There is Still a Lot Going On.

It sure looks as if New Orleans has its hands full with this Hurricane blowing in from the Gulf; meanwhile I talk about the smoke which is much easier to deal with. I’m indoors with my mask at the ready and the air purifier on full blast; Hurricanes don’t offer such luxuries. Plus it’s too late to order evacuations out of the Big Easy, 140 mph winds and I complain about 25 mph.

I was outside for two hours this morning, my intent was to photograph a few fishermen for a project I’m working on.

The picture is ok but the composition is not right, that power structure diverts the viewers attention and there is not much I can do with it. They did catch a few fish however, that is a fairly hot spot I’ve seen many boats fishing there. Early in the morning there are two men who park on the far Levee to fish, they must be successful as they return daily.

I’m taking these to satisfy a request from an operator of weekend rentals. It is a photographic guide to assist the weekend guest in locating places of interest near to us. I’m planning on a few from road trips as well as some from the water on a boat.

After taking a few of boats instantly deciding it is a good idea but none of those I took this morning or yesterday will work. I was fortunate to come upon this Green Heron (again) on a nearby dock. I have a difficult time when I see this one because it is so small, it must be around 9 inches tall at the most. That 3 inches the Adults exhibit over the height of it doesn’t seem like much but it surely shows when seen in person. I suspect it was this years generation although it may just be an anomaly with its height.

The small Heron turned it’s head so I took a few more (boring) images with the upside being very good color quality; I’m happy with that. The photo of the first year Gull is on the blog again this morning, it is a new photo. He keeps hanging around being quite loud about it as well, it’s good to hear the squawk of the SeaGulls again after their 3-4 week hiatus. They will be the center of attention in a week or so after the wind stops, it would be better yet if the smoke would clear. But alas I’m done complaining about it, my attention is towards those with severe weather issues. I will continue to photograph them with the intent to capture an award winning super image.

Although I took this image a few weeks ago after posting a static picture it’s complimentary to post one flying. Obviously he is launching from the dock but as I’ve stated many times that is how I cheat when photographing flying small birds. I actually managed to capture a few images from this burst, several of them turned out very detailed. Which can in some ways be a real problem when all or the majority of them are posting quality. If there are merely a few it’s not too demanding to keep them all, however when they are all good it’s out of the question. I’m talking about over 200 pictures, each one must be looked at and evaluated for quality. I add one other criteria to the acceptance of the picture and that is uniqueness. In other words the subject has to be doing something interesting, or something at all.

A photographer is always in search of that opportunity to catch an animal in a compromising situation; which is at least 50% pure luck. One of the secrets is to be prepared for something to happen; keep the camera unlocked. Even if a subject is merely caught out of the corner of my eye I don’t hesitate. When given the chance I begin to Aim, Focus and Shutter, with whatever focal point is on the camera. I have found myself leaving it on single point focus then in the event I need to change for a rapid flying or running subject I switch it. It is working out well as long as I remember what I’m doing with it, some of the simplest tasks become confusing. I’ve been doing fairly good as of late, it’s funny how animals can appear to be completely different when seen during a fleeing glance.

I marvel when looking at photos of small flying birds as they are so hard to capture in a clear image. My trash ratio is .25%, I’m not sure if that’s uncommon for people in that niche but it is certainly mine. It gets a bit discouraging on occasion however it inspires me to go at it a bit more diligently. Use various lenses, be patient and above all else aim, focus then press the shutter; in other words slow down and take ones time. It’s a skill that gets better very slowly with practice, well depending upon how large and fast the bird is. Slow birds were quick for me to follow as they are with what I assume are most photographers who choose this niche.

Well, we are socked in quite tightly today with smoke, if I go out I will start to cough and get stuffed up; then later tonight I will have a sore throat. We need to shelter in place and wait it out a while longer. I take pictures every day for an hour or so at least; normally I am able to get a few of Hawks, Crows and various Falcons. They have all flown to less suppressing areas with no wind and at least less smoke; it’s hard telling where they went the entire state is on fire.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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