Archive for the 'PhotoScoped' Category



Tricolored Heron

My last day at the Space Coast Birding Festival in Titusville, FL turned dark, dreary, damp, cold, and windy. Oh well, you get those days, even in Florida, in winter. I pushed the ISO setting on the PhotoScope to 200 and hoped for the best.

Cooperative birds make PhotoScoping, or any long-lens bird photography, easy…or easier anyway, and the herons are without doubt the most cooperative photographic subjects (who are not working for pay). As noted in a previous post on Great Blues, they pose.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at about 40x, or 1600mm equivalent field of view. 1/40th @ ISO 200. Metered at about f5.6.

Added Clarity and Vibrance in Lightroom. Blackpoint just slightly right. Sharpen landscape preset.

From Space Coast Birding.

And a bonus shot.



Otter Cuteness

Yes, well, what is cuter or easier than an otter…Sea Otters at Moss Landing, CA in this case? There were 35 or 40 of them lounging, feeding, playing on the early morning when I visited, easily within range of the Zeiss PhotoScope at 40x. The under otter here was attempting initiate some play, but the upper otter was not totally engaged. Under otter persisted and play did ensue.

Zeiss PhotoScope at 40x (1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/350th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.2.

Added Clarity and Vibrance in Lightroom. Blackpoint to the right. Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.

And the video version, taken by holding a small Sanyo HD Video camera up to the eyepiece of the PhotoScope.



Yellow-rump Looking Up

Shooting Warblers in the fall in Cape May New Jersey is just too easy. No, of course, I take that back. Shooting warblers, anysmall active bird for that matter, anywhere, anytime, is never easy…but it is less hard in Cape May in the fall, when the warblers are many and fueling for the Delaware Bay crossing is most on their minds.

This bird was one of many that used this branch for a momentary perch as it foraged through some brushy trees behind the Hawk Watch platform at Cape May Point State Park. I could prefocus on the perch, but I had to rely on the auto-focus assist on the Zeiss PhotoScope to tweak focus as the bird was in all but constant motion.

I have mixed feelings about the out of focus branch that threatens to obscure the bird (it did in the next second as the bird moved further up the branch). I could clone it out, but in a way, it adds to the reality of the shot, and is certainly a more accurate record of the bird in its habitat, and the challenges of photographing it.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at about 40x (1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/800th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.2.

Light processing in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Sharpen Landscape preset. Blackpoint slightly right.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.

And, just for interest sake (and to prove I can do it), here is the same image without the branch in the foreground…worked in PhotoShop Elements 7.0.

Looking Up without branch



Kiss Kiskadee Close

Another PhotoScoped image from Ester Llano Grande State Park and future World Birding Center…simply a world class place for watching and photographing birds, in the Rio Grande River Valley, near Weslaco, Texas. At about the equivalent of a 1600mm lens on a full frame DSLR, this is about as close to a Kiskadee as you will get unless you are manning a banding station where you have the birds in your hands.

The problem with photographing Kiskadees is the eye. That black mask too often totally obscures the eye. Catching it like this, with some definition, is rare…I’d like to take credit, but between the excellent auto exposure on the PhotoScope and taking a lot of images of any given bird…well…you do get a few with a visible  eye.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x (1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/460th @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.2.

Very little beyond basic increases in Clarity and Vibrance in Lightroom. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.



Little Blue Heron in the Reeds

Little Blues are, of course, easy enough to catch in the open, but I like this shot with the reeds, primarily because it seems to bring out the color of the bird, and provides some scale. Besides, I have a whole bunch of shots of LBs out of the reeds.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at about 40x (1600mm equivalent). 1/220th @ ISO 50. Metered at about f5.6.

Cropped slightly in Lightroom for composition. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Blackpoint just a little right. Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.



Green Kingfisher

The Green Kingfisher is, most days, my most favorite bird. It is so improbable. Not much bigger than a sparrow, with that massive beak, and that intense green. The rust breast on the male just adds to the beauty of the bird.

It has not been an easy bird for me to photograph. They only live right down along the Mexican border, and I only get down that way once, or twice at most, a year.  They are common there, meaning that they occur at least in small numbers where there is appropriate habitat, and are regularly seen…but seeing one and getting close enough for a good shot are two different things.

This is a small bird. Worse, the feature structure, typical of a diving bird, is very fine (waterproof tight) so that getting real detail means you have to be very, very close and have very, very good light.

All of which is to say that this is one of my best shots of a male Green Kingfisher to date. I like the greens. I like the pose. I would have liked, even using what amounts to a 1600mm lens, to have been closer.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x (as above, about equivalent in field of view to a 1600mm lens on a full frame DSLR). 1/80th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.6.

In Lightroom, I moved the Blackpoint considerably right, added Clarity and Vibrance (a little), and used the Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.




Least Grebe, Estero Llano Grande SP, TX

Taking a break from Germany today. Here is a Least Grebe from Estero Llano Grande SP in Weslaco TX. Shot with the Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL. I was actually chasing a Ringed Kingfisher up and down Alligator Lake…he was on the far side so it was not really a chase, but he did seem aware of me…almost as though he was playing with me. If I put my tripod down, he moved. I never did get a picture of him. However, at one of his perches, this little (Least actually) Grebe was swimming in close on occasion, and I did get him. Oh yes. I got him.

The PhotoScope reaches out to 45x, giving it the field of view of an 1800mm lens. This shot was taken at about 1600mm equivalent for a nice portrait without getting my feet wet.

The bird was actively feeding, above water for only 30 seconds at at time. You can see the water beads on his back.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x, field of view of a 1600mm lens on a full frame camera. 1/115th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered exposure at about f5.6.

Very little processing in Lightroom. Much less added Clarity and Vibrance than I would use on a scenic, and just the Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.

And for you viewing pleasure, a second shot.


Least Grebe again