Tue 20-Aug-13 04:06 AM | edited Tue 20-Aug-13 04:07 AM by dm1dave
I had a great opportunity to go out shooting with a couple Nikonian friends over the weekend. Scott (Bump57) came up from Peoria, IL and we joined up with Paul (pdekman) on the Iowa River for an afternoon of pelican hunting. I loaned Scott my wife’s kayak and we had a nice float down stream into Pelican land.
We had hundreds of birds on the river but they were not quite as cooperative as my last time out. They were more dispersed around the shallow waters. A fairly strong breeze encouraged large groups of birds to swirl up and sore high on the thermals. We still had a great time and came away with some great shots.
Two of my best of the day were of one of the first pelican that we encountered.
Great shooting Dave, and thanks to you and Scott for a fun outing this weekend. I'll risk tagging along with some photos to this thread. I never did capture the circling flocks very well, but here's how a lot of the birds were spending their afternoon.
Nikon D7000, 300mm/f2.8 w/ TC14
I also had some close fly-by opportunities on our last push of the day.
I didn’t do very well with the big flock overhead shots. Only a couple seems to have a pleasing composition. You were in the best spot on that last run – well I think those two non-photogs in the kayaks probably got some of the closest flybys.
Hey Paul and Dave, nice work. American White Pelicans one of my favorite birds. As you know I did the Anahoe Island Project sometime back and got to know them well. Your images do justice to my memories. Keep up the great work.
I'm back in the Tetons next month. Maybe Yellowstone too. Kathy and I will be looking for pelicans, along with moose, elk, and bear.
Jim Stamates Nikonians Academy Workshop Instructor
Wow, excellent captures Dave. I first thing I thought about when seeing the missing foot was that the band was too tight and the foot fell off ugh!!! I know that that wasn't the case, probably banded when rehabilitated.
Looks like the tc 1.7EII works good on your 400mm f2.8 lens. My tc 1.7 EII when using it on my Nikon 500mm f4.0 lens is more of a hit and miss depending on the light and how fast the bird is moving. My tc 1.4 EII works great on the 500.
Dave, you have a great talent on producing wonderful images of our beautiful wildlife, thanks very much.
Nice action Dave, kind of sad about his foot. What a day that was, great fun! It was good to see you again and nice to meet Paul. I could get used to floating around in a kayak all day. Thanks for the invite and letting me use Carols Kayak. Here are a few I took that day, I am still working on some others.
My Favorite of the soaring shots.
Dave & Paul
Seems Dave left his 4 wheel drive at home. Water was only a few inches deep in spots.
I gotta say that this thread — Dave and Scott — are making me so jealous. I get the same feeling with the L&D 14 threads. The boat's on the water, the camera is in the boat, you are in the boat, the camera stays in the boat, and you nail these shots time after time…
I'm glad I sold my 200-400, I don't have to suffer direct envy any more. Oh, wait, I'm buying the 80-400 next week…
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
These were shot in 1.2 crop mode and are un- cropped, in fact I added a bit to the right and top of both images.
The pelicans can be very tolerant if you approach slowly and indirectly. This guy was the last of a group of 3 along this shore line. I was fortunate to have him in the frame when he decided to take off.
My Kayak has an open hull design – it is like a small canoe. So, the tripod just sits in front of me. I have two short bungee cords going from the tripod base to the sides of the boat to protect against the tripod falling over when I get in and out of the boat.
Gee, I don't know about risking "washing" $5000 worth of equipment in the dirty river. I'm always leary about having my camera near water unless I'm holding it and only knee deep, and I only have a D7000 and 18-200mm.
It can be a bit unnerving in the beginning but I am now confident that I avoid dumping the great in the water. I stay in mostly flat water with very little or no current and avoid open waters if the wind strong.
I started shooting like this last year and so far the reward has been worth the risk.
Of course, I do have insurance (all hazards) on the photo gear just-in-case.
Hi Dave, Thank you for the info and the photos. That was a great link with really interesting stuff, right down to the A-frame kayak holder. I am always looking for adventurous/hiker people to shoot with in the midwest. Let me know next time you want to plan an excursion and I will drive down from Chicago.
The next opportunity for a group shoot will probably be during eagle season at lock and dam 14 on the Mississippi - just south of LeClaire, IA.
Depending on the weather the good shooting season usually starts around the end of Dec and goes through Feb. Any weekend with good weather, the colder / snowier the better, with have a lot of photographers there.
Post here if you think you can make it down some weekend in January.
The last two years have been a bit hit and miss due to mild temps. I hope this year brings back the action!