birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, nesting, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sunset

Don’t give up…

The Anclote Fishing Pier smelled like… fish. I had walked out almost to the end of the pier for a sunset photo op. Evidently the fishermen clean their fish out there.  Phew!  But I’ve gotten ahead of myself…1-10sunset1feature copy

First was a futile trip to Bayport for the sunrise that didn’t happen. Then off to Jenkin’s Creek where I amused myself taking photos of a Great Egret while I waited for an eagle, and then an otter showed up.  But no eagle so I gave up. But as I pulled out of the parking lot I saw an eagle flying in, so of course I turned around.

I couldn’t resist heading out again later though, blame the fabulous weather. There was the eagle nest that I hadn’t visited since our cold spell, I wondered if all was well, and it was. Except all I got to see at first was the nest itself. Then a head popped up so that I was sure mom or dad were there. And so the wait began.1-10mindingthenest.jpg

But then I spotted Dad, or was it Mom, in a nearby tree. My eagle watching friend had said that the parent that is off the nest is always nearby, but I didn’t spot him at first. He was posing nicely. Well, his back was to me, but I think he can swivel his head 360 degrees, which was fortunate from the point of view of photo ops.1-10it'sdadormom copy

1-10eagle3 copy.jpgI watched for a long time until he flew off to a tree farther away. Then he swooped down out of sight and I was holding my breath hoping that he would come back with dinner for mom. I have to stop trying to anticipate what will happen and just let things unfold. He did return and was on a branch very close to the nest. Then mom joined him on that branch and it made me think of them comparing notes. When Mom flew off to hunt, Dad took over on the nest, which is what I was waiting for, only I had hoped for both parents on the nest together.

It was time for me to go see what I could see at the fishing pier.  But I already showed you a sunset photo, and the flock of birds flying against the reflected sunset color, but I didn’t show you the pelican.  It was a great sunshiny day!1-10pelican copy

Bayport, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

The fun of it…

Don’t let the sunshine in the photos fool you, it was freezing out.  By Florida standards at least.  I wasn’t able to stay at Bayport as long as I usually do, but it was mostly the wind that froze my fingers, and that was what got to me.  But for us winter will be over soon, and for that I’m appreciative.

It wasn’t the most spectacular sunrise, maybe that’s why I gave up so easily.  I warmed up on the drive to Jenkin’s Creek, and found an eagle.  But he was across the water and farther away than I’ve been lucky enough to see in him the past.  That was disappointing, but then he took to the sky.  The new zoom lens requires manual focus, and I couldn’t refocus fast enough as he flew, so every time I saw him in the lens I clicked a photo.  I’m amazed that any of them turned out.  When you go out for photos you just never know what you’ll get.  But that’s the fun of it…

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Bayport, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

Gloomy sunrise…

It’s not as if I expected a great sunrise.  It was very gloomy at home, but since I have driven to Bayport before and found it to be clear right there at the water, off I went.  Not on Thursday though, there was no color in the sunrise at all.  But my new routine when I go to Bayport is to swing past Jenkin’s Creek on the way home to see if I can spot an eagle.  And while I haven’t found an eagle at any other time of day, I’m batting 1000 for finding one at sunrise.  I tried to wait for him to fly away, or do something besides sit there and turn his head one way or the other, but it was cold and I gave up before anything happened.

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Bayport, birds, dogs, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunrise, technology

Back to basics…

There I was at Jenkin’s Creek, after a lovely sunrise at Bayport.  I pulled into the parking lot and could see a large bird in the ‘wood stork’ tree, but I honestly couldn’t tell what it was.  Lucky for me there was another photographer there, Tony, and he said that it was a juvenile eagle.  I would probably have to have used Merlin to be sure what it was if he hadn’t been there.  I suppose that I look like I know what I’m doing, what with the tripod (which he said isn’t sturdy enough for my lens), as well as the gigantic lens itself.  So Tony got out his phone and was going to play eagle sounds in an attempt to get this eagle to fly for the sake of the photo op.  So, said he, ‘you probably want to increase your shutter speed.’  Nothing will fluster me more than something like that statement, because I still fumble to make those sorts of changes in the camera settings.  I admitted that I’m a rank amateur with this stuff, and because of that we both managed to miss the shot.  Bet he was glad I showed up.  He said he had gotten some good portrait shots at least.

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So I decided I needed to work on my camera skills, and off I went to the dog park.  And I easily upped the shutter speed to account for the action I was hoping to capture.  It’s a lot easier when there are no witnesses to my fumbling.  Maybe I’m getting better at all of this after all.

1221doggie1221doggie21221doggie3Obviously the dog in this last picture has zoomed out of the focus point I set, but what I like about the photo is that the leaves he kicked up are perfectly in focus.  That made me smile.  Note to self, perhaps you ought to increase the focal area next time.

And the sunrise.  I never get tired of going out for the sunrise, and sunsets for that matter.  This one got prettier than it looked like it would with the fog.  And it was foggier when I got home than it was when I left.  Practice, practice, practice…

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birds, dolphins, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

Lightroom Chronicles…

Lightroom is THE photo editing program to use, or so I’m led to believe.  And I have it in my computer since the subscription to Photoshop includes Lightroom.  I always thought of Photoshop as the ultimate editing tool, and I’ve gotten pretty comfortable using it for the basic sorts of edits that I do to my photos.  But I’m told that Lightroom is easier, (ha!), and you can edit a photo the way you want it, then you can turn those edits into a preset and apply those same edits to all the photos you might choose to, all in one click.  It’ll probably be great once I’m used to it, maybe…

An alternate title for this post could be, ‘If It Ain’t Broke…’, because I was merrily writing posts and taking pictures, and not unhappy with the results.  But all of this raving over Lightroom caused me to take RAW images the last couple of days, the better to edit them the way you want them in Lightroom.  First I went to the eagle nest where nothing at all happened.  And I didn’t think that anything was going to happen at the fishing pier either, until the dolphins showed up.  Not only was I on the pier, so above the dolphins, but I had the 600mm lens on the camera, so better photos of dolphins than I’d been able to get before.  But RAW images!  Needing to be edited in Lightroom?  Why can’t I ever seem to leave well enough alone?  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  Should be my new motto.

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I’d be too discouraged to continue if not for this female grackle that landed on the railing nearby.  Maybe this is more the sort of photo that could benefit from being a RAW image and the editing technique I was trying to master.  I only got two pictures before she flew away, but these two pictures will keep me interested in learning something new.

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We played with Lightroom in a class a while back, and I had forgotten that we set a watermark.  It feels a bit pretentious to me, amateur that I am…

 

 

Bayport, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

Bayport and more…

I planned to go to Bayport for the sunrise on Thursday morning, and I left in plenty of time, but as I was driving there I could see the red in the horizon and I was afraid I was missing it.  But I didn’t, it just continued to become more beautiful as time went on, a perfect sunrise.  The only thing missing was that Great Blue Heron that usually joins me.

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I headed home and passed the turn for Jenkin’s Creek and thought to myself that I ought to stop there and see if anything was going on.  So I turned around and took the turn.  That proved to be a good choice because there was the eagle I keep hearing about, perched all by him or herself in what I think of as the woodstock tree.  I had been told that the eagle used to always be there but that the wood storks had taken that tree over.  Maybe there has been a change of command.   I have to say that even a majestic eagle looks a little silly when he scratches an itch.  How ironic to find an eagle by accident, so to speak, when I spent such a long time looking for one the day before.  I should have stuck with it a bit longer this morning because almost as soon as I put the camera down he took off.  I would have liked to get a photo of that also.  Maybe next time…

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