Excellent Adventures At Bosque Day 2 AM

The other day was the first time I have seen “fire in the mist” at Bosque. It turns out it was pretty tame compared to this morning. When we pulled in the pre-dawn I could see the steam rising from the water and knew this was going to be our sunrise shoot. Sure enough the sun came up and lit the steam up with a gorgeous warm glow. It made the scene take on a mystical feeling. To me the lone crane lifting off above the rest is what makes this image…

As the cranes began flying away some of them moved off into the grass. I loved the soft ethereal look of the cranes in the grass and the mist…

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm VR, TC-20E III on Lexar digital media

Tech Tuesday From Bosque…Sighting In On Your Subject

Finding your subject with a long lens can be a challenge. You see it, bring your lens to your eye and it’s gone. By the time you get in focus and aim where your subject was, it’s gone. There is nothing more frustrating than missing that great shot because you couldn’t even find the subject in your viewfinder. Next time you’re out with your long lens give this little tip a try. First thing I do is pre-focus at the approximate distance that I will be acquiring my subject. That way when I aim my lens, the focus is nearly spot on already which makes finding my subject much easier than looking for a blurry target.

Now, here’s the cool part. When you mount your lens shade, use the set screw as a sight so it lines up with your hot shoe. You folks who have shot guns know where I’m going with this. By using the screw as a sight, I simply bring the camera to my eye, aim the screw at my subject and viola!, there it is in the viewfinder…

From there, it’s a simple matter of fine focusing, panning and clicking!…

Image created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm VR with TC-14E II on Lexar digital media

Excellent Adventures At Bosque Day 1

The Bosque Challenge…
I have given myself the challenge to make one unique image from Bosque each day. While I love the blast offs, the flight shots, the blur pans, etc and I know I will continue to create images of these subjects, I want to take home at least five images that are different than any I have done before. As we drove the Marsh Loop in the mid-afternoon, there was a small group of Sandhill Cranes working the corn fields. Some were in amongst the tall stalks and as we stopped to enjoy the scene, my eye was captured by the interesting graphic element of looking right down the corn row at the Cranes. I waited until one cooperative bird paused long enough for me to make this image…

I selected my widest aperture for a shallow depth of field to blur all but the crane and the corn stalks next to it leaving the rest a soft blur of warm color.
Image created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm VR, TC-17E II on Lexar digital media

Classic Bosque Afternoon

As the day wore on the winds changed direction until they were coming from the southwest which is nearly perfect for flight shots at the corn fields. The light is coming from the southwest and when the winds come from that same direction, the birds land towards the light and my camera. They come flying in like kamikaze pilots all helter skelter with wings splayed to slow their speed…

I could (and did) spend hours watching and photographing the great aerial displays…

On cue every last Snow Goose took flight heading off towards their evening roost so, I too departed the farm fields and headed to the Cranes Pools for the last light…

Once the sun dropped below the horizon, I did not pack up my gear and head out. Instead I worked blur pans of the Sandhill Cranes as they came in for the evening. I love working slow shutter speeds to get the blur motion effect and while my keeper ratio drops drastically, the few I get that I like are worth the effort…

No two years, shoot, no two days are ever the same at Bosque. Just when you think you have it figured out the patterns change. That’s one of the things I love about it, you never know what your going to get. I’m never disappointed but, often surprised. I’m ready to meet my group tomorrow with a good feel for the lay of the land. Stay tuned.

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 600mm VR with TC-17E II on Lexar digital media