Okay, so last month I talked about setting photographic goals and the borrowing of a HUGE 800mm lens to photograph the wildlife at the Klamath Wildlife Refuge.
Now, I carry a fair amount of lenses in my bag. My longest is a 100-400 telephoto. So the 800 was twice as long. Then I added a 2x teleconverter to it, plopped it on a tripod, hooked up a device called a CamRanger (camranger.com). Now the CamRanger works like this: You hook up the wallet sized CamRanger via USB cord to your camera. The CamRanger emits a WiFi signal. Tech tip here. WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity. Now the WiFi signal is readable by an iPad, iPhone, Android and probably one of those Windows tablets that I’m sure you have to reboot every 2nd use! And of course it comes with an App. Now this App is designed to allow me to control the camera and has settings for focus stacking, HDR, time-lapse etc. So, I’ve used the CamRanger in a variety of situations but never with a long lens over a half a mile distance and expecting to get the photo TACK SHARP! How’d it work? So so! Some shots came out great! Some….not so much! New learning curve for me. I love it!
So, before we get to the pictures I wanted to tell you that I post these articles on my website at MikeJensenPhotography.com every month. Usually the web articles have more images because the Sunriver Scene has yet to make the entire publication about me! I know, I find it hard to believe also! Sorry Brooke! Also, I typically post all of my photography shoots on the website so take a look the next time think about it.
This close up of the Bald Eagle was taken with the big 800mm lens and my Canon 7D body. Since the 7D is a 1.6 crop factor lens the lens distance is effectively 1280mm. I took it from about 75 feet away, ISO 200, f5.7, SS 1/125seconds. On day one of our shoot we saw about a dozen eagles. This was one of the first so I spent a fair amount of time photographing it.
This next shot (Klamath 007) is not really a spectacular shot, but it emphasizes how tough it is to work with these huge lenses we see at football games etc. Here I was shooting the 7D with the 800mm on it. I was on a tripod and swiveling as I panned the eagle in the air. The eagle is not tack sharp like the first image, but I like the shot because it’s how we saw it. Settings are ISO 400, f32, 1/50sec. Most of these shots were shot in Aperture Priority with me choosing the aperture and letting it drive the Shutter Speed.
On day two, we saw eagles EVERYWHERE! At least 3 dozen in several hours. In one marsh area we saw about 8 eagles in the marsh with these Tundra Swans. The drama was amazing! We spent about an hour there waiting to see if one of the eagles would pounce, but they never did. Klamath 004 This taken at ISO 400, f32, 1/125sec. More photos at the website.
Some final thoughts. You don’t need a $13,000 lens to get good pictures of wildlife or cool pics at the Klamath Refuge. If you have a camera from a nice point & shoot (with a zoom lens) and up, you should be able to get some good pics. I chose February because I wanted Bald Eagles. Last year Cindy and I went in April and got some beautiful images of at least 3 dozen different birds and waterfowl. It’s only a short 2-3 hour drive from SR and makes a great day trip or weekend.