Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Official Stalker

Give me my papers.  I am officially a stalker.  Some of the best shots I've ever taken of a bird in flight, or in the photography world, a BIF.  Very difficult to shoot good crisp shots, at least for me.  This is why I like my landscapes.  Not alot of movement going on. 
I had to stalk this guy.  I know I shoot these birds quite a bit, but, hey, you shoot what's around.  And even I am kind of sick of shooting them, but they are kind of addictive.  I've learned over the last year or so their hangouts and I can kind of figure out where to find them at any time of the day.
This guy was by himself in a forest preserve I had never been to before.  He was wading in the pond deeper than I usually see them.  I've learned that even though you are quite a ways away and they have their back(?) to you, they're watching.  Patience was my friend here.  The last several weeks I've spooked some really big ones that would have given me good shots by moving too quick.  Luckily, there was some tall weeds around the shoreline.  So I parked and quietly got by the water and over the timespan of about 15 minutes I had gotten pretty close, at least as close as I thought I was going to get.  I started getting shots of him fishing, but I knew it was only a matter of time till he caught me or just decided to move on.  He wasn't having alot of luck fishing.  So I decided to make a few camera settings changes with the plans/hopes of him deciding to take flight.  Once again, I try not to shoot moving targets for this reason.  The settings in camera are quite different than my landscape and still pics.  So, after changing settings (faster shutter speed, higher ISO, and my focus mode set for movement) I just kind of sat back and waited.  About 2 minutes later, sure enough, he decided to move on.  I saw him making his move to take flight and since it was the moment, I stood up, lined up my shot and just followed him with the camera while keeping my trigger finger down.  I left there really not sure if I got any decent shots.  Odds were against it, my past experience had taught me.  I was pleasantly surprised
when I opened them up.


  1. Mark! I think these are the most beautiful pictures you've ever taken.

  2. Nice going. I too love these birds and have shot hundreds od pics of them But, these are some of the best BIF that I've ever seen.

  3. I know you love your landscapes (which are great, too) but I love your animals! P.S. I am not tired of these birds :)