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Active Since: May 24, 2018
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Replies Created: 9

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Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    Ok everyone, I have a very basic question. I am in need of new electronics. Right now, I have an iPad mini and an old laptop and old desktop. I am thinking of replacing one of these to support my new photography habit. 😂 I have not used Lightroom, photoshop or any of the editing software yet as I have owned a “real” camera for only 4 months. (Nikon D500) and I’ve been focusing on learning the camera itself. Quite a steep learning curve. My question - what electronics does everyone use to edit their photos?  Do I need  to get a new desktop to do all the fancy editing? Can I just get a fancy tablet? IPad Pro? How about memory issues - GB’s? Any and all suggestions would be so welcome. Christmas is coming 🎄 Thanks in advance!
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    Sunday morning I set out to photograph in Bayou le Batre, Alabama. You might remember this place from Forrest Gump. Bubba’s hometown and the start of the famous  Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. I see the shrimp boats from B.l.Batre every morning from my back porch, so I went in search of the likes of the St. John Joseph and the Blue Thunder. Interestingly, many of the boats are run by Vietnamese fisherman. This is a bit ironic considering that in Forrest Gump, he found in the Vietnam war. Back to birding and photography. I tried to make the background important in all of these pictures and tell a bit of a story as well of this little fishing village. The first pic to me shows the laughing gulls standing at attention, first thing in the morning for the pledge of allegiance. I also tried to make it 3-dimensional with the gull on the post in the front. 907C1F73-9B2E-43C3-B93C-2F04615AF8FE Much to my surprise, at the very end of the road, on the last inlet to the gulf, I found this old Casino Ship - the Argosy 5. Looks like its for sale if anyone is interested. I believe it is 5 million and change. I practiced with my lighting to F8/1000 shutter speed to get the gull in focus and the ship blurry. 64282BE6-A5A8-409E-8E92-EB73F826895D Lastly, I found the house that was supposed to be the home of Forrest’s mother for the movie. Turns out they filmed in one of the Carolina’s instead. For this picture, the barn swallows were moving so fast, I couldn’t get them and the house in the same shot. So, I focused on the shrub in the foreground and took a pic everytime I saw a swallow go by. This was the winner as I managed to get two in the same shot and they were in positions where in positions where they were clearly (if a bit out of focus) in view. DF4C254F-5E5F-4C5C-B024-DDDEFCEA57C0 On my way to B.l.Batre, I got the craziest shots of black vultures feeding. If you are a bit squeamish, don’t look. I attached the pictures as a reply to Isabelle’s previous post. Take a look at the crazy vulture tug of war.
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    While I went out yesterday to go on an adventure birding from my car, using it as a “blind”   I had your post about photographing birds while eating on my mind. I was on my way to Bayou La Batre, where Bubba, from Forrest Gump, was from and had his shrimp boat. I was going to try to photograph birds at all the tons of shrimp boats. Yes, it really exists and is a truly shrimping village. I was sure to get good feeding shots. On my way, I came upon these two black vultures in the middle of the road. I watched then as they fed, then were forced off the road as cars whizzed by. I never expected to see what I saw, much less get a picture of it! The 30 minutes were definitely worth every minute! As you can see in this first photo, one of the vultures was feeding while the other looked on from the side. I guess the one  on the left was tired of being run off  by cars and decided to try to drag the kill off the road. As I watched, the kill was successfully moved off, but some remained. That is when the struggle began. The first  bird went back out into the road to retrieve the “innards” while the bird on the right  took this opportunity to suddenly try to get away with the kill all for himself... F7340DAE-D5E4-477C-860F-1BFDC04734F3 That is when the intestinal tug of war began - yes those are the intestines - you can barely see the bird on the right holding onto the kill and trying to back away with it and have it all for himself.  It was quite a struggle and quite an amazing site. Unexpected for sure, a one in a million shot. I only wish it was better composed. C8FF4711-5B9C-40B6-AE8E-D913EE1A7007
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    Dika- I also love to watch the skimmers and I enjoyed your comments. I wondered what would happen is they suddenly hit something in the water with their bills and wondered the consequences. While looking over my pics from this weekend, I found a bit of an answer. I know this picture isn’t the best quality, but I thought they were worth sharing. It’s amazing to see that the skimmer’s head is tucked back under himself, almost to his tail. He managed to stay “upright” and continued to fly off. 7C87A5FC-5542-4CCA-9122-D6609614FCA1
