Saturday, April 18, 2009

RRPC: Hard to Catch 'Em in Flight!

Hi, folks! This week's Round Robin Photo Challenge: In Flight comes to us from Carly, and is self-explanatory. That doesn't mean it's easy, though! I've been looking for photographic opportunities on this for two weeks, which is unusual for me. Until this evening I thought I was going to have to go with archive photos, probably of a past air show. But around sunset tonight at Reid Park, I finally managed to get something, if not actually good, at least in-frame and on-topic. Let's start with two attempts from before today, and then we'll move on to the most recent Reid Park shoot.

I took three photos in fairly rapid succession on the late afternoon of April 5th, hoping to catch this hummingbird before it flew away. In two of these shots I didn't manage to capture the bird at all, and after the third attempt it flew away. No surprise: I was operating under my usual disadvantage, trying to photograph birds and hang onto Cayenne and Pepper's leashes at the same time!

I know you can't tell, but this is a FedEx plane. I've seen them on the ground lots of times, but don't remember seeing one in flight before. I was at a traffic light at the time, at 22nd and Craycroft I think. By the time I grabbed the camera and turned it on, the plane was no longer in front of me but obscured by a tree off the passenger side window. And oh, yeah - the light had changed.

This shot is a bit off topic and technically less than wonderful, but it's too cool not to show you. Remember the Black-crowned Night Heron I photographed during the Desperado Duck adventure? This may or may not be the same bird, in a tree not far from the dock where I photographed it before. The surprising part is that it had a large fish in its mouth. Sure, we know herons eat fish, but it's not often I get to see the actual fish!

By the time I moved to photograph the bird at a different angle so it was no longer backlit, it had swallowed the fish whole. It was one fat and happy bird!

At the other end of the "urban lake" (duck pond), two more Black-crowned Night Herons and a Great Egret were hanging out near one another. I led the dogs near them but not too close, hoping to catch them flying without actually provoking them to do so. Here are the best of the in-flight results:

Critiquing myself, I think I made three mistakes in this shoot. One, I was late in the day, and so there wasn't enough daylight left to adequately handle this kind of action shot. Two, I didn't charge the batteries before going out, and the camera started complaining about this. Three, I should probably exercise more patience and do less multitasking on this sort of thing, taking my time to get the right shot, and not trying to entertain the dogs at the same time. I don't know, though; it seems silly to go all the way out to Reid Park twice, once to take photos and once to do the dog park thing. And the dogs are my companions on these shoots, even if they do get in the way and don't understand what I'm trying to do!

From Round Robin Photo Challenges

Here's the most interesting of the Great Egret shots. The camera had no time to determine the proper exposure for the shot; I had to darken the resulting image considerably just to find the bird in it! But I like the way the egret's wings are almost abstract in appearance as they mark the boundary between light and darkness.

Now let's see what the other Robins caught "In Flight!"

Linking List

Carly - Posted!

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ellen b said...

Good morning Karen. I really like that chubby bird. It's a Heron? Wonderful shot of him/her :0)

Myfanwy said...

Wow, so many pictures! I'll have to 'pull my socks up'.

Lana G! said...

I love the abstract wings in that last shot also! Very artsy picture!!

Sandra said...

Love the ones of the great egret, what a graceful bird. Hope you have a nice week end.


Karen said...

Great shots!! I love the wildlife there. and the photo with the bird and the fish -- just wow!

Carly said...

Hi Karen

Beautiful egret! They are so pretty, especially in flight. I love those birds! Neat captures!


Suzanne R said...

You got some great shots there! I like them all. And it always amuses me, what a big help Pepper and Cayenne are. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Lots of fun photos and memories for you. :o)

Jama said...

Despite multitasking,you still got some good photos here.

Sandcastle Momma said...

I love the Great Egret shots! It's hard to shoot anything with a leash in the other hand isn't it? We have that trouble here sometimes - the Beagle is running one way while I'm trying to shoot something in the opposite direction. Despite that your shots came out great.

Wammy said...

I thought the Fed Ex was a big fluffy white cloud. Lots of fun shots.

Teena in Toronto said...

Nice pix!

I played too :)

Nancy said...

Cool! You always go above and beyond...


Ourhomeschool said...

I'm sure it had to be tough trying to hold onto the dogs and try to get a good shot of things flying!! It's so hard to get them in flight and keep the camera steady at the same time, without holding onto dog leashes! lol Great shots. ;o)

Butch and Angie said...

We enjoyed looking at your pictures.