Out in the weeds
This morning was going to be a sunny bright day so I did not want to follow my planned weekend drudge of toiling around running errands, what better opportunity than to make this a weekend of photography? After tying up some loose ends, I quickly gathered up the needed photographic gear and set out for two days out on the trail. The weather in this area is generally bearable in the morning but becomes hot and humid once the sun moves past the horizon, so I needed to get a move on and here is my pack out list for two days and story behind the images.
Tripod: GItzmo series 3 Tripod with a wimberley gimbal head, I find this combo just about right for what I do sturdy enough for a big telephoto but yet not too heavy. I then added to the mix the leveling base made by really right stuff. So, no matter where I find myself I can level out without a problem. The leveling base is not a hard requirement but in my case allows for swapping of heads with ease. This adds about a 14 oz to the weight, but well worth it.
Camera: Nikon D810. i have been using this body now for about 8 months which replaced my D800 that I had for 2 years, my comfort level with the camera is very good. Although the D810 had a few new features I needed to master.
Lens: My favorite super lens for wildlife is the Nikkor 400mm ED FL lens. Very flexible lens that can easily accept all Nikon's Teleconvertors with very minimal loss of Image Quality. I normally carry a 1.4 and 2.0 with me when I carry this 400mm lens.
Accessories: I carry a Nikon wireless remote, this helps with vibrations from me pushing the shutter release manually. With the wireless remote I simply aim the camera and then use the remote to focus and fire. Spare SD card, and micro wipes.
Supplies: I always carry a spare set of camera batteries and water. The amount of water varies depending on the weather and location, in the summer months I bring along a minimum of one liter. One liter on me and another 2 liters in the car. As far as food goes, something small, lights and geared toward energy.
My weekend started out with no real expectations on acquiring any particular special photos but I wanted to bring back at least one good photo to add to my collection, those who shoot kown you don't always come back with anything useful I started by walking along the Potomac River shore looking for any water fowl or nesting Osprey, as luck would have it a pair of Osprey was near but their particular choice of nesting sites was not all that impressive, and a little cropping took care of that problem. As I walked along the shore I eventually need to move inland as the tide was coming in and the beach was disappearing beneath my feet.
Hauling 20 pounds of gear with me does not make me more graceful, but I normally manage at least one near stumble on every outing, where my foot intersects a root and I say oh crap. I make it the three miles to the far side and set up in a location that provides me shade and about 200 degrees of view. The area has several Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Mallards, Geese, small birds, and on occasion a Bald Eagle or two. One day I will stalk the Eagle and see where it hangs out. Every time I see an Eagle, they are headed away from where I am at, might be trying to tell me something.
On this two day weekend, I managed to get a few images worth posting. The most surprising was two images, one of a Raccoon that actually walked right up to me. I turned around and there he was about 10 feet away. I picked my camera up and moved off to the side. The second odd thing occurred on the second day, I am all set up in tick world when I heard something above my head off to my right, I looked up and at first though it was part of the tree - but it was a Great Blue Heron perched. I did no have a image of a perching Blue Heron. I only managed to take two images before he spotted me and took off. too bad!
Overall the weekend was wonderful and nature was as always spectacular. Get out and shoot!!