My home wildlife refuge is closed for the foreseeable future so I had to get creative to try out my new Canon 2x III extender with the 500mm lens. My f4 lens becomes an f8 lens with the 2x attached and the center AF point works great. My targets were “sitting ducks,” literally. I drove to a Portland park called Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. It’s a massive garden with lush greenery, plants, trees and winding trails, both paved and graveled, running through it. And on a Sunday, I knew it would be full of people–including kids–that would not let me experience that solitude that I love so much when photographing birds. I guess that’s life in the city.
I discovered a long wooden walkway that was built over some water that had semi-tame ducks and geese and afforded me a great view of one end of this inlet. (Many other people found this walkway, too!) The sun was pretty much behind me. I had my lens/camera on a monopod and leaned it up against the wooden railing. I also had terrible thoughts of my lens falling into the water below although I knew that I had it securely locked to the monopod ball head.
The water was home to Wood Ducks, Mallards, Canada Geese, American Coots and an assortment of hybrid birds. I was kind of hoping to spot a Green Heron but not today. The sun was out and very bright making it a little difficult on the exposure end of things. And when people walked by me, the wooden structure I was standing on would bounce and shake. One young boy walked by with his Mom and asked her if he could try out my lens. Luckily, she was able to convince him that wouldn’t be a good idea. 🙂
Anyway, the first shot is of a quite pretty preening duck hybrid or goose hybrid. I’m estimating the range of these shots to be between 80 – 140 feet. For my first time out with this lens combo, I’m pretty happy with the kind of detail it can capture, and on a shaky monopod no less. All shots using AF, Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f8, ISO 1250, 1000mm (500 + 2x III).
[Be sure to click once on these thumbnails so you can view a larger version of the image. The thumbnails cannot show the detail or lack thereof. Thanks!]
A Wood Duck just prior to taking flight.
Close up of a Cackling Goose
I think this is a female Mallard but it could be anything. 🙂
Another Wood Duck not quite as sharp as the one above.
Thanks for checking these shots out! Take care until next time!