Date: 12/22/18 9:57 pm From: Robert O'Brien <baro...> Subject: [obol] Shoot first, ask questions later (e.g. Hood R.R.R)
This Old West adage, (sadly perpetuated to the present day). doesn't only apply to firearms.
More than a decade ago I switched from 'Birding' or 'Bird Watching' to bird photography (of a sort), This has been greatly assisted by the advent of high-resolution digital photography with image stabilization. When I stuck with fixed focal length & tripods, zoom lenses were inferior to fixed focal length in image quality, perhaps no longer. But they are still slower to manipulate if you must adjust the zoom and then find the bird in the viewer. If the bird is too close with fixed focal length, you can always back up, or just settle for a photo of its head. Or, just use the ubiquitous cell phone.
I shed binoculars, telescopes, doubler and related paraphernalia for a single camera/telephoto, fixed focal length, currently 300mm. I'm no longer trying for a photo for the cover of Birding Magazine, but to get a photo that allows me to appreciate or even ID a target bird. Or just have another birding memory. With no film, the only limitation to the number of photographs to take is the time to deal with all of them on the computer, not a trivial consideration. And I still get the occasional 'great' photo.
Here are a couple of photos taken on our recent Hood River Raptor Run which I'm currently unable to get 'published' on eBird (separate email).
The top photo (overlay of 3) is a subadult Bald Eagle which I jumped out of the car to photograph. No real time element here though. Only after viewing the photos that night did I realize that there was a second eagle far higher up, identified by the very deep wing beats shown by the photos. Now, if my ID is incorrect (it has happened), and it's important, someone can always correct it.
The lower photo (overlay of 3) was also taken after jumping out of the car for a 'mystery' raptor, at a considerable distance, flying briefly through a congested environment. Not the species I expected in this microenvironment. Although seriously out of focus the identification is obvious, and there was less than 1 minute to get these photos.
So, if you are not into bird photography (yet) you don't have to buy expensive equipment (my Canon turned out to be kind of a lemon), unless you _are_ trying for Birding Magazine.
Bob OBrien Carver OR
PS Now, if the ID requires revealing individual feathers (as some do) that's a whole other ball game.