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Author Topic: The birds are back....  (Read 4354 times)
ricwis
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« on: April 11, 2005, 07:21:57 PM »
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First, use the longest lens possible. I just got the 500 f4 and have been learning to use it on songbirds. Since these guys are so small, I've been adding the 2X TC as well. For ducks and other larger birds, the 500 does fine and sometimes I add the 1.4 TC.

I moved my feeders in the yard so I can have a good view from a small window. Then I set up my tripod and camera at the window, slide it open and have a ready made blind, at least sort of. Since thel window is small, it works well and lets me get close. This Pine Siskin was about 20 feet away and the photo is cropped some to eliminate the side of the feeder.


This shot of the Pine Siskin in a tree about 35 feet away, is not cropped, and is at 1000mm (the 500 and the 2X TC).

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Rich Wisler
Wildlife and Scenic Photography
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shootergirl
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2005, 09:52:30 AM »
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I've got a couple simple suggestions that have worked for me. "My" chickadees and hummingbirds are very friendly (they know who feeds them!) so I can stand nearby and take pictures of them easily. However, the Orioles are a different story. They're very skittish and like to chirp at me if I'm near "their" feeder. This rules out sitting on the deck and taking photos of them. I use a Canon Digital Rebel and luckily the wired remote has a simple sub-mini plug on it. I went to Radio Shack last fall and purchased a 25' extension cord for it. This way I can set the camera up on the deck and run the release cord into the house where I can trip the shutter when something interesting lands on the feeder. I've also aimed it at the bird bath, too, since I get a wider variety of birds there. I'm going to try this setup this spring to (hopefully) get some photos of our wrens feeding their babies. Granted, these aren't true "nature" photos in that they're coming to something I put out for them (birdbath, feeder, birdhouse), but it's fun. When I shoot photos of our bald eagles in winter, I either stay in my car or stand by some trees.

On Friday I was at the local sporting goods store killing time while hunny was making some purchases. I saw they had hunting blinds that were reasonably priced (around $60US for the largest). I checked them out and I don't see why they wouldn't work well as photo blinds. They looked kind of like those tents that have the shock-corded fiberglas poles in them, but of course they were camouflage color.

I hope this helped!

Donna
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shootergirl
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2005, 12:25:34 PM »
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Did they actually have the cord, or did you buy the supplies and solder it together yourself? Both the Radio Shack stores I have been to in Toronto insist that they do not carry an extension for the stereo sub-mini plug.

It was actually a stereo mini cable and I purchased adapters for each end that went to/from mini/sub-mini. It worked out really well. And I didn't have to solder--it's scary to see me wield a soldering gun. <grin>

Donna
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larkvi
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2005, 01:13:20 PM »
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It was actually a stereo mini cable and I purchased adapters for each end that went to/from mini/sub-mini.
I feel less foolish that I could not locate one after an afternoon's search now. I shall have to either get some adapters or get out the soldering iron.
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gryffyn
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2005, 09:17:26 AM »
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After a long, cold, snowy winter, the birds are coming back to the woods and feeders finally, and that gets the juices going to do some early spring fowl fotografy!

Just curious what everyone's favourite tip/hint/technique for photographing birds might be?

Why not start off the bird shooting season with the sharing of useful nuggets of info?

Thanks!

 PS. Nothing wrong with bikini-clad "birds"....just not warm enough yet for that species to be out and about. ;-)
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.....Andrzej
gryffyn
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2005, 10:29:15 PM »
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Very nice Rich.

'Fraid that my budget hasn't got any room at the moment for the 200-400 that I want, so I'll have to set up a bit closer with the 70-200 and my TC 2.0.

I like the idea of using a window as a blind.  Very nice! I've had some good success shooting hummingbirds through our living room bay window last year.  Didn't seem to affect the image quality any, and was the only way to get the shot since that window doesn't open.

Thanks for the tips!
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.....Andrzej
larkvi
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2005, 11:37:26 AM »
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<I>I went to Radio Shack last fall and purchased a 25' extension cord for it.</I>

Did they actually have the cord, or did you buy the supplies and solder it together yourself? Both the Radio Shack stores I have been to in Toronto insist that they do not carry an extension for the stereo sub-mini plug.
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gryffyn
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2005, 12:34:01 PM »
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it's scary to see me wield a soldering gun.
Trust me....you don't want to face that sight! The last guy that did, ended up with 3rd degree burns! ;-)
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.....Andrzej
shootergirl
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2005, 01:38:12 PM »
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Trust me....you don't want to face that sight! The last guy that did, ended up with 3rd degree burns! ;-)

You still have the scars, don't you? <grin>

larkvi, I'm sorry I didn't mention the adapters. They're not all that expensive and I think the cost might be about equal when you compare soldering new ends on versus buying adapters. I like doing things the lazy way so chose the adapters. It's nice having that long cord to use when I wish and the short one when I'm out shooting something that requires a longer exposure and a tripod.

Donna
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