The Charlotte Raptor Center (click here for their website) recently sponsored a 'Fall Photo Shoot' and I had the opportunity of attending. I was able to meet and shoot with a couple of photographers I had met through my website, and this made it even more enjoyable.
They went to great lengths to try and display the various birds in naturalistic settings, and I think they did a great job with it. The birds were still all tethered, and this showed up in most of the pictures, but it still was a great opportunity to photograph these incredible creatures.
It started at 8:00 a.m. and most of the areas where the birds were set up were poorly lit, making for some very challenging shooting. Later in the morning, some sun penetrated to some of the display areas (primarily where the eagles were located), making things somewhat easier for at least some of the birds. But overall it was a good opportunity to get some practice working in low light conditions, balance ambient and flash lighting, etc.
I pretty much put the Canon 100-400 IS on and left it there, mounting it on my tripod and ballhead with the Wimberley Sidekick. I continue to be impressed with how well balanced this setup is. I used the 550EX flash as needed, mounted on the Wimberley Combo2 Flash Bracket (to get it off the camera, and allow easy switching between portrait and landscape orientation), triggered by the ST-E2 transmitter.