Jeff works at Audubon, too. His wife, Rachel, used to take lots of pictures with a Canon Rebel – the film version. She hasn’t used the camera for years and is ready to sell it. Jeff brought it in so I could see if the lenses would work on my digital Rebel XT. And… They fit! So yesterday, I experimented a bit with the 300mm lens. I shot a few pictures in the midday sun… Some of them came out just fine. But I know I have a lot to learn! I posted a butterfly over on Flickr that was one of my first shots. It’s really fuzzy. But I’m hoping my friend Tom can identify it for me (cuz I’m too lazy to look it up).
Most of my practice, though, took place after dinner… after I had been taking quite a few indoor shots with a different lens and a different ISO setting. When I put the 300mm back on for my evening walk, I forgot to switch the ISO back to something more appropriate for the outdoor lighting conditions. Still, a couple of the shots came out OK.
I kept hearing my red-bellied woodpecker calling and I hoped I would be able to get a shot of him. I never found him, but some little baby bird “Feed me” calls were coming from the top of a tree. It was a hairy woodpecker! I watched for 10 minutes or so while the parents flew in and out of that hole. Maybe I’ll go back tonight with the right ISO and try for some more shots. Maybe I’ll find my red-bellied, too. Or one of the pileated… or maybe that fox and her kit that I saw last week… Ooo Ooo I can’t wait!
I have been amazed over the last couple of years at how a camera can change your persepctive. I’ve always had a passion for nature… and still something changed when I got my first Kodak Easyshare digital camera. It slowed me down. Every minute bit of color that caught my eye needed to be captured. And once I got it home, I was not content to call it “yellow daisy-like flower”. No… I needed to know its name and its story.
We recently got a grant at Audubon to purchase five digital cameras for use during our after school programs. The same thing happens with the kids. Students who used to go ramming through the woods at high speed in an effort to cover as much ground as possible began noticing things and asking questions.
Now I have a new lens to play with. This will change my perspective – change the way I go through the woods. I will go back to familiar things and try to capture them in new ways. But I will also be able to capture images of lots of things that my 55mm lens just couldn’t. I’d better go take a shower! The sun is coming up! I gotta get out there!