I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Capturing Pinecrest wildlife with my Nikon D5100

“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” 
~Henri Cartier-Bresson~
This crow was captured on the beach using my new camera's continuous release mode (up to 4 frames per second). I'm able to take pictures in quick session when I want a series of the same subject. I love the sequence of its landing, almost like a moving video but more affective because you don't see movement, so it doesn't distract from the other parts of the photo... like the rocks and the shadows.

When the crow landed, I realized that he had a broken foot. It was bent and he couldn't stand on it.  This series of photos show the bird trying to keep its balance while it hopped around looking for food. It fell a few times, but eventually decided that flying was easier and flew away. Again, I love the ability of this camera to take quick photos in sequence. They kind of tell a story.
The first afternoon I saw a squirrel emerging from a drain near the tennis courts. With fast shutter speed and continuous release I was able to catch his bold little move up onto the concrete walk before he saw me and did an about face back into the drain. This all happen within seconds and I would never have caught this little guy in action without the continuous shutter release and subject tracking autofocus.
I need to work on all of these controls. There are so many and I haven't even gotten to the manual modes yet.
This Blue Jay would have been so much clearer with a tripod or monopod. I have both. I hate to admit it but they were left at home. This is another reason to have all your equipment with you. No matter how still you hold the camera you will always get a better photo with a tripod. The crow sequence would have been more difficult to take with a tripod  because I was on sand and moving around. In that case a monopod can be a more flexible choice. I find the monopod is more likely to be used (as compared to the tripod) when I have it with me. It's easy and I can move it faster. I just like my monopod better.  But, both were sitting in my extra room at home... a lot of good either did me.
I love this photo. Footprints in the muddy sand. This was a very large crow or maybe a Raven. I'm not sure. All that was there were its silent footsteps. I love the contrast of the pale rocks, the dark sand and the deep prints of the bird.

Then there was this guy...
protecting its space on the porch of our motel. It had a huge web attached to a fire extinguisher on the motel wall, right next to our room's front window. SOMEONE needs to sweep that porch down once in a while.
 If there was a fire? Do you think I would have reached into that box to use the extinguisher? I think not. Let the place burn. There's no way that I would touch this spider or its web. I know. I'm a wimp when it comes to Arachnids.
That fluffy, gray and indistinguishable mass that the spider was heading for?...That would be me, in my worst nightmare. The spider carried the small insect across the wall and into a hole on the side of the fire box. My spine shivered as I watched. I think it was a moth or small butterfly, but the poor thing's nightmare was over. The moth was food for the spider or its babies now. Eck!

This Daddy Longleg was quietly watching the whole thing.  I decided it was time to go for a walk. Sitting on that porch was like waiting for the next scene in a horror film.
The motel was clean and had no spiders inside. NONE! I checked. It would have been kind of cold and uncomfortable but I would have slept in the car if these guys had been on the inside... or the Prospector would have had to do a Woody Allen /Annie Hall/ "spider in the bathroom" re-creation. He has saved the day before.


  1. ha i really like your sequence shots...the landing of the blackbird esp....but i love squirrels too....the footprints are neat too...very clear...my boys might try to follow them...

  2. oh dear...you should have stopped at the footprints in the sand (which I loved!)...the porch guests...too scary....and yes let theplace burn
    What a nice new camera you have there..and that you know how to use it....
    I am enjoying your photos of your trip with Vi...so sweet...mom is there....for prospector...a wonderful memory...she sounds like a force in her day...
    My mom's name is Vi...how about that

  3. Great photos and descriptions of the birds and spiders. I am glad you are having fun with your new camera. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  4. Cameras are fun :-). Looks like you had a great trip. Those hard working spiders aren't so bad ;-).

  5. Great shots with your new camera. Love the lake shot vs. spiders, glad they were outside your room.

  6. Your new camera is blowing me away. Terrific shots.
    Call me!

  7. Cool! I love the crow sequence...I have one of those gadgets on my camera and it's great for capturing hummingbirds too. From a distance the spiders are fine but blown up to the size of a dinner plate...yechk!! I'd have to have the Prospector do a clean sweep as well!

  8. Your wonderful photos remind me that I definitely need a new camera. My Sony DSC-H5 is now old and tired...having taken thousands of photos. Slow and tired...a bit like me! ;-)


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