Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great For Critters ~ Telephoto Tuesday!

"Keeping My Eye On You"
(1/250 sec.@ F/9, ISO 160, 200mm fl, shade, 55-200mm Tele Zoom VR)

Growing up, I always thought I'd be a veterinarian. That's how much I loved animals. Then I discovered being a vet has nothing to do with cuddling them all day and everything to do with working more on their insides... and suddenly being an artist looked real promising.

Today I thought I'd share something fuzzy and sweet though. Compliments of (insert fanfare here...) the telephoto lens. I was down at the Pier the other day, and there huddled on the lawn near the yacht club were five goslings and Mother Goose. I have a lot of respect for wildlife photographers by the way. I mean, even just to get these shots, I had to approach only when the mother looked the other way. I had to get down on all fours (in public, ahem) and I had to find a way to quickly find an uncluttered composition while metering and choosing my exposure. I can't imagine all the work that goes into photographing grizzly bears, or elusive birds of prey. These were just geese for heavens sake!

"All Eyes on You"
(1/250 sec.@ F/9, ISO 160, 200mm fl, Center Weighted Metering, handheld)

The thing is, my telephoto is really a modest lens. It's only an f.4.5 55-200mm Nikkor zoom. It's not lightning fast by any means, Nikon makes better telephotos now that reach to much nicer lengths at much faster apertures and shutter speeds. Since I wanted a decent aperture, I had to put my ISO up to 160, which is actually the perfect setting for the D80 giving no noise in lower light or shade I've discovered after using it for 2 years. The shutter speed was not ideal for rapid movement, but everyone remained fairly still in the short amount of time it took to shoot before they got tired of me. I also knew that as I moved about in the shade to recompose, my lighting would change slightly, so I kept my histogram up on my view screen which shows me which channels are exposing properly. I didn't worry so much about the green channels as I did about the blue and red channels being properly exposed due to the cool cast the shade light was giving.

Working in RAW allowed me to add a stop of light if needed, and I used curves in PSPx2 to brighten the contrast a bit while keeping the color hues true to outdoor settings. Slight high pass sharpen, and the photos were done.

Wasn't sure which one I liked more, so I posted both. Spring means all sorts of fuzzy critters are out and about. Try photographing some this week. And thanks for the ramble folks! Have a good one eh!


  1. thanks Christine. Love the pics of the babies. They always remind me of a flower...plant it.....wait for it.....and see it grow to be a beautiful gift from God. Keep up the great work Christine.


  2. Hey, I recognize those geese! Beautiful pics :)

  3. I love anything cute and fuzzy, lol. These little guys made me smile all tucked up together. Thanks Lori!

  4. LOL... thought you would find them familiar Tracy :) Woulda taken one home too, but I hear they can be kinda messy.