A little of this and that…..

Today , because of some cold weather the past few days, I am just going to touch on a few odds and ends.

Being inside gave me a chance to go back through some of my old files.  One of my favorite subjects is the photographing the raptors.  Large hawks, etc.  Well, going through my old photographs of Red-tailed Hawks, I found an image that I had photographed back on September 27, 2013.  In checking my records I found that during that time, we were in Big Bend National Park.  I had taken this photo of a beautiful hawk, sitting on a fence post.  I had never posted it anywhere before.  Looking at this image again, I realized that I had mis-identified it.  Not a Red-tailed Hawk, but a beautiful Peregrine Falcon.  Back in those days, I didn’t know as much about IDing hawks as I do now.

The irony of it is that the Peregrine Falcon had been on my bucket list to get a great photograph of one.  I had seen one in flight in the distance but that is all.  Now, here is one that was right in front of me, and I never realized it.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

A few days before the cold front blasted through, our friends, Suzanne and Sid Johnson, invited Ann and I to come down and do some birding around the Eldorado, Texas area.  We jumped at the chance, as we love to bird with them, and the birding is usually good around there.

We visited the water treatment ponds there, and it was teeming with many water birds.  But we also saw our first Yellow-headed Blackbird and Marsh Wren of the year.  Always nice to add to our 2015 list as we still have a way to go to meet our goal of 210.  One of the highlights was an American White Pelican on the water.  As we drove around checking out the ducks, birds, etc. it was content to just swim and feed by itself.

Eventually, it decided to take flight.  I was a bit unprepared for it, but I jumped from the car and quickly was able to acquire it in the viewfinder of my Canon 7D Mark II with a Tamron 150-600mm lens.  As it flew toward me I rattled off a few shots at 10 fps.  It was shot at 273mm as I didn’t have time to zoom in closer to the 600mm focal length.  But with cropping I came away with this nice image.  1/8,000 sec. @ f11, ISO 3200.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

This morning, my friend, Jim Miller, ranted in a post about Lightroom and Adobe’s CC (Creative Cloud).  He also jokingly referred to it as Adobe’s Cash Cow.  Anyway, he was telling how Adobe is making it harder to edit your photos, import the files, etc.

Personally, I don’t use Lightroom or the Adobe’s Creative Cloud.  I am the black sheep, I guess, but I use a much simpler method.  I download my photos to FastStone Image Viewer.  It is a cheap, read free, software.  I convert my RAW images there, then simply import them into my old Photoshop CS5 for editing.  I use an old secret recipe that has been handed down.  In other words I will not tell you the plug-ins that I use to assist me. 🙂

Using my methods I feel that my results speak for themselves.  I have been called the best bird photographer they have ever seen, by some of my peers.  I have been published in various magazines, including a back cover shot in National Wildlife Magazine.  I am not speaking negatively about Adobe Lightroom as I have several friends, those peers that I mentioned, that use it with great success. So it doesn’t matter what you use.  It is knowing how to use what you have.

I guess that’s it for today.  Click on any of the images to see some nice enlargements.  Hope you enjoyed the post and the photos.