Monday, August 30, 2010

Trip Preparation and Today's Outing

    I'm getting ready for my trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks (Alberta, Canada) next week, so I'm down to the last few things on my list. Most of the things on my list are not photography related, so I wont get sidetracked by talking about them very much.

    From a photographic standpoint I am ready to go, aside from last minute things, such as charging batteries, and clearing off my memory cards. At this point I'm still not completely decided on gear, but I have a good idea. I'll be taking my D300 and F90x, since they are tough rugged bodies with dust and moisture seals. I will take my D40x, but only use it if the weather permits use of it. Lens wise, I'll be taking my Tokina 12-24mm, Nikon 24-120mm and Nikon 300mm F4 AF-S plus TC1.4x combo. I am undecided on whether to take my 85mm F3.5G macro, 50mm F1.8, and 70-210mm, but it is likely that I will leave at least one or all of them at home. I want to limit what I bring so that my camera bag is not too heavy when I go on some hikes, although none of the ones I am going on are overly long. 

    I also think I'll be bringing my camcorder, just in case people want to see me being eaten alive by a Grizzly Bear or charged at by a Moose. All jokes aside, speaking of bears, August and September are the time of year with the most bear activity in the lower valleys of the parks, where most of the campgrounds and sight seeing areas are located. I picked up a can of bear spray in case I have a close encounter, as a precautionary measure. Some areas are closed to small groups (less than 8 people) due to the number of bears, so I might not get to some of the more exotic locations within the parks this time around.

    Today I went out to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary and had a relaxing walk. There were at least 100 Canadian Geese in the sanctuary, no doubt getting ready to migrate south during the fall. The second most common birds seen were Greater Yellow legs, and there were some Dowitchers as well. The first of the Black Crowned Night Heron's has returned to it's usual resting place near the entrance of the sanctuary, but you'd miss it unless you knew where to look, as it is hiding in the thick leaves of a tree.

    I didn't come home with many shots, and I haven't posted any new ones. Most of the shots are of Greater Yellowlegs, which can be tough to shoot as they do not stay still very often. I'm currently trying to get photos of the Greater Yellowlegs in flight, but they are very unpredictable so this is proving to be a challenge. The light that I have been shooting in isn't very good either, so I'm hope to get some shots in better light as the daylight decreases in the month to come.