It is that time of year. Cold. Well, next week is supposed to be cold as we slide closer to January. The promise of snow somewhere north of the middle earth that I live in. The scenery currently looks brown from the grass to the trees and it doesn’t do much to stimulate the eyes. A hope still exists and it is the return of the eagles along the river. As the temperatures drop the eagles come up north to stay for the winter. Which, brings something to photograph in the slow time of the year.
Last year, I invested in a Tamron 100-600 mm lens and a used Canon 7d mark 2 to take pictures of the eagles. I have always wanted to and the lens came up and the website and called to me. (Kind of by name.) The lens arrived in a massive box, the size I have never seen before and the excitement began to build. Now waiting for the eagles and waiting, so I decide to try the lens out on some geese that show up by the river every year.
Now, photography isn’t all roses, especially when it comes to new equipment and moving objects. I normally take landscape shots on a tripod with filters. Nothing moves really, except for water sometimes and grass. Wildlife tends to have a mind of its own and doesn’t like to be approached, no matter how quiet you are being. And panning a lens and camera set up that feels like it weighs 10 pounds can be frustrating. So I thought I would show a not so great first attempt into the cold winter wild.
Sharon, a friend on mine can spot animals from the car like no one I have ever met. She goes out to take pictures of dear, eagles, hawks and what ever else she can find. I think once you look for something long enough it eventually shows up. Well, we decided to go take photos up by Iowa City and the lake. From my first attempt I decide that I could do better and should do better. You may ask what is the best place to go to get advice. That is easy…..Google. Someone, somewhere out in cyber space knows exactly how to run your equipment and is willing to give you advice. So, don’t pester your friends just Google it so you look a little smarter the second time you go to take photos.
And try to get the geese not moving this time. Just kidding. They were resting across the river. But, I was impressed by the distance the lens could reach. The Canon 7d Mark 2 never missed a beat and fired away in rapid speed. After working through some issues, Sharon suggested using aperture preferred and letting the camera go. It worked. We didn’t use tripods because following the eagles in flight and just finding them sometimes in the view finder takes practice. And if your lucky and your arm doesn’t fall off from he strain you will get a few good shots. After you freeze for a couple of hours in the bitter Iowa winter.
Now, I realize that the lens didn’t cost me thousands of dollars and some of the shots could have been clearer, but I don’t work for National Geographic. The point was and still is to enjoy being outside and capturing nature. Plus, since I don’t get to go out all the time spending money on high priced equipment doesn’t make sense. I am happy with what I did get that day and can’t wait to see what I can do this year. After I Google again to figure out what I did last year.