I’m used to photographing hawks . . . or thought I was. This is a tale of how stupid mistakes make you lose important shots. The above hawk was photographed on county line on March 30th.
It’s been a while since I’d photographed any hawks. A big departure from my usual efforts, which normally means every other post is about a hawk (just search my blog, if you dare).
By the way, for those interested in better versions of these photos, click on any of them to go to the SmugMug album. There you can read pretty much the same narrative as here.
For one, I’ve been working odd hours, and coming home after dark. For another, it’s been windy here. And I mean windy as in 20mph+ with higher gusts. Hawks don’t perch too much in high winds.
It might not seem like it to some, but these are not up to my usual quality. There is a softness to them. And where is the launch from the pole?
But let me tell you, I screwed up big time. I mean, I know I am an amateur. I revel in pointing it out. It allows me to show half-way decent photos without people expecting them to be perfect, or awe-inspiring. It allows me to pass as someone with more talent than I actually have.
And then . . . reality strikes. You see, before these shots (all these shots), I had been shooting bracketed shots. I was trying my hand at night-time photography (explained in a future post), and using bracketing to see the effect of exposure compensation. I also had the camera on a tripod, was using manual focus, and had the VR off.
The big mistake? I did not reset the camera once I was done. I did not get the launch because I hastily realized the camera was not focusing, and threw it into single focus (VR still off, and still bracketing). The result? 2/3 of the pictures were shot at +/- 2.0EV compensation. They were either blown out, or so dark that they were not worth salvaging.
The only reason I have these shots is because this guy kept rising, and rising, and rising, doing so by circling almost right above me.
. . . to meet another hawk. These guys were flying way up there. These are already crops. In the full size photo these guys are nothing more than brown specks.
The very next day I was driving back home on Powers Blvd. when I jerked the wheel over, stopped the car and jumped out, camera in hand. The same camera, with the bracketing on, VR off, and single focus (I had not looked at the photos from the previous day).
I jumped out and started snapping away at . . .
I don’t know how long it will be before I have another opportunity like that one. Sure, it might happen again, but imagine my disappointment when I downloaded the photos. I was expecting extraordinary, and I got MUBB (Messed Up Beyond Belief . . . I was foing to say FUBB, but some readers are likely too innocent to hear such language. Ah, What the heck!! They were FUdged Beyond Belief!)
It might have been going up to meet another hawk, but I stopped shooting after this next shot. I figure I would include both the crop and the original photo it came from. On the one hand, it’s not fantastic, but on the other, it points to the fact that when the camera is set up right, the lens is property set, and the idiot photographer is not messing up, you can get a fair amount of detail. The 200mm zoom is equivalent to a 6X magnification, and the crop is probably equivalent to a 4X or 5X digital zoom.
Well, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed me sharing my failures as a photographer. They say you learn from your mistakes. I feel like I should have learned a lot . . . but somehow I don’t feel any more enlightened.
As always, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for reading my stuff and looking at my photos.
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.