ImageSpotlight: Great Kiskadee

Great Kiskadee. Canon 7D | 500/4.5 @ f7.1 | ISO 400 | 1/2000

Great Kiskadee. Canon 7D | 500/4.5 @ f7.1 | ISO 400 | 1/2000

Here is another image from my recent visit to South Texas. I frequented one of my old shooting locations (Estero Llano Grande State Park), where I captured the dueling ducks in a prior post. As I was surveying one particular pond from an observation deck, this kiskadee landed on a log in front of me, quickly swooped down on the water, snagged a frog, and flew off. It was great action but I did not act quick enough. A few minutes later he would return and this time I would be ready.

How I got the shot:

In order to get this shot, I needed a fast shutter speed and a decent depth of field. I typically shoot at around f7.1 to f8 for my wildlife/bird images, adjusting up or down depending on the conditions. I shoot a Canon 7D and while I will bump the ISO to 640 or 800 on occasion, I do not like to go above ISO400, which is the setting I was using on this day because I had great light. Given the lighting conditions, I could achieve a shutter speed of 1/2000 or better with my desired f-stop and ISO. With the bird surveying the pond from its perch, I had to make a decision as to where I believed his flight path would be once he took off. I noticed he was scanning the pond to his right, which was where he had snagged a frog earlier. I focused my image on the bird, switched the lens to manual mode, and recomposed the shot to the right (no bird in the image). How far to the right is a function of lady luck as I’ve often done this and had missing body parts. Once recomposed, I put my finger on the shutter. When the bird moved, I pressed and held the shutter down. To my good fortune, this was the result.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. –KEVIN

ImageSpotlight: Dueling Ducks

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks. Canon 7D | 500/4.5 | f7.1 |  ISO 400

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks. Canon 7D | 500/4.5 | f7.1 | ISO 400

I have been away from home nearly 3 weeks with visits to the Florida Keys and the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Although most of that time was dedicated to family activities, I did take my camera equipment and attempted to capture some images. On one afternoon I was able to visit Estero Llano Grande State Park (Texas) when three black bellied whistling ducks flew to the pond in front of me. One of the ducks, however, was quite aggressive towards another and commenced harassing it relentlessly. I kept the camera focused on the action until one finally had had enough and flew away. I still haven’t gone through all of the images but when I saw this one I had to share it.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. — KEVIN