Winter, 2002 Gallery (Part One)

I have prepared two galleries containing images from the last couple of months, finishing out calendar year 2002. They were mostly taken while on vacation at Sanibel Island, Florida over Christmas week, with a few exceptions that are noted in the accompanying descriptions for those images. I continue with my love of birds and bird photography, but once again with a few exceptions for other beautiful wildlife.

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Open-mouthed Roseate Spoonbill

Image # 01034

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/8, 1/800 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3

Gitzo 1329, ArcaSwiss B1, Wimberley Sidekick

We saw more spoonbills this trip than last March. This was taken late morning, so the light wasn't ideal, but these are beautiful creatures under any conditions.


 

Brown Pelican Perched in Tree

Image # 01100

Sanibel Beach

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 100-400L/f4.5-5.6 at 400 mm

ISO 200, f/8, 1/2000 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX at -1 2/3

Handheld

There were at least half a dozen pelicans perched in various parts of the trees right off the beach near the condo where we were staying; many were asleep, and gave the appearance that they 'grew' there!


 

Snowy Egret - Intimate Portrait

Image # 01096

Sanibel Beach

Sanibel Beach, FL

Canon 100-400L/f4.5-5.6 at 400 mm

ISO 200, f/8, 1/3200 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX at -1 2/3

Handheld

I enjoyed several walks down the beach, and found this Snowy Egret walking around at the water's edge. I got partially in the water to get the sun behind me, and also got a little different background from other shots of this species I've taken.


 

Osprey - Full Wingspread

Image # 01027

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/2000 second

Evaluative Metering at +1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I never tire of watching or photographing these beautiful birds. I rarely saw them with any fish in tow during this trip, but managed to get a few shots worth keeping.


 

Roseate Spoonbill on the Mud Flats

Image # 00959

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/6400 second

Evaluative Metering at -1

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick


While I saw a number of spoonbills, it was usually in mid-day, and I had to really be careful with exposure to avoid blowing out the white head and neck feathers. This one was feeding on some mud flats with a large number of other birds, and I had to wait a while to get a shot of this one by itself.
 

Osprey - Lunchtime

Image # 01040

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 100-400L with both 1.4x II and 2x II Teleconverters

ISO 400, f/22, 1/400 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Bogen Monopod/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This one deserves a little explanation. I was in Florida with several members of my family, and we decided to take a walk at Ding Darling, on the Indigo Trail from the Visitor's Center to the Cross Dike area. Since this was a couple of miles, I didn't feel like hefting the big 600L, and this was more of a family hike anyway. So I geared up light, carrying the 100-400, on a monopod, over my shoulder with teleconverters on a belt bag. After we got to the Cross Dike, we spotted a couple of Ospreys eating recently caught fish, in some relatively far off trees. So using what I had with me, I stacked both the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, stopped down an additional stop, bumped up the ISO a little, and tried to use as steady technique as I could with the monopod. I wasn't expecting much given this setup, but was pleasantly surprised to get a few 'keepers.'


 

Red Shouldered Hawk ('High Key')

Image # 01089

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Naples, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at +2, 550EX/BB at -1 2/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

We didn't see a lot of birds during our walk around Corkscrew, but did come across this Red Shouldered Hawk. It was quite backlit, however, requiring significant EV compensation, and careful Photoshop adjustment of curves and levels, to salvage it. I don't ordinarily like many "high key" images, but something about this one appeals to me.


 

Roseate Spoonbill with Reflection

Image # 01077

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS with both 1.4x II and 2x II Teleconverters

ISO 400, f/11, 1/400 second

Evaluative Metering at -1 1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I arrived at Ding Darling one evening as the sun was getting low, and the light was becoming warm. I spotted this spoonbill in some nice light, but it was quite far off in the distance. I had to stack the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters to get anywhere near close enough, and again watch exposure to avoid blowing out the very brightly lit white head and neck feathers.


 

Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Image # 01083

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/320 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX/BB at -1 1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

After shooting the roseate above, I headed on out past the tower at the CrossDike area, and shot as the sun set. This gorgeous little YCNH landed a relatively short distance away from me, as I was geared up for the birds much farther away. He's a little tight in the frame because of this, but he moved in even closer before I had a chance to change setup. But the light was really nice, and resulted in a decent image.


 

Pelican at Sunset

Image # 01079

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/5000 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX/BB at -1 1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This was taken the same evening as the two preceding shots, and I love the way the setting sun lights up the wing feathers. I'd rather have the bird a bit more to the right in the frame, and had to crop to at least get him centrally, but you take what you can get sometimes!


 

Cormorant at Sunset

Image # 01085

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 800, f/4.0, 1/10000 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX/BB at -1 1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

The last shot in this series, taken as the sun had already sunk below the horizon. I like the readily identified silhouette of the cormorant, with the pastel-like colors left in the darkening sky.


 

Belted Kingfisher 'on a stick'

Image # 01035

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/11, 1/200 second

Evaluative Metering at +1

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

As I drove in late one morning, I spotted this Kingfisher perched a little ways out. Knowing how 'skittish' these can be, I thought he'd be long gone by the time I got my equipment out of the car and set up. But surprisingly, he stayed there for a good 10 or 15 minutes, giving ample opportunity to shoot. The light was coming from the left, however, and I had to bump up EV compensation to get a decent exposure of this dark little bird against a diffusely bright sky. I think I only used the 2x, rather than stacked, converters, and stopped down one stop to try and enhance sharpness a bit.


 

Great Egret in Flight

Image # 01028

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/4000 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

Even though I have other shots similar to this, I'm still a sucker for the challenge of getting good flight shots of these beautiful white birds.


 

Dolphin Backflip

Image # 00978

Pine Island Sound

Captiva Island, FL

Canon 100-400L/f4.5-5.6 at 130 mm

ISO 400, f/5.0, 1/1600 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

We decided to go on the "Dolphin Watch and Wildlife Adventure Cruises" with Captiva Cruises' Lady Chadwick. We all love dolphins, and were hopeful that we would see a few on this trip. I wrongly assumed that they'd be relatively far away, so came equipped with the 600L on the tripod, and the 100-400 in a lens pouch. We saw plenty of dolphins, right next to the stern of the boat, and the 600L was totally useless. Even the 100-400 was too long, and I shot mostly at the wider end of this lens. This shot is actually a vertical crop of a horizontal image.


 

Dolphin Leaping

Image # 00979

Pine Island Sound

Captiva Island, FL

Canon 100-400L/f4.5-5.6 at 130 mm

ISO 400, f/5.0, 1/2000 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3

Handheld

We couldn't believe the action we saw with these dolphins. They seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we were, and put on a spontaneous show, leaping out of the water, doing flips, etc. It was simply incredible.


 

Dolphin Trio

Image # 01014

Pine Island Sound

Captiva Island, FL

Canon 28-70L/f2.8 at 28 mm

ISO 400, f/4.0, 1/1250 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3

Handheld

We had such an awesome experience on that trip, that I decided to come back the next evening, with different equipment, and hope to be as lucky. Incredibly enough, we were treated once again to an awesome show. I primarily used the 28-70L/f2.8, and this shot was taken at 28 mm, indicating just how close to the boat these creatures were jumping. The 8 frames/second of the 1D definitely came in handy these two evenings, and my reflexes were really pushed, to try and capture this incredible experience. Definitely one of the most exciting things I've witnessed.