Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Peaceful outing

Male American Wigeon 
Yesterday was a very relaxing day, thanks to a photo walk at the bird sanctuary. As per typical early winter there was not a great deal of activity, the Snow Geese appear to have gone south to the Skagit Valley in Washington, so it was very quiet. Having a quiet afternoon was nice to be honest, since last week was extremely busy at work. There was no sign of the Sandhill Cranes that are normally scattered throughout the sanctuary, but there were plenty of Great Blue Herons on the fields close to the ocean. In one location I counted as many as seven, but they were too far away to photograph, which has me thinking about getting a teleconverter, again, at some point.

As I said earlier, it was a quiet afternoon, but towards the end of the day one of the Black Crowned Night Heron's, a juvenile one, became very active. The Heron did not fly off, as it had been sleeping for most of the morning. I took a few shots, but none of them impressed me very much, another situation where it would have been nice to have a teleconverter! Shooting with a TC might have been hard though, since to keep up decent shutter speeds I was shoot at ISO1000 already. The Heron started to clean itself, and pluck some old feathers, at which point it started to rain. I quickly put the rain cover I made for my 300mm F4 AF-S and continued to shoot. The cover I made protects the lens, and covers the pop-up flash on the D300, which I think is the one of the vulnerable parts of the body, that does not appear to have any water or dust seals.

The cover worked, and I was able to keep shooting for another half an hour without any problems. All I used to create the cover was a plastic sandwich bag and some packing tape to shape the bag to fit the lens. I made the cover long enough that it would protect the lens with the hood extended, which is important. No rain hit the front of my lens, because the hood prevented any from getting at it. Just another reason to use a lens hood! I do not think that I'll be as fearful of shooting in the rain after yesterday, although I think in heavier rain I would also put on the cover I made for the body on as well.