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Steve Foss

Black-capped chickadee: The never-fail (pics included)

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I was reviewing files and realized there were enough good ones for a bit of a photo essay on the black-capped chickadee, the true north for bird photographers, the species that comes around and stays around when none else does.

These are for those of you who like uncluttered backgrounds with the subject isolated. Taken at a single feeding station over the course of three days. The birds are perched on elements that were already there and not rearranged.

All with the Canon 1D Mark2n, Canon 400 f2.8L (non-IS), Canon 1.4 TC, Gitzo tripod, studioball head, iso200 at f4, various shutter speeds.

chickadee-cocked.jpg

chickadee-antler.jpg

chickadee-on-spruce.jpg

chick-sideways.jpg

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Very cool pictures Steve. Crappie Tom had one land on his ice rod while fishing. grin.gif They would come in and pick up waxies laying on the ice. Some got really close too.

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That's the way I like them, not too busy where you can concentrate on the subject. I like something about that first one the most.

Steve, did you go out and buy a new camera and lens?

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Quote:

Steve, did you go out and buy a new camera and lens?


I wish!! That's over $10,000 in equipment, new, and not much less than that used. frown.gif

Free Canon Professional Services loan. grin.gif

I had this combo when I was on the wolf shoot last year, and my photog buddies and I each shot several thousand frames of feeder birds at the cabin where we stayed. Every once in awhile I go back through those and take a fresh look. Interesting how my perspective has changed on some of them after only a year.

And as much as I preach about how it's the eye of the photographer that's much more important to the art than the equipment is, it's also interesting to note that images shot with this lens, one of Canon's top primes, are noticeably sharper than with any of the zooms, as well as the wonderful buttery bokeh you can get with those shallow DOFs. And an 8.5 max fps burst rate and larger buffer DO allow you more confidence that you're capturing a perfect image among a burst series of so-so ones.

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Sell ten of that sweet wolf print at $1,000 a piece and waa laa! grin.gif

I know, I know... easier said than done. I'm going to be doing a Wolf shoot myself in less than a month up your way and will using the Nikon 300mm F2.8 mainly... It will be my first experience with this lens and hope it's all that.

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Buzz, Canon's 300 f2.8 is its sharpest telephoto prime, and I'm sure the Nikon version is all that, too. Not being able to afford either the 300 or the 400 f2.8, I'm still looking at a way to pair the 300 f2.8 with the 1.4 TC. Same reach as my 100-400, one stop faster at f4, and there's no noticeable image degradation with the 1.4, so they'll be as sharp as that 400 f2.8.

You going to the wildlife center in Sandstone? The 300mm should be plenty, especially with the 1.5 crop factor. If I remember what other shooters who have dropped the coin to go there have said, you are pretty close to the animals.

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Yeah, thats what I was told. I spoke with four other guys I know that will be attending the same shoot and they said 300mm is perfect. I guess we will see.

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Well, you'll have your 80-400 zoom too, right? Never know when you'll need the flexibility. Did YOU go out and buy a new lens? grin.gif

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Steve & Dan, Nope, I'm leasing it from West photo, it's only $55.00 for the weekend... you pick it up after 3:00 PM on a Friday and return it by noon the following Monday and they consider it one day as they are closed on Sundays. I'm working on the wifey poo for the 500mm F4... she likes to monitor my spending naturally. blush.gif That's probably a good thing.

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My personal choice is the 1st...like the green lichen contrast too...early Winter? Finaly got the Manfrotto monopod to go along with the ballhead/tripod-bracket today from Canoga. Experimentation leads me to believe that the mono will help, but I am still adjusting to the fact that camera movement will be a factor, especially at 400mm (my first time using a mono). Unfortunately, the boss is inquiring about 100-400L and I have to deliver...tommorrow? He is going to Martinique in couple weeks and was wondering about the lens...me, sure I'll bring it ritht on in...man, what some people will do to keep a job! He asked about waterproof camera/lens covers (SCUBA) that might work, and I told him that this lens is not appropriate...which I actually think is accurate. grin.gif I will probably stall with the lens over the weekend so I can use the Manfrotto. Maybe get some shots of Chickadees (there, see, didn't hyjack the theme).

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • I have another weekend in me to fish and fight the winds and weather and then the boat will be done for the year.  Guess it is that time of the season but would really love to get another couple outings in but such is life! 
    • who uses flashers now days haha; I'm a helix convert now too, i was hesitant at first as the Lowrance had a LCD screen a few years ago for ice fishing but the lag was unusable, but hbird figured it out. Mapping, flasher screen if wanted, and sonar all in one, its like a smartphone; everything in one.   also, I have not had any interference issues with others using the helix, especially with all of hte chirp setttings
    • Looks like a good time 
    • I love my Helix unit also, and GPS has been a game changer for me. No more fumbling with my phone in the cold with apps eating my battery and trying to keep it out of the elements.    I miss the simplicity of my Marcum VX-1 but after getting my Helix dialed in I have no complaints.
    • SD resident opener was a wet one. Saturday I didn't go out. Sunday morning woke up with 4.5" inches of snow at my place a few miles south of Sioux Falls. Never would I have imagined we would be able to hunt in snow this early! The other odd part is that none of the weather people even hinted at any accumulation or even predicted any chance of precip. It literally just came out of nowhere.   Yesterday I hunted the entire day from noon to sundown and was fortunate enough to still have some snow stick around in areas.. My only summary is swamp country. I wore the wrong boots, wrong pants etc. Should have just wore waders would have been able access things better. My biggest mistake was not going far enough west and not far enough north. But there is a ton of public land where I headed and I hadn't been able to scout that way yet this year. Everything that looked walkable was wet it didnt matter how high or low it was. If it looked good at knee level it very likely had ankle high standing water under it. Ditches were full of water, some roads were underwater it was just wet everywhere and I don't see any signs of any harvesting starting any time soon. The water just made things difficult to walk as some areas I am familiar with. I could walk one side and work it good, but then get land locked because of water and have no way of getting to the other sides and ended up back tracking and walking a lot of same areas twice  which usually isnt productive.   I only managed 1 bird all day. I missed 1 bird my first walk probably at 12:01pm right after getting out of the truck. Just was slow to get the gun up and was way behind it. Typically early season lull, I think I just stared at the bird before I even realized I should be trying to shoot it. I downed another bird early afternoon and I knew it wasn't hit hard. Made a good mark on it and then my dog got a good track and pinned it down. As I went to grab it with my hand the dog released and the bird took off like a bat out of hell and we never were able to recover it because of all of the water. As soon as I put my hand on it, it just exploded and was gone. Was just an odd scenario.   Saw a few other hens but otherwise a very very slow day. I had spotted a bunch of birds coming out of some CRP earlier in the day that headed for corn. I came back an hour before sundown and hunkered down hopefully to get some pokes at them during the golden hour and they never showed up. I know the birds are around but all the crops in makes it difficult to hunt during the day.   I dont know what to suggest for people coming for the big opener this weekend. Its going to be difficult with so many crops in. I would say anywhere north of HWY 14 should be a little drier in areas but they have still seen some moisture the last couple weeks. Up near Brown county they are basically in a drought and down in the south eastern part of the state we are breaking yearly precipitation records. Harvest is off to a slow start all over. I know this weekend is the big opener everyone gets fired up for but if it were me I would be coming back for late season hunts and skip the circus this weekend.   I wont be hitting it hard any time soon will probably just stick to some sundown hunts closer to home for now. I have some gopro footage I need to get edited from yesterday got alot of good stuff on video including the bird that got away.   Good luck to those heading out this weekend!
    • I'd like to see how the Helix handles interference.   Interference was the reason I went from my Interphase Video to a flasher. Currently using HBird Ice 45 and MarCum LX5.
    • I put all the boats put away,  subsequently the rain stopped.  I'll take that and finish pulling the dock in.
    • Posting.  Cuz I can’t sleep worth a dump.  Gonna be a MEA yahoo for most the rest of the week.  I’ve heard good reports from the friends that are already out there. They took the whole week so I’m driving myself out Tuesday night.     Just getting the the back of the truck filled with dekes got me too revved up.  Gonna be hard packing anything else besides waders, layout blind, guns and shells!  Who needs food and more than one change of clothes for 5 days anyway?!
    • I was ALMOST headed to Ely as well but opted to stick to “productive” pursuits at home, figuring I probably missed the October window this year.  That only lasted a day though before I headed west.   It looked really cool though.  Quiet too I bet.
    • I have a couple LX5s and have been very happy with them.  I had to get a second one for the wheelhouse since after I set it up for the wife, I usually go out hole hopping my original one.  Then come back with fish only cuz I was using the “cheat mobile”.    With the second one I was able to let her stare at it long enough to figure it out cuz apparently my teaching skills are sub par.  She normally wanted to have the camera down all the time but come dark, it’s kinda hard to see anything.     Who knew a wheelhouse and flasher would change her from a winter hibernator to an ice fishing addict.  She wants to go EVERY weekend now.     Anyone wanna buy a wheelhouse? 😉😂   Just kidding.... but I wish she’d wanna try for lakers every once in a while.
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