When I came home from work the other day and pulled into the driveway there were about a half dozen Chukar Partridge birds hanging out in the front yard.  They were friendly enough that I was able to get into the house, grab the camera, get back outside and catch a few shots before they went on to better feeding grounds.  This was a pleasant surprise to see.

For the Birds

Quite often I ride my bike through a small country community north of Boise called Hidden Springs. Each time I ride though the area I pass by some cattails that are about 5 feet off of the paved road. When I’m riding, the birds that are busy looking for food seem to ignore me and I can get rather close to them.

After my ride on Sunday afternoon I decided to take a bigger lens and camera back to that very spot with hopes of getting some very nice bird shots.  After parking the car, I got out the camera, placed it on my monopod and approached the birds.  Since I was not just driving by, all the birds became rather nervous and really didn’t want to hang around much.

Patience was the key to this photo outing and I was able to capture a couple of nice shots, one of a Red Wing Blackbird and the other… well, I’ll wait for my dad to comment as to the species.

Both photos were taken with the Canon 7D and Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS lens. The lens aperture was wide open at f2.8 giving a nicely blurred background.

2010-01-28Not long after the new goslings hatch, they are off eating all the grass they can, pretty much all day long.  Here is a shot of a mother showing by example how this is done.  I’m sure it is quite instinctive, but it makes for a good title to the photo.  🙂

2010-01-26Here is a photograph I captured last spring and is a glimpse of things to come in just a couple of months.  The place where I work is home to hundreds of Canada geese.  We have a couple of large ponds which the geese love and the general landscaping makes a nice place for the nesting geese.

Of all the places for a goose to lay her eggs, this one decided to nest in a flower pot on the sidewalk just outside our lunchroom.  I’m not sure what the attraction was, but this is where she chose to be home for her new chicks.


2009-08-20During the summer we notice quite a few Osprey at our local lake flying around looking for lunch.  This lucky Osprey gets to eat lunch, but the unlucky fish gets to be lunch.

When cropping the image on the computer, I made sure that the bird had room to “fly” in the general direction he was moving (left to right).  Generally, it is better to have a moving object moving toward the center of the frame than away from it.  But, there are always exceptions.


2009-05-10As mentioned in my last post, mom decided to sit down.  She must have been somewhat gentle, as some of the goslings decided to bear the weight and stick around.

In the Shade

2009-05-08Here is another shot from my geese watching adventure.  It was a very warm spring day and the goslings decided it was just a bit too warm and decided to take refuge from the sun under their mom.  At least I assume it was their mom, as I’m no goose expert by any stretch of the imagination.  The goslings stayed there for about 3 minutes before mom decided to sit down, scattering some, but not all of the goslings.

2009-04-06The place where I work has several large ponds and a lot of grassy areas, making a very popular breading ground for Canada Geese. Every year there are probably close to 100 goslings that break out of their eggs and into the world. They group up fast, but if you catch them when they are only a few days old, you can see something cute such as the one in this photo.

I used a pretty wide aperture on the lens to blur the background which helped this little guy stand out a bit better.  The background was actually the surface of one of the ponds.

Keep that camera with you, as you’ll never know when a good shot will reveal itself.

2009-03-25This image is quite simple.  It is a goose feather floating on the water.  

The morning this photo was taken was pretty calm, so the water was quite smooth and almost soft looking.  Maybe the feather in the photo is what makes the overall photo look soft.

I hope you are all out taking photos.  I try to take at least one a day, even if it is with my iPhone while walking out to my car after work. Setting a simple goal like this will help you in looking for shooting opportunities.


Canada Goose in FlightThe last photo in the blog was a photo taken in Portland while looking at the ground.  Here was one taken moments earler, but this time looking up.

Canada Geese are very pretty in flight.  It is amazing how a large bird can travel so gracefully and so very fast.  I took several photos of the goose in hopes of capturing different wing positions.  This was my favorite of the group.

When you are taking a picture of a fast moving object try to “pan” the camera keeping the subject at the same part of the frame.  This will reduce the motion blur of the subject, although it may blur the background.  With the sky as the background, this really didn’t matter too much.  Sometimes a blurred background is great to have, as it shows that your non-blurry subject was moving.

Experiment by taking multiple photos of a moving object.  Shoot some of them holding the camera still, the others panning the camera with the subject.