Sunday, June 24, 2012

Photographing Backyard Wildlife

Red-Eyed Tree Frog - Costa Rica
Taken with tripod, cable release and head lamps ( more easily found at night)
Canon 100mm macro lens

Ah, the challenges of photographing wildlife.  There are times we have taken photo workshop adventures, or gone somewhere with the sole intent of taking beautiful and interesting photographs.  For planned trips we always have a tripod, cable release, and  time to set up our shots. 
Poison-dart Frog (Mr. Bluejeans) - Costa Rica
Tripod, cable release, off-camera flash, 100mm macro lens

But when not on an excursion, we do find the backyard an excellent spot to view wildlife, and grab some unexpected shots.    For instance, this year we had a Killdeer nest in the middle of our yard.  She was undisturbed enough to lay 4 beautiful eggs, and hatch 3 fluffy chicks.  The nest was rather far away and we didn't want to disturb her, so the shots from our dining room window didn't turn out to be anywhere near excellent shots - but a record shot of extraordinary events is just fine with me! 
Killdeer eggs
Hand-held, ISO 100, 24-70mm zoom lens, Program mode
Killdeer and Chicks
Tripod, ISO 400 to help stop movement, 70-200mm lens, Program mode

The bird feeders attract an assortment of birds, as I've written about before.  But they also attract the ground squirrels and rabbits.  Again, the dining room window is our perfect viewing area.
Mother Sparrow feeds her hungry brood.
Tripod used, and Canon 70-200 zoom lens.
Caught in the act, this rabbit had been gorging on bird seed from under the feeder.
Hand-held shot, 70-200mm lens, ISO 400 to help freeze motion.

And this year, the most unexpected backyard experience occurred at the feeders again.  Walking to the kitchen to refill my ice tea glass I happened to glance outside that favorite dining room window and to my surprise was met with my favorite grab-shot of the summer.   How can you beat this for unexpected finds?
White-tailed deer
Hand-held, ISO 400, 100mm lens, Program mode

Don't you just love surprises?  Have you had any unexpected finds lately?


Scott said...

You did get some nice surprises and that is a beautiful little deer.

S. Etole said...

What fun window views. I've seen an Indigo Bunting a couple of times but never long enough to photograph. Just their brilliant color makes my day though.

joyce said...

I don't know what a cable release is, nor do I understand how to use ISO speeds, and I know I would not want to step on one of those frogs at night, but those speckled eggs are more special than any Easter egg..but the deer at the feeder made me laugh out loud!

Sandy K. said...

The colors of nature are wonderful, don't you think? And Joyce, it doesn't matter what camera you use, or lens, it's appreciation for the site before you:). Yes...laugh-out-loud funny is a good thing!