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Weekly photo, 16 May 2015

This morning I went to a local pond where there is many adult Bullfrogs at close range. Some are more tolerant than others, I just need to find a Bullfrog in a beautiful setting and that will let me close. What I liked about this adult male American Bullfrog was the moss on the shore and the perfect reflection.

Taken with my Canon 7D and 400mm/5.6 L, I pushed my tripod as far as I could in the pond to have a water level point of view.

 

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My yearly photo day at “La Rouge” river.

For some years now i like to go shooting photos along the ” La Rouge” river in Grenville sur-La-Rouge, there is a dirt road that runs along the river that offers beautiful point of views. My favorite time of the year to go is autumn not just because of the beautiful colors of the trees but also because there is often fog early in the morning. So this year is a great year for formation of fog, we have sunny warm days and colder nights without clouds, so i was able to easily plan my visit there.

I was up early so i could be there just before sunrise, it’s about 1h15 minutes drive from my home, it paid off, there was fog in the lower valleys and on the river !

Here is the sunrise i was granted from my early drive, i did use a Graduated ND filter, wish i had a stronger one.

Pentax K-01 with DA*50-135mm, tripod.

I finally got on the dirt road and was happy to see lots of thick fog over the river which gave me more time to shoot before the sun was able to evaporate all that fog.

I zoomed to about 250mm to get that perspective of the fog over the river.

Canon T3i with 70-300mm IS, Tripod.

Island on the river in the morning sun.

Canon T3i with 70-300mm IS, Tripod.

The opposite banks of the river also getting some warm morning light.

Canon T3i with 70-300mm IS, Tripod.

I used a long enough shutter speed to show movement of the fog.

Canon T3i with 15-85mm IS, 1/2 sec. at f/11, Tripod.

I was near the end of the dirt road and the sun was getting higher in the sky and the fog was nearly all gone by now. I suddenly saw this field on my right with steam coming out of those hay bales, i stopped immediately and ran with my gear in the field!

Pentax K-01 with DA*50-135, Tripod.

I tried different lenses and point of view, here i used my 15-85mm at the 20mm setting and used the built-in flash to get some fill-in light in the shadow part of the bale.

Canon T3i with 15-85mm IS, Tripod.

I like the B&W conversion of that shot better than the color one.

 Canon T3i with 70-300mm IS, Tripod.

It’s always a joy to shoot photos along that river and i get different opportunities each time i go there, it’s also a good place to see Deer and Turkey Vultures but this i didn’t saw any close enough for my lens. Well maybe next year !


Don’t forget to walk around your subject.

Often we take a shot and we walk away because we think we captured it the only way possible, but in fact we didn’t take full advantage of the situation and didn’t produced the best photo we could. This morning i finally had the occasion to photograph a scene that i was waiting to shoot, i wanted the Sumac Vinegar trees to change to their autumn colors.

I already knew i wanted to photograph them from to different point of view, i started with one of them and took some shots before the sun would hit the scene.

After that i walked to my other point of view and the sun broked through the clouds.

This last shot was taken from another point of view that i found while walking along the field. So even when you think you knew how you wanted to photograph a subject sometimes just a change of position or quality of the light and it can make a difference.

Just for comparison, here is a photo i took with a similar composition to the one just taken above but without the same light.

All the photos were taken with my Canon T3i and 15-85mm with a polarizing filter on a tripod, i took them before going to work within 15 to 20 minutes of each others. So keep your eyes and mind open when shooting in the field.


Canon 15-85mm/ 3.5-5.6, my impressions after 2 weeks of vacation.

I bought that lens just before going to vacation (New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) because i wanted a Zoom lens, taking photos with a complete set of Prime lenses during family vacation is just too slow and you always change lenses and kids don’t wants to wait too long while dad is taking photos 😉

The comments below are based on that 2 weeks trip, so it’s not a long period but it was the lens i used for most of my photos and that 15-85mm was glued to my T3i. I’m not a fan of zoom lenses, so i’m critical about sharpness, habitually i found that zoom lenses are too much of a compromise in IQ but there is some very good ones out there. One of the negative point of zoom lenses is that their minimum focusing distance is not close enough when used at their shorter settings! This one focuses down to 35cm, not bad but when you’re at 15mm it’s too far, for comparison my Pentax DA14mm  focuses down to 17cm !

Dickson Creek in Fundy National Park, NB.

The 15-85mm was very useful along that creek and around the waterfall.

At 15mm, ISO 100, 2 sec. at f/11,Tripod and a Polarizing filter.

The IQ of the lens never disappointed me at any settings, not always as sharp as a good prime lens of the same focal length but still very good in most situations. The versatility of that lens compensate for the little things that are not perfect like minimum focusing distance, some distorsion at 15mm and some vignetting at wider apertures especially at 15mm but easy to correct in LR.

The EF-s 15-85mm is a big and heavy lens compared to the 18-55 kit lenses but the built quality is higher and the 15 to 18mm range is very useful. I didn’t had problem with zoom creeping yet since the lens is brand new but i know from what i’ve read that it will come eventually. I really liked that lens for family vacation and will be using it for my regular photography from now on.

