Before/After and an example of missing the shot

Weekend before last, I went out both days with the big glass. I’m referring to the Sigma 150-600mm lens that weighs a ton but lets me get pretty close to things very far away. The 35mm equivalent on a crop sensor camera like my Sony a6400 is 225-900mm. Then add Sony’s Clear Image Zoom, which is the best digital zoom I’ve ever used, and I can double that to 450-1800mm. Snazzy, huh?

But that lens is heavy, so I’ve attached a shoulder strap to it, which makes it a lot easier to carry. The older I get, the harder it is to walk some days. I found out a few years ago I have arthritis in my hips, and my right knee hasn’t been doing so good lately. Ah, the joys of getting old. <–Yes, that’s sarcasm.

That Saturday, my aging body was brought home to me when I visited a new-to-me park for the first time. It’s called Seven Lakes, and it’s very near Highland Hammock State Park. It was my first time there. They wanted me to walk, walk, walk. Well, I expected that, but there were no benches where I could sit and rest, so I didn’t get far. Disappointing, and I said so in a review of the park. Don’t tell me you’re handicapped accessible and then not have benches.

I got a fabulous picture of an eastern Meadowlark within minutes, though. First time I’ve managed to take a pic of one. I heard it singing, and because it was sitting at the top of a tree, and it’s brightly colored, I located it easily.

The original. It looks a lot closer in the photo than it did when I was looking at it with my eyes. 😉 This was taken at full extension of 600mm, plus the Clear Image Zoom at another 1.5 magnification, which equals a 35mm focal length of 1350mm.

And here’s the final image.

That was the only good photo I got at that park. Across the street was a scrub park. Yes, another walkable area with no benches to rest on, but I’ve been looking for the crested caracara and Florida scrub jay. Didn’t see either one, damn it, but did glimpse a red-headed woodpecker. Remember that fabulous shot I posted of one about a week ago? That kind of picture isn’t as common as you think. THIS is what usually happens.

Could NOT get a clear shot of it, even though I hung around a while and even tracked it to another tree. This is the original picture; I didn’t do any processing on it. At least you can see what pretty coloring it has on its back, right? 🙂

Moving on…. I revisited Lake Wales Ridge Sunday afternoon and saw a couple of ospreys. They are back in their nests. Here’s the unimpressive original.

As you can see, it was a dreary, overcast day with little light, but post-processing turned it into something pretty good!

They are installing an observation deck in a newly-opened section of the refuge, and I followed the road a while as the sun went down. On the way back, I saw this birdhouse. The original.

Kinda dark, because sunset was imminent, and it was hidden in trees and undergrowth, but I knew I could do something with it. A careful crop and some color grading, and voila!

See you next time.

About Fenraven

Fenraven lives in central Florida, which reminds him of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Find him on Twitter and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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6 Responses to Before/After and an example of missing the shot

  1. Janet L Ellinger says:

    Wow. Just…wow. The one of the ospreys went from ho-hum to a pic full of dramatic emotion. I’m literally hearing ‘movie music’ in the background…are they guarding a nest from a predator? Are they waiting for a horrible storm? Whatever it is…it looks like they are both 100% on high alert and terrified…yet determined. I can almost feel the wind when I look at the tufts of feathers on the chest of the one on the left. It feels cold and scary. I need the movie now…heh.

    • Fenraven says:

      They weren’t really aware of me, as I was parked down the road and shooting from inside the car with the window down. I love it when I can do that. And yes, there was a cold wind that morning.

  2. Lindsaysf says:

    Amazing results! I’m impressed that you can carry something that heavy around even with a shoulder strap. I’d need a minion. I gave up on my old 135mm years ago because of it’s weight.

    • Fenraven says:

      It got easier after I got the shoulder strap. Before that? Hard on the arm and hand, even when I braced the lens against my body. But the results are so stellar, I had to find a way to make it work.

  3. jeffbaker307 says:

    That was something I learned in High School photography class; you have to take a bunch of pics to get one good one!

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