A bad day at Fort Desoto?

Even the very best wildlife spots, such as Fort Desoto, may have days with less good photography opportunities. Two days ago, the weather was pretty bad at Fort Desoto with a dark overcast, high winds blowing in the wrong direction and very few birds in sight. Nonetheless, I met Jim Urbach that day. He is a fantastic photographer with lots of superb photographs in his collection, which I invite you to admire on his wildlife photography website. Later that day, I asked him if he ended up having a nice outing and he replied by email as follows: “Nice to meet you as well, Steven. Many excellent images on your blog. This was my worst day at Fort Desoto ever and I have been there over 50 times easily in 10-12 years”. Well I agree that it was a particularly challenging day, I believe there is always an opportunity to create a nice photograph…

Yellow crowned Night Heron - Fort Desoto

Yellow crowned Night Heron – Fort Desoto, Florida.
ISO 2000 | f/5.6 | 1/1000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review), the Canon EOS 5D mark III handheld while seating in the shallow water with waders. Have a look at the equipment I typically carry with me.

While there were not many opportunities for photography, armed with a pair of waders I am usually able to access difficult to reach spots, eventually finding subjects with the right angle and an unobstructed background. See the Yellow crowned Night heron above… Low angle, non-distracting background and a good head angle make this creation fairly satisfying. If I did not mention a proper sun angle, it is because it was very overcast, allowing a lot more leeway. When I am about to press the shutter I strive to wait for the moment when good angle, head angle and non-distracting background join together. This is quite more difficult than just finding a subject to frame…

Belted Kingfisher - Fort Desoto

Belted Kingfisher – Fort Desoto, Florida.
ISO 2000 | f/5.6 | 1/800 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review) coupled with the 1.4x extender, the Canon EOS 5D mark III handheld while standing. Have a look at the equipment I typically carry with me.

Kingfishers can be quite difficult to approach… They easily fly away and don’t stay still for long, going from one perch to another far away. I still mustered enough patience to go after this one, and while I did not get the full frame shot I would have liked, this capture turned out OK.

Botswana and the Victoria Falls instructional photography workshop / $9,800 / limit 6 people / Sep 2014:


Few African safaris guarantee only one person per row in the vehicles. If you want to have a chance to always be able to take the shot, you know who to go with…
African safari - Botswana

Spoonbills and shorebirds instructional photography workshop / $980 / limit 5 people / Mar 2014:


Short and sweet, this 3 day workshop will give you a unique opportunity to photograph Spoonbills in flight in a large rookery, only accessible by boat.
Wildlife Photography Workshop - Spoonbills & shorebirds

Support our blog by following our links for your purchases. It comes at no extra cost to you and it helps keeping this photography blog lively!

Steven

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