Some more shots taken with that lens:

Here is a shot to show the sunstar effect of that lens, i did use a Polarizing filter but the flare resistance is not bad, need more shots to have a final judgement and without any filter.

Handheld with IS activated at 15mm at f/8 at ISO 100.

The Confederation bridge, from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island in about 10 minutes.
This is a 12.9 kilometre (8 mile) long bridge, it’s the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water.

At 15mm, at f/13, ISO 100, tripod and Polarizing filter.

At 80mm, ISO 200 at f/6.3, handheld with IS.

Zoomed in at 100% to show the details, crop from above after PP and sharpening.

Baie des HA! HA!, Bic Park, Quebec

At 15mm, ISO 100 at f/11, tripod.

Corner crop of the shot above.

Acadien day on August 15, La grande Tintamare, they make as much noise as they can to commemorate that day every year, Bouctouche, NB.

15mm at f/8, ISO 200, Polarizing filter and fill-in light with the built-in flash of my T3i.

Old School in Avonlea, village of Anne of Green Gables, PEI.

19mm at f/8, ISO 400, handheld with IS.

Dickson Fall close-up, Fundy National Park, NB.

At 40mm, ISO 100 at f/14, Tripod and Polarizing filter.

Dickson Creek in Fundy National Park, NB.

At 85mm, ISO 100 at f/11, Tripod and Polarizing filter.


The little pond.

My favorite pond for photographing Green Frogs is in fact an old part of an ATV trail that is now filled with water. The pond is not wide so it’s easy to take photos of any Frog in the water or on the shore . When i can i stop at the pond before going to work, i don’t always take photos or came home with a good shot but the more i go the more i have chances to get a good shot. This is a big advantage to have a place like this that you can go often and try new technic are POF, if it doesn’t work the first time you can easily try again and again until you get what you want.

During the last years i got different perspective of Frogs at that pond by using different lenses. I will start by a short video i made this morning of the pond and the set-up i used to get the following photo.

This is the photo of the Male Green Frog that i’m showing in the following Video. unfortunately i couldn’t get the reflection of the Frog’s eye on the water because of the reflections of the plants surrounding the frog.

Canon 7D, 400mm/5.6L, 52mm of Ext. tubes, ISO 400 at f/9, tripod, LV was used to focus precisely on the eye.

Here is the video, you will see the whole pond and the Frog that is in the photo just above:

http://s47.photobucket.com/user/leopold44/media/IMGP1717_zps964efd90.mp4.html

Some more shots from that pond and i always keep an eye for insects on plants along the shore.

Canon 7D with EF 70-300mm IS at 300mm with Ext. tube, at f/11, tripod.

Pentax K-01 with DFA100mm Macro WR, ISO 800 at f/7.1, tripod.

Pentax K-01 with DFA100mm Mcro WR, ISO 500, 1/500 sec.at f/5.0, handheld with SR.


2nd outing with NEX-3 and underwater case.

Yesterday i tried my NEX-3 with my 18-55 kit lens with my underwater case for photographing frogs. Well this morning i switched to my Sigma 19mm because it can focus closer than the Sony kit lens. It was a good decision, i got better shots because i could get closer to the frogs, 5 cm closer makes a big difference at 19mm !

All photos were taken at ISO 400 and f/5.6.

I like that one because we can clearly see it’s legs and body that are under the surface!

This one was cropped on top and right side for composition purposes.

This morning it was sunny and i had difficulties seeing the LCD, too much reflections on the case.


Canada Geese in flight.

Canada Geese are coming back to Canada and they are flying everywhere this week, i even saw Snow Geese. So i went to the shore of the St-Lawrence river near my home where i knew i would find Geese, each autumn and spring there is a lot of them there. I positioned myself on a hill and the Geese were taking off and flying at different distances, some too close to fit in my viewfinder with my 400mm lens.

I was able to test and feel the 7D and 400mm/5.6L combo and see how the AF would perform handheld for BIF.

ISO 500, 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6, handheld.

For all the photos i did use the AF point expansion (manual selection) and AI servo, i uses the AV mode for exposure. For a first try it was good, will need more practice as i need to be smoother while panning to follow the birds. The AF worked well but at the beginning the light level was lower and my shutter speed was not fast enough, it was below 1/800 sec. When the sun came out my shutter speed was higher and my keepers were better. I really like the Joystick to select the AF points, it`s fast and easy to find with your thumb while keeping your eye glued to the viewfinder.

The biggest challenge was to expose the Geese correctly, they have black, white and brown feathers and the sky was partly cloudy so the backgroung was always different , ranging from darker blue to white. The bird were also flying at different distances and occupied more or less space in my viewfinder which affected the exposure, so i had to costantly correct the exposure compensation.

All photos were taken in RAW and cropped for composition purposes.

ISO 500, 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6, handheld.

I waited until some Geese were flying in front of the moon, i would have liked the moon to be more evident.

ISO 500, 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6, handheld.

Not their best profie !

ISO 640, 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6, handheld.

Taking off over the ice.

ISO 640, 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6, handheld.