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    Armed with all the great information from my lectures, I set out to improve my flying bird photography. I spent the last three mornings, getting up at 6am, grabbing my coffee and sitting on my boardwalk for hours at a spot where skimmers have been feeding. I made myself a blind behind a shrub and waited. I was determined to take my new Nikon 500 with a 200-500 lens off program mode and practice the settings as Melissa suggested. Trying to steady the camera and pan has been hard as using this heavy lens is new for me. (My previous camera was an iPhone 😂) This weekend, I practiced holding my arms in at my side thus creating my own tripod as Melissa suggested which helped immensely, although, I still had mostly blurry pics as trying to move smoothly and pan is still rather difficult as the birds were so fast and unpredictable. I was more aware of when I had jerky movements, which before I was pretty clueless. Like many of the others have commented, I often lost the bird in the viewfinder as I’m trying to pan. This is made even harder when I also try to change my zoom setting. Many of my pics had the skimmer’s trail and no skimmer! As everyone agrees, practice is the key. My best shot was taken at F 6.3, Shutter 1/2500 and ISO was set at auto and read 640.5D3BBDA5-90E6-463E-ABBB-D928CC80FE33
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    I think I have figured out a great “hack” for a beanbag tripod. As I was determined to bird from my car, prior to purchasing one, I grabbed my therapeutic neck wrap - one with the beads that can be heated in the microwave for 1 minute. It worked like a charm! Perfect for a beanbag tripod and later that night after developing “warbler neck” haha69D284B1-C11A-4ED9-90E5-61F14F9DEC40
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    After my first less than thrilling early morning sit spot, I went to the bay and carefully and slowly  zig-zagged down a pier to sit for awhile. Although blazing hot, it turned out to be a much better spot for this time of year. I was able to practice trying to shoot birds in flight, diving for fish, but I realize that I need to work on my lighting as many of the birds just blended into the background - the sky was a bright light blue. I am really looking forward to delving into the next lessons on how to use the setting on my camera to optimize my outings. My best pictures were still shots of laughing gulls. I was using my 200-500mm lens so I was able to get some close up shots without interfering with their environment. My favorite shot - gull yoga - tree pose. C592AAE4-483A-4C51-9CFC-A1E1E535220E
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    As a relatively new birder, armed with my new camera, I went to my favorite spot from spring migration. I live on a barrier island,  Dauphin Island, Al. This is the first spot of land for many S. & Central American migrants in the spring. This was my first year looking for warblers and the island was hoppin. I was shocked that at times, the trees looked like Christmas trees dotted with colorful Christmas ornaments. Spring was amazing. But today, I learned a very important lesson...spring and July are two totally different animals in South Alabama. I set up my chair and coffee early, as I learned in previous lessons, and waited....and waited. The only things flying were the mosquitos. When I finally did see something, it was behind me, which of course was into the upcoming sunrise. I learned some very important lessons, all getting me closer to becoming a better birder and photographer. 😃       The first picture is my, lets say “artsy” picture, taken into the sun, which was behind me at my “sit spot.” The second picture of the prothonotary warbler was also taken at the same spot, but it was taken during spring migration. We have a spot called “the drip” to provide a spot for warblers to perch and have a drink. It’s the perfect spot for bird viewing right in the middle of a place we call The Shell Mound, a prehistoric Native Indian site. Just wanted you all to see the type of pic I was hoping to take today. 🤣 After an hour, I decided to try for shorebirds/seabirds and moved my “sit spot” to the bay-side of the island. Post to follow. 9240EB68-688A-4974-BCFC-140A431393CE147532C4-A5DB-4B32-85FB-8CFB04527477
  • Cynthia
    Participant
    CynthiaDI
    I decided to research red-winged blackbirds as I have been watching males harass  much larger birds chasing them away from the marsh by my house as well as dive bomb people as they walk down their boardwalks to the beach. As I researched, I learned that they like to build nests in grasses in or near fresh water marshes. This morning, I went out early and followed the a male until he went to a suspected nest in the marsh. I quickly spotted the female as she flew. I’m not quite steady yet to get great moving shots, but here are a few. The middle picture is my surprise picture. The male was sitting on the twig that is out of focus.  What I didn’t realize until I reviewed my photos was how he was able to take off like a rocket, in a completely vertical direction. B017EA9B-DADD-4A58-93DC-F305D43D7FE50E048C83-7E7B-4F69-ACB7-D125ECB3CB143B04D3D2-4971-42C8-A352-81FEF3DA113B
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)