My last post memorialized a wonderful experience I had making photographs at a small rookery on San Antonio Bay near Rockport, TX. This is an outing I try to do yearly as multiple species of birds come to this rookery to mate and nest. Kevin Sims of Aransas Bay Birding Charters has a specialized boat perfect for getting photographers on these birds. You REALLY need to make this trip with Captain Sims if you do avian photography or just enjoy birdwatching.
We were at the rookery before sunrise and stayed until mid-morning when the light started to get somewhat harsh. But…that sweet early morning light was perfect! In less than 4 hours I made about 4800 clicks with a Canon 1Dx and a Canon 400mm f/2.8L rig. I had a Canon 1.4 Teleconverter off and on during the shoot. It’s not that I’m a “spray and pray” shooter, but the action was fast and furious most of the morning.
Shooting at the rookery can be challenging. There are SO many birds there, it’s hard to isolate a single bird or a nesting pair. Finding a clean background is probably the hardest task. Sticks and other distracting elements are everywhere. But…If you’re patient!
I made this image of a nesting pair of great Egrets early. The ambient light was perfect. Fortunately I was able to isolate this pair and get this intimate image of them building their nest. I shot it at 1/6400 of a second at f/3.2 with an ISO of 1000. It was primarily processed in Adobe Lightroom and ON1. i did take this file to Adobe Photoshop to clean up a few distracting elements.
This year’s trip to the rookery was exceptional. I’ve culled the 4800 clicks down to about 100 files. I feel I can get 50+ keepers out of the shoot. I’m pretty proud of this file…”The Couple”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…