Sunday, February 14, 2010

Evening Stroll in the Baylands

I went for a stroll along the Palo Alto Baylands yesterday, well as much as one can stroll with an 800mm lens on a Wimberley on the shoulders :)

There were numerous Long-billed Curlews (above) about as well as many American Avocets (below).

Several of the Avocets were also starting to show their breeding plumage (below).

Once again, it was the 7D and 800 f/5.6 IS combo that was able to give me sufficient reach to get decent images of these distance birds. I suppose I could have gotten closer to them by being up to my knees in mud, I wouldn't mind that, but I suspect the rangers would disapprove.

As the light was starting to wane, I went over to the duck pond with the D3s and 200-400 f/4 VR combo.

I photographed a lot of Gulls in flight, mostly to get a feel for the tracking. Tracking performance was excellent with nearly 100% of the images all in focus precisely where I had aimed. This shouldn't be too surprising though, Gulls aren't that difficult to track. What is most impressive to me is that when I took the above image, I saw the Gull approaching, very quickly put the camera to my eye, pressed the AF button and immediately started firing. This was the first frame of the burst. I remember having a different experience with my D700 where it would take a lot longer to get initial acquisition.

After the sun had set, I walked around and took a few images just to see what was possible with the super high ISO of the D3s. Once again I am very impressed with the color accuracy and richness of the D3s at high ISOs. The above image was taken at ISO 6400 and has had no color saturation adjustments in Lightroom.

Finally, just before leaving I took a quick gratuitous ISO 20,000 snap (above). Once again no color or saturation adjustments were made to this image.

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