Thursday, July 16, 2009

Limpkin and Chicks

This is the last image from my Lettuce Lake Park meetup. From the edge of the overlook tower, there was a crowd of people looking over the edge down onto the grass below. An Asian man came over to me to show me the photo he took on his Blackberry. Once I knew what they were looking at, I waited until most of the crowd dispersed and went over to get my image.

It was getting close to closing time (7:45 pm) and I knew I wouldn't have much time left to capture the image I was hoping to get. The Ranger had already arrived and started to let everyone know the boardwalk was closing. The grass was long, and I had to find a good vantage point where the grass wasn't covering the chicks. Finally, after several attempts, I was able to setup my shot. The mother and chicks were in a good position so I could capture them all; and the lighting wasn't too bad, either.

My camera was set at 400 ISO with Partial Metering in Aperture Priority mode. All I had to do was be patient while I got the shot. I chose F11 at 1/60th second, which gave me enough depth of field to get good detail in the chicks and a fair shutter speed to hand hold my lens at 154mm. Thank God for image stabilization (IS) lenses. It held steady at this rate, and I was able to capture the image I was looking for just as the Ranger let us all know it was time to go.

Limpkin are very shy birds. I'm surprised she stood still for all of us long enough to make our shots. The Ranger explained that there are so many people in the park that this bird has lost most of her fear of humans. That's pretty amazing, since I've lived where I am for more than 2 years and there's a couple of Limpkins that live in the tree at the edge of my property. I've never been able to get close enough to either of these birds to get off not even one decent shot of them. I find them very elusive. One would think that after 2 years they'd be used to me.
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