Wildlife on the Go!
Oh, the great outdoors has its many treasures. I love it when beautiful wildlife comes along to spice up a boring scene. That was the case while finishing up a full day of fishing. We made a few small catches so the day wasn’t a complete bust. Toward the end of the day when things started to settle down, we noticed a flock of geese traveling in and out of the water (a nearby lake). They had been there the whole day and spent most of the time sunbathing and eating. I never realized how much geese eat until after noticing their behavior throughout the day . According to DES, geese can eat up to four pounds of grass per day. I believe it!!
Since I was done with my fishing and mostly enjoying the breeze, I decided to switch to my 150-600 mm lens. The geese weren’t that far away, however, I didn’t want to rely on cropping to get a nice composition. I took a few photos of them swimming with each other – only two where in the water at the time. Then I decided to put the lens down and try to do a little more fishing. A few moments after I sat my camera down, a group of other geese came and made a beautiful picture perfect landing in the lake right in front of me! Of course, my camera was about 3 feet away from me at the time- photo op gone but I still have the memory. shrugs
With an eagerness to not let that happen again, I put my rod down and had my camera ready just in case some action occurred again….I waited, and waited, then waited some more – about two hours of waiting to be exact. During that time I made sure I had my camera setting ready to take a “freeze action” photo.
- Lens cap off (lol)
- Manual Mode
- Continuous High Shutter
- Auto ISO
- Lens set to 9 point focus
- 1/320 or higher of a shutter speed
Getting the shot
I put the lens cap on the list as somewhat of an inside joke. In the beginning stages, my excitement would rise so high that I would forget to take the lens cap off before making the picture.
I shoot manual mode about 97 percent of the time. The other modes on the camera are fine in my opinion – – it’s a personal choice. My approach is simply do what’s best for you and your creativity.
Continuous High Shutter
My camera shoots six frames per second. With wildlife photography, EVERY SECOND and FRAME COUNTS! With their fast and/or sporadic movements, my lens may not be able to keep up focus and I maximize my number of keeps by taking bursts of images during action moments.
I used the auto ISO feature to compensate for difference in exposure since my wildlife subjects were going to move from land to sky within a few seconds.Having the camera focus on that automatically would allow me to get the shot more easily. Its easier for me using this measure of compensation – personal preference.
I chose to use the 9 point focus option on my camera because it allowed me to concentrate on the subjects in the middle of the frame without giving the camera complete control over 51 points in the frame – and choose randomly what it thinks it should focus on.
Lastly, I chose somewhat of a fast shutter speed. I broke the rules a bit because my shutter speed was much lower than my focal length- oh well. It was late in the day and the sun was behind the trees. I froze the action by lowering the shutter speed instead of increasing the ISO; 1/320th did the trick.
Next time I’ll try to start shooting early in the day with better lighting. It’s wishful thinking at this point because it all depends on my oh so wonderful subject and God’s beautiful creatures – Wildlife!
A Friendly Goodbye
On a side note, the geese in the photograph above were the only ones in the water at the time right before I took the shot. They had been there swiping back and forth “talking” to the other geese eating grass on the edge of the lake. At the time of take off, seen in the picture above, they started to fly while making loud geese calls. They then flew in a large circle twice over the group of geese on the ground.
Both the geese in the air and on the ground seem to be making some kind special call to each other. After the two geese made their two circles they flew away. Everything took about 15 seconds but it was almost as if they were saying goodbye. As if a couple were leaving a friendly get together and letting everyone know they were heading home for the evening. It was quite an interesting spectacle to watch.
Tamron 150-600 at 420mm 1/320 sec f/9 ISO 6400
#nature #wildlife #water