I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to my website these days. Finally I realized it’s a good place to work on personal projects, to put up some images and play around with the theme to see how bringing a subject out might work.
For a few months I’ll be putting up a series of images on my website that are part of a single subject. There won’t be an attempt to tell a story or develop a portfolio. It’ll just be a way for me to select images from my collection connected to a subject. I’m hoping the exercise of selection will help me improve my skill at defining a portfolio or a story.
Please visit and comment, either on the website or here on this blog. I would appreciate your insights and suggestions.
Here’s the first set of images: http://www.melmannphoto.com/f499320946
Click on the image to see all the images. You can click on any image to see a larger version.
I thought I had a fast camera and lens until trying to capture images of swallows and swifts in flight. I think this was the best of 50-60 image attempts. They sure are in a hurry in the spring time. Between catching enough food on the wing to keep up their metabolism and finding mates and building nests it’s no wonder they are always zipping by. They still have enough time to check things out, though. I turned around once to re-position my camera and caught one of these hovering about 4 feet away, looking me over carefully before wheeling away and moving on. Guess I was too big to take a bite out of.
More practice with long lens, continuous focus, reticle sighting and birds gliding on the wind. Getting the equipment set up properly is just half the effort – tracking and exposure make or break the effort.
For the technical among you: Olympus E-3, continuous focus mode, 1/2000 sec., f/4, ISO 100, 5fps shooting. 300mm, f/2.8 lens with 1.4x teleconverter. Olympus EE-1 reticle sight.
I like how the first image looks like an X-ray of the wings, with everything fitting together perfectly to complete the form. The second image highlights the streamline form of the bird, making it easy to glide with the wind or shift directly quickly. The last image shows off the wingspan that enables gulls to grab the wind and fly fast or hover in one spot looking for food or a landing zone.
Flying birds and photography. Seems easy enough. Point the camera at a bird as it flies by and hit the shutter.
I’m starting to be really envious of the great bird photos I see.
Think I need to hunt for slower birds….
Nice Labor Day weekend visit to the International Crane Foundation near Baraboo, WI. They’ll be closing down for winter in a month or so and I wanted to make some more images there this year. It was a cloudy day so the light was even and not harsh. Their exhibits are well done and fun even if you aren’t a crane fanatic. There are quite a few endangered crane species in the world and the Foundation works to preserve habitat as well as repopulate birds. They hand-rear various species for relocation around the globe. Hurricane Harvey did quite a bit of damage to their facility near Houston, which is involved with whooping crane research and repopulation. You can contribute to their efforts by clicking on the link above.
Black Crowned Crane, International Crane Foundation
Whooping Crane, International Crane Foundation
Thought I’d practice with fast moving birds a bit but the gull population down by the lake was absent, with very few birds flying down the beach. Pretty odd – maybe they had filled up on tourist snacks earlier in the day. With the good weather, however, there were several fast moving objects on the water the practice on.
425mm, f/5, 1/1000sec
After waiting a bit and enjoying the sailboats gliding around the harbor I finally got this guy cruising the area.
425mm, f/5, 1/1600sec
The gear is all working as I hoped but I still need to work on the continuous focus system in my camera. It doesn’t always react as fast as I think I need and it sometimes doesn’t focus on the subject I’m seeing. Just need more birds flying by.