Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Shingle Creek a Great Alternative to Disney World

We discovered, Shingle Creek, more or less by accident. I was looking for hiking trails in and around Orlando, Florida. Our first attempt led us to a middle school. We were told that trail access wasn't permitted during school hours. The school secretary thought there was a trailhead in Kissimmee. We checked Google Earth and found the trailhead was in Kissimee about ten miles away. Upon our arrival we were amazed to find a paddling center and kayak rental beside a slow moving creek. There was a boardwalk and trail beside the creek that lead right through a cypress forest.It turns out that this creek is the headwaters of the Everglades! It was such an incredible spot. We were only able to hike for a short time because Lenore had a class to take. I dropped her off at her class and vowed to come the next morning and go kayaking while Lenore attended her conference. The following morning I was at the paddling center bright and early.I rented a nice twelve foot sit in Kayak for three hours. Both of the centers employees saw me off at the waters edge. They seemed rather skeptical eyeing my camera and telephoto lens. I imagine they weren't used to seeing people taking out camera equipment in their kayaks.I paddled upstream and under the Vine Street bridge. Coming out on the other side was like entering a brand new world. Except for the sound of the traffic it was like stepping back in time. There was a large pool surrounded by Cypress trees. There wasn't a lot of bird life but it sure was beautiful. I continued paddling upstream away from the sound of the traffic. I came across some Pied Grebes, a pair of Mallards, Tri Colored Herons and some Hybrid Red Slider Turtles. I even floated up on a White Tailed Deer. There was a little Green Heron that I came alongside that was less than three feet from my kayak. I floated around watching it feed for ten or fifteen minutes. One of my last subjects was a Limpkin feeding on snails. If you are ever in Orlando take a break from the amusement parks and go fro a paddle on Shingle Creek. It is such a great alternative to Disney World. God's blessings upon you, chris . #teamcanonusa, #withmytamron All images were created with a Canon EOS 7D MKII camera with a Tamron 150-600 mm G2 lens or a Canon Rebel t1i with a Tamron 28-200mm lens.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

At the Old Watering Hole

A couple of days ago I was at the window looking out on the back yard. I caught some motion out of the corner of my eye. In our little backyard pond there was a Hermit Thrush getting a cool drink of water. As I watched a little longer it threw itself into the water upside down and began to have a grand old time splishing and splashing. I walked to our back bedroom which is much closer to our little pond to see a parade of Varied Thrushes, Dark Eyed Juncos and Hermit Thrushes coming to the pond to drink or bathe. The next morning I set up six Canon Speedlights around the front rim of the pond for lighting. I put up my window photoblind in the back bedroom window and clamped a ground pod to the inside of the window sill. All that was needed was to set my camera up on the ground pod and create some photographs. Over the next couple of days whenever I spotted a bunch of birds in the backyard I would wander into the back bedroom to see what I could capture with my camera. I ended up with some very nice images including one of a Cedar Waxwing when a whole flock of waxwings dropped by for a drink this afternoon. They had a great time and so did I. God's blessings upon your day, chris All images were created with a Canon EOS 7D MkII camera and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Six Canon 540 EZ Speedlights set to 1/64th power were used for lighting. The camera settings used were Manual mode, ISO 800. A shutter speed of 1/160th of a sec was used. The F stops varied. #teamcanonusa, #withmytamron

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Simple Set Up

Yesterday afternoon I created a very simple set up for photographing birds in the front yard. I took a fairly large tan oak branch and set it up at an angle between two uprights. I fastened it into place with some decking screws. About ten feet behind it I set up a moderately green backdrop. Next I hung a feeder just above the branch so that the birds would have to land on the branch in order to get food from my single spout feeder. I set up my photoblind with a cushy office chair eight feet back from the branch. This morning I waited until both the branch and the background were both in even light. I didn't want any mixed light to have to deal with. I climbed into my photoblind and waited. I was in for a bit of a wait! After roughly a half hour a single Chestnut Backed Chickadee fluttered down to the branch reached up grabbed a seed from the bird feeder and took off. After that it was one bird after another for about forty five minutes. I stopped when the light started getting too harsh to photograph anymore.After uploading the images from my computer this image ended up being my favorite. God's light and love to all, chris This image was created with a Canon EOS 7D MKII camera and a Canon 100-400 IS V.1 lens at 400mm. The camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 1600, F 5.6 at 1/400th of a sec. Fill flash was provided by a Canon 500 EX Speedlight set to -1 1/3 stops. #teamcanonusa, teamcanon, #secretsofbackyardbirdphotography