After 6 days without going into the field I went to Farmington Bay WMA yesterday even though the light was cruddy because my addiction finally got the best of me and I needed a fix.
One of the first birds that was close enough to photograph was a Loggerhead Shrike perched on top of some phragmites with nothing but clouds in the background. I knew it was going to be high key and that the shrike would be small in the frame but at that point in time I thought it might be the only bird I would photograph so I cranked up my ISO and exposure compensation and took some shots. I’m not sure I like the image all that much but it might grow on me.
The next bird I was able to photograph was a male Red-winged Blackbird displaying on some phrags very close to the road. I opted to keep my D810 in DX mode and the blackbird nearly filled the frame. It seemed odd seeing this male and one nearby already displaying like this in January but later in the day I spotted two Red-tailed Hawks in a nest and that truly seems way too early to me. We have had such a strange, warm winter so far, maybe the birds are confused.
The low light really wasn’t as challenging with this blackbird as it had been with the shrike and I liked the back view of the raised colorful epaulets in this frame.
The last bird I photographed was this male Belted Kingfisher and I was surprised that it stuck around as long as it did. I wished for better light and a more appealing perch as I took frame after frame of this normally elusive species. To date this are the closest images I have of Belted Kingfishers and I am happy with how they turned out.
I can’t imagine using my first DSLR, a Nikon D70, at the high ISO’s I feel confident using with my Nikon D810 because the images using the D70 would have been filled with excessive noise but with the D810 I don’t give it a second thought because it handles high ISO’s so well.
I spent my time in the field yesterday making the most of the low light conditions. Hopefully the light will be better soon.
Life is good.