Wednesday, March 29, 2017
With the 40X W eyepiece the 19mm Sigma shows just the very edges of a vignette circle, so its a nice option for digiscoping. However, I wasn't all that thrilled w/ the sharpness of the images compared w/ the Sigma 28mm f/2.8 that provides a bit more magnification and a bit more punch. Still, these are nice images.
It will be tough to let this digiscoping kit go... Stay tuned.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
A few weeks back Sabrewings Tour Guide and fellow bird photographer Brian Zwiebel posted a composite photo of an American Wigeon taking off from the water. At 10 fps, however, every photo showed the same wing spread, making it look like the duck never flapped its wings. I experienced the same thing just this morning!
While photographing a Northern Shoveler taking off from the ditch down here at Erie Marsh Preserve (Monroe Co.) I captured 11 frames consecutively at 10 fps (1/2000 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1600). The duck never flapped its wings, neither. I created this composite by stitching all 11 images together using Photoshop's Automerge tool (after content-aware removing the ducks from duplicated layers), then re-inserting the ducks using the opacity tool to line up their original positions. I then did some trimming of layer backgrounds from each duck and flattened the image. Since the background was so bleh, I kept it as a technical image.
Monday, March 20, 2017
I was at Erie Marsh Preserve in s. Monroe Co. this morning photographing migrating waterfowl. Light was low and skies were overcast. The scaup shown above took off and flew across my path, which allowed me to grab a quick burst of it in flight. Both Lesser and Greater Scaup possess white secondaries, however, Greater Scaup have white that extends onto the primaries. That would make this bird a Greater Scaup, no? Hmm... This is an example where one photograph of a bird can lead to an incorrect identification.
Note the sheen on the head: more purple than green, which would suggest Lesser Scaup (yes, I know head color is not reliable under some lighting conditions, but is useful in most situations). Note also the lack of a distinct black tip on the bill. This is also suggestive of a Lesser Scaup. It is not until we see additional flight shots that the true identity is revealed.
A few more looks at this bird in flight reveals more brown in the primaries that helps seal the ID. Even the female shows browner primaries. Here's a digiscoped view of the bird on the water.
The peaked head confirms it to be a Lesser Scaup! Lesson learned: beware of lighting - it could result in a wrong impression, and a mistaken identity!