Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Portrait of a heron

GREAT BLUE HERON, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, APRIL 23, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/500 sec. f8
ISO 400

The garden's Great Blues are rarely where you want them—they tend to feed way across the lagoon out of effective photo range—but this one obligingly stalked through reeds just ten yards from a path along the western edge of Evening Island.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Red-winged Blackbird

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, APRIL 23, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/1000 sec. f8
ISO 400

It's mating season, and the red flashes on the wings of the bird are at their brightest. These blackbirds are common all over the Botanic Garden and the trick is catching them when they're at rest, which is not often.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Great Blue Heron

GREAT BLUE HERON, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, APRIL 23, 2017

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 170mm
1/400 sec. f8
ISO 400

Finally broke a long drought of good wildlife photos with this shot of a Great Blue along one of the Garden's lagoons. Only the obvious man-made edge of the lagoon, visible just beneath the surface of the water, spoils the picture, but not too much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

More than mundane

CANADA GEESE, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, NOVEMBER 15, 2016

Pentax K-3
90mm Tamron macro
1/250 sec. f8
ISO 100

Canada geese are the dullest, most ordinary photographic subjects one can find in nature, but once in a while they'll add up to an interesting image.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sunset 9/13/16

SUNSET OVER LAKE SUPERIOR, GREEN, MICHIGAN, SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

Pentax K-5
Pentax 18-135mm at 135mm
1/400 sec. f8
ISO 400

Few sunsets in the world can match those on Lake Superior in September when storm clouds roll in from the west.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Purple finch

PURPLE FINCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 5, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with 1.4x Pentax extender (420mm)
1/500 sec. f8, handheld
ISO 1600

I had been trying to use the 420mm lens-and-extender combination on a tripod for sharper shots, but training the bulky rig on a moving target was just too difficult. Handholding in the shade became possible at a high ISO that allowed a fast shutter speed to avoid motion blur. In-camera shake reduction, a feature of Pentaxes, helped as well.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Nutch

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 5, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with 1.4x Pentax extender (420mm)
1/500 sec. f8, handheld
ISO 1600

The white-breasted variety of "nutch," as it's often called in the Upper Peninsula, has been more common than the red-breasted in the last couple of years. It was nice to see a specimen of the latter at our feeders. They are just as snatch-and-grabby as their cousins.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Upside Downy

FEMALE DOWNY WOODPECKER, GREEN, MICHIGAN, AUGUST 5, 2016

Pentax K-3
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5 with 1.4x Pentax extender (420mm)
1/500 sec. f8, handheld
ISO 1600

I've taken lots of shots this summer of this Downy Woodpecker on the suet feeder in our back yard, but only today did it assume a fetching pose.