dusk and I was shooting with the Nikkor 200-500 f5.6. It is an excellent lens, but the light was low and I am not experienced at shooting birds in flight. Still, here are a few shots. I hope through the summer to work harder to learn the technique as the equipment is excellent, it is the photographer who is lacking in skill.
Yesterday there were massive rains on the mountain. I am told that it even dislodged borders that rolled into the streets causing massive damage to cars and the roadway. I took another two more hikes after the rain, last evening and again this morning. Here are few shots, particularly of flora and snails. At the end I came across an amazing rock formation, a kind of bunker, but my photos do not do it justice. I have included a few so that you can get the idea.
For Episcopalians in the southeast Sewanee, the home of the University of the South, is considered the “Holy Mountain.” I am spending this year in Nashville and this week took a bit of a retreat to St. Mary’s Sewanee. We have had massive amounts of rain, but before the storms came I was able to take a quick hike out to “Bridal Veil Falls.” I did not have ND filters or a tripod so I do not have any photos of the falls with that smooth, graceful look. Still, I was a nice day to take a hike. This morning, in the fog and rain, I took a few shots with the iPhone 7 plus. A remarkably good camera as well. I have added those at the end.
This morning as the sun came up the dew was thick upon the grass and near me was the camera with the 200-500mm lens on it. Nikon says it is good for macro photography so why not? Being a 6 pound lens it is a bit unwieldy for a lot of close work (close being relative, roughly 5 feet away) but it did yield nice, crisp shots with beautiful bokeh even at f5.6.
UPDATE: I spotted a hummingbird from a long way off. Take a look at the uncropped and cropped photos. Not bad. Remember this is with a D810 and the 200-500, handheld.
Yesterday the Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6E arrived and it seems like suddenly all the critters in the backyard disappeared! There will be a lot of experimenting to get used to it and find the best settings for various situations. I started this morning with a few shots of the dog and then, through a window, I managed to get this squirrel with a nut in its mouth running across the yard. So, early trials but it is a very solid lens and a great value.
This spring break we took 72(!) students to Puerto Rico as part of our Leadership Academy. Of course it was also an excellent opportunity for photography. I took along my D810, 28-70, 80-200, and 50mm, along with a Nikon J1 with the underwater housing (which, sadly, was lost in a waterfall; I don’t want to talk about it). A few of the images are below.
I am traveling through the west coast, starting with Las Vegas. In at least 6 visits I have never so much as pulled the arm of a slot machine. But I have snuck out twice to take pictures at sunrise in the Red Rocks Canyon National Park. Yesterday I had a few hours so I was able to amble among the rocks themselves around Calico 1. Just beautiful and breathtaking. And still not enough time.
I am working from an iPad so these images have no or very little edits to them. Shot with D810 and Nikkor 28-70 f2.8 or Tokina 20-35 f2.8.
Over Memorial Day weekend we had the pleasure of being on Tybee Island and the nearby water. At low tide sandbars appear as islands and people bring up their boats, offload chairs, coolers, and their dogs (dogs aren’t allowed on most beaches). Meanwhile the birds take advantage of the low tide as well. Here are a few shots out of many that I took. Capturing the osprey was particularly challenging. Most of these shots were with the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom, on the Nikon D7000, of course.
I have also created an account on 500px. This allows me to also sell my pictures, so if you would like to download a HQ version of a photo or have a canvas print then head over to http://500px/Targuman.
I have often been told by professional friends that giving yourself an assignment is the best way to keep yourself engaged and learning in your photography. I have done this in various ways, but especially in just taking pictures of what I see everyday. A recent post on Digital Photography School makes the same point. I even have an entire flickr set just for backyard photos. These few show some extremes in lens length.