Registration open for Texas Birding 2015

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Join me May 14-18, 2015 for the South Texas Birding Experience, an all-inclusive trip to photograph birds up-close from professionally maintained, private blinds. If you want to get frame-filling photographs of smaller birds, this is the trip for you. It’s also a great place to see some uncommon species, like green jays, caracara, and pyrrhuloxia. Here’s a look at some of the shots from the 2104 trip.

This photo safari is limited to five participants so you get maximum over the shoulder support, both in the field and back at the ranch. Speaking of the ranch, our air-conditioned lodging is only minutes away from the shooting sites, and we’ll get home-cooked meals every day, along with an afternoon happy hour to refresh you after a long day in the blinds.

Spots for this trip fill up fast, so if you’re interested, please go here for the full details and to reserve your spot now!

The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast #9

A trip to South Texas for birding means packing big glass and using the right settings. In today’s episode, I review the Think Tank Photo Airport Security 2.0 roller bag, and share my tips for getting sharp shots of small birds. I also share some of my images from this year’s South Texas Birding Experience photo safari.

For an audio-only version of this episode (MP3 format), click here.

 

Set up your camera for great bird photos

A blue grosbeak perches at Dos Venadas Ranch, Texas.
A blue grosbeak perches at Dos Venadas Ranch, Texas.

This photograph of a blue grosbeak illustrates just how far camera technology has come in the eight years since I first traveled to the private birding blinds of South Texas. Back then, I was using a Nikon D2x and 200-400mm f/4 zoom lens. I got plenty of good images, but my keeper rate was fairly low, especially as light faded. I also didn’t seem to get the sharpest shots at times and I couldn’t really figure out why, as some shots were tack-sharp. Was it the camera? The lens? Or was it something else about my technique? Continue reading

Digital photography and education