Readers Photo Challenge: Fine feathered friends

Birds are popular subjects for photographers. First, they can be found everywhere, from out in nature to urban cityscapes to to one’s backyard. Secondly, they are graceful creatures. Whether perched on a branch or in flight they are beautiful sights to behold. Lastly, given the skittish nature of many birds, it can be challenging to get a shot of them, but that can be part of the appeal. Whether through stealth or innovation, it’s very satisfying to be able to photograph a bird that could fly away at any moment. Readers were up to the challenge in capturing images of our fine feathers friends. Eighteen of them sent in a total of 125 photos. Here are some of the top picks.

__________________________________

Cynthia Barker of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera with a 75-300mm lens to photograph a wild turkey in a wooded area near her brother’s home in Fair Oaks.

Part of photographing birds is trying to capture their behavior. One must have to have some patience in order to wait for the birds to do something other than sit on a branch or take off flying. Cynthia Barker of Stockton was walk though a wooded area near her brother’s home in Fair Oaks. With a Canon EOS Rebel T3 and 75-300mm telephoto zoom lens, she was able to catch and image of a wild turkey as it flapped its wings and proudly strutted like the cock-of-the-walk.

__________________________________

Dave Skinner of Stockton used Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph northern harrier flying over a fog-shrouded field at the Cosumnes River preserve near Thornton.

Stockton resident Dave Skinner’s image isn’t a bird picture, per se. It’s more of a landscape photo with a bird in it. It’s a perfect example of using a bird as an accent to enhance an already picturesque scene. With his Nikon D7500 DSLR camera, Skinner photographed the early morning fog as it rose from the wetlands at the Cosumnes River Preserve near Thornton. It’s a beautifully moody picture with the fog, reeds and water. A lone tree is just off to the right in the frame and a northern harrier flies to the other side of the picture to balance out the composition.

__________________________________

Teresa Mahnken of Morada used a Nikon D7200 DSLR camera to photograph an egret in a field at the Nature Conservancy at Staten Island near the Delta town of Walnut Grove.

Teresa Mahnken’s photo is similar to Skinner’s in that the bird that photograph is just a small part of the entire image. During sunset at the Nature Conservancy at Staten Island near the Delta town of Walnut Grove. With her Nikon D7200 DSLR camera, Mahnken of Morada captured an egret as it foraged in a field. Behind it are couple of cows grazing and a beautiful golden sunset breaking through the clouds. Mahnken used the egret’s white plumage to set it apart from the darker grasses around it.

__________________________________

Kurt Gaetjen of Elk Grove used a Nikon D610 DSLR camera with a Nikkor 200-500mm lens to photograph an egret at the Cosumnes River Preserve near Thornton.

Getting a shot of a bird in flight is no easy feat. One has to be able to quickly focus and track the animal and keep it in the frame while panning the camera along its flight path. Kurt Gaetjen of Elk Grove did just that. With his Nikon D610 DSLr camera equipped with a 200-500mm telephoto zoom lens, he captured an egret taking flight at the Cosumnes River Preserve near Thornton. A fast shutter speed of 1/1250th of a second freezes the bird’s graceful motion. The bird’s white plumage stands out against the brown/beige of the dried grasses in the background which is just out of focus enough to eliminate any visual distractions.

__________________________________

James Hoagland of Stockton used a Nikon 850 DSLR camera to photograph a hawk flying over the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Woodbridge.

James Hoagland of Stockton also captured a bird in flight. His photo emphasizes the power and strength of a hawk as it soars over the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Woodbridge. its clear, steely eyes are focused straight ahead, perhaps scanning for prey. Its wings are upswept, nearly to their full extension, about ready to make a powerful down sweep.

__________________________________

Christine Morrissey of Stockton, founder of the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, used an Apple iPhone to photograph rescued turkey Sadey at the sanctuary.

You don’t normally think of birds as having personalities like a dog or cat, but Christine Morrissey’s photo of her turkey Sadey is full charisma. Morrissey, the executive director of the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, takes Sadey, a rescued turkey, to schools and libraries for visits where she’s become somewhat of a celebrity. Morrissey says Sadey likes the attention. With an Apple iPhone Morrissey photographed Sadey on her porch, neatly framed by the porch’s pillars, eaves and steps, with Sadey looking as though she’s ready to go on another outing.

__________________________________

Dan Hackley of Stockton used a Nikon D500 with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm Lens to photograph a great blue heron in flight over the Mokelumne Fish Hatchery day use area near Clements.

Scientists have linked modern day birds to the ancient dinosaurs. Stocktonian Dan Hackley’s picture of a great blue heron seems to give weight to that theory. Using a Nikon D500 DSLR camera with 200-500mm telephoto zoom lens, he photographed the bird as it flew over the day use area near the Mokelumne Fish Hatchery outside of Clements. With it’s outstretched wings and beak slightly agape, you could almost see the lineage of a pterodactyl in its features.

__________________________________

Susan Scott of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR camera at photograph a turkey at Oak Grove Regional Park in Stockton.

Susan Scott of Stockton photographed a wild turkey at Oak Grove Regional Park in Stockton. With a Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR camera she captured the feathered fowl in front of a large stand of dried wild grasses which seem to be radiating out from the center of the frame behind the turkey thus helping to bring the viewer’s eye to it.

__________________________________

Donn Sperry of Stockton used a Sony Alpha NEX-7 digital mirrorless camera with a 18-105mm lens to photograph a flock of cormorants taking flight on Brookside Lake in Stockton.

Donn Sperry of Stockton photographed a flock of cormorants as they take flight for the surface of Brookside Lake in Stockton. Sperry used a relatively slow shutter speed and panning technique with his Sony Alpha NEX-7 digital mirrorless camera for the fast moving birds. The technique allowed him to blur the background, giving a sense of motion while the bird at the center remains relatively sharp.

__________________________________

Ward Downs used a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera to photograph a crow sitting on a gate at Oceanside, California.

Ward Downs used a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera to photograph a crow sitting on a gate at Oceanside, California. The photo has a Edgar Allen Poe-esque feeling, seismically given the warning signs on the gate.

__________________________________

You can also see these top picks are at the recordnet’s Instagram. All of the photos sent in can be seen in an online gallery at recordnet.com. The challenge is going on a bit of vacation for the holidays. A new assignment will be issued on January 7.

This entry was posted in Equipment. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives