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Raptors of Texas

Discussion in 'Nature' started by Phocal, May 26, 2016.

  1. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    After photographing the baby gators at my favorite state park I headed to a raptor shoot that one of my photography groups organized with the Houston Audubon Society. All birds are rescues that due to injury cannot be released back into the wild. They use the birds for educational programs they hold all around the Houston area, including schools, libraries, and senior centers.

    This is Skeeter (a Mississippi Kite, Ictinia Mississippiensis) and she was found injured on her first migration in Corpus Christi with a fractured left wing that healed slightly crooked so she has limited flight ability and cannot be released back into the wild.

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/1600 @ ƒ2.0
    27272253245_8d8a6dcf46_h.
    Skeeter 01
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/800 @ ƒ2.0
    27272248965_08d3774a84_h.
    Skeeter 02
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    After photographing Skeeter I stopped down to ƒ2.8 to get a bit more DoF because they were far enough away from the background that I did not need the separation of ƒ2.0. Even at ƒ2.8 the DoF is pretty small and I probably could have stopped down a bit more. I have to say, I really do love my Little Tuna.

    This is Luna (a Swallow-tailed Kite, Elacoides Forficatus) and she fell from the nest (probably due to a storm) and was raised in captivity so cannot be released into the wild.

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/800 @ ƒ2.8
    27202015181_23b71afc2c_h.
    Luna 01
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    This is Percy (a Eastern Screech Owl, Megascops Asio ) and he was found illegally shot in Bear Creek Park when 5 weeks old and suffered permanent damage to his left wing and eye.

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/400 @ ƒ2.8
    27202013671_820d924bb6_h. Percy 01 by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/400 @ ƒ2.8
    27272257605_c788407585_h.
    Percy 02
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    This is Juliet (a Barred Owl, Strix Varia ) and she fell from her nest when one month old and suffered permanent damage to her right wing.

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/800 @ ƒ2.8
    27202019841_63d6ada644_h.
    Juliet 01
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/800 @ ƒ2.8
    27202016991_445b08ecef_h.
    Juliet 02
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    This is Tskili (a Great Horned Owl, Bubo Virginians), he is 26 years old and was hit by a car when he was one year old and suffered permanent damage to both wings.

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/400 @ ƒ2.8
    26665010134_7071019ac4_h.
    Tskili 01
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/800 @ ƒ2.8
    26665006734_f6d9b0e6c5_h.
    Tskili 02
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/500 @ ƒ2.8
    26665002724_bf18270996_h.
    Tskili 03
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/500 @ ƒ2.8
    27201980141_0dd10763d4_h.
    Tskili 04
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    I could not get my photographs of Tskili down to 2 so had to edit and post 4.

    This is Cairo (a Peregrine Falcon, Falco Peregrines) and he was found under power lines on Galveston Island with permanent damage to his left wing.

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/320 @ ƒ2.8
    27272282315_a3dd90096a_h.
    Cairo 01
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 200, 1/320 @ ƒ2.8
    27202022301_028be55203_h.
    Cairo 02
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    This is Spirit (a Red-tailed Hawk), she is in her 30's and was found shot in a farmers field when she was one year old with permanent damage to her left wing.

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 320, 1/320 @ ƒ2.8
    27272245775_7c88d363da_h.
    Spirit 01
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 - ISO 320, 1/320 @ ƒ2.8
    26665015934_0031368df7_h.
    Spirit 02
    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    It was really worth paying the $25 for this because I learned a lot about the different birds and got some great photographs. I was really looking forward to this because shooting closeup stuff with the 150mm ƒ2.0 is so much fun and it did not fail to deliver. This really is my favorite lens of all time, I will keep it as long as I am shooting Olympus.

    Oh, this was organized by the wildlife photography group I am a member of and I was shocked that someone showed up with an EM1 and the 40-150 Pro (she also had the MC-14 attached). Not sure why she had the MC-14 attached as we could get as close as we wanted and I was fine with the 150/2 and no TC. Oh well, just good to start seeing Olympus out in the field.

    Edit - Forgot to add...... click thru to my Flickr for full resolution photos.
     
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  2. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    Great photos, I would love to see birds like this up close, especially if there were no other people around.

    Up until I got the 300 f/4.0, my MC-14 was almost permanently attached to my 40-150. I saw no image degradation and I was rarely bothered by the stop slower. Now it lives on the 300 and I also got an additional faster lens out of the purchase.
     
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  3. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    beautiful birds! Great photos, good feather detail and pleasant backgrounds!
     
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  4. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    Stellar work as always man. Those owls are just amazing.
     
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  5. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    I occasionally take the MC-14 off so I can shoot in low light. The 40-150 is a great lens with or without the teleconverter, but I still lust after the 300mm f4.0. Someday...
     
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  6. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thank you.

    Any TC degrades the IQ to some degree, I just can't see having it on when you really don't need the additional reach. There were also 20 of us there and most were using lenses with less reach then she had so she was having to shoot over or to the side of the rest of us. I would never use my 150 with a TC if I could get away with it, but sometimes I need more reach so I have to. I also try to only use the EC-14 but sometimes I just need that 300mm of reach. I would seldom use the TC on the 300/4 because it forces me to ƒ5.6 which I find a bit to slow and a bit to much DoF (even for most of my gator shots) and I have seldom needed anymore reach. Now I did play with the 50-200 and EC-20 and for very specific shots the 400mm was a nice addition, but that was the exception not the norm. Not saying I would never use it because there are times it is nice, but I prefer getting closer if it is at all possible. My friend who took the recent photos of me in the field often walks off and we meet up later because of my crazy patients. If I see something to photograph that really captures my attention I will shoot it with the 150/2 and EC-20 then move up to EC-14 range and then to no TC range. This process can take me 1-2 hours of walking/hiding/kneeling and if needed I will crawl 100 yards thru the swampy wet shit just so I can photograph some heron catching fish with just the 150mm ƒ2.0.

    When I get the 300/4 I will be doing my own test against my 150/2 and I will be using all combinations of EC's to see how everything compares. If the 150 is significantly better then the 300/4 I seem myself still crawling to within range of the 150 as I will still have it with me because I know much of my gator photography I need less reach because of terrain. Kinda sucks that I need less reach to get the photographs I want of the most dangerous animal, but it keeps me on my toes (I am ready for zombie apocalypse).
     
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  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thank you.

    Thanks, they were my favorites because they had really great personalities.