Daily Archives: April 11, 2024

Maine! More Red-bellied

Red-bellied Woodpecker: York County, Maine, USA, April 2024 — When you shoot at 15 frames per second you get a lot of different looks at even as active a bird as the Red-bellied Woodpecker. Here are 4 more, after yesterday’s tippy-toe pose. OM System OM-1Mkii with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds-in-flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator and assembled in FrameMagic.

Costa Rica! 1st morning Resplendent Quetzal

Resplendent Quetzal: San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — The Resplendent Quetzal is a difficult bird to photograph well. It is not secretive. They are easy to find in the Savegre River Valley in the Talamanca Mountains and in other highland areas of Central America. You just have to know which Wild Avacado trees are in fruit on any given day, and go, really early in the morning, well before breakfast, and stand, often in what passes for bitter cold in the tropics, in the pretty much dark before sunrise, and wait for them to come in, take a fruit, and go to a perch to sit a while and digest. The wind is always blowing the long covert feathers around, and there is never enough light for the camera, so you are using much higher ISO than any sane photographer likes, and there is often a misty rain falling. Did I mention that you generally have to climb a very steep hill at 8000 feet to get to the spot in the first place. And stand. And wait. But when the Quetzals come! Well it is all worth it…so worth it that generally I talk the guide and the group to going back the next pre-dawn to do it all over again. Part of it is that, even after 10 or more trips to San Geraldo de Dota, which amounts to 20 or more morning Quetzal waits, I still don’t have my definitive Quetzal shot. I have lots of good shots, but no great ones. It is just difficult to do photographic justice, under the typical conditions, to the resplendence of the Resplendent Quetzal. Some morning one will hang around until after sunrise, or we will happen on one in full daylight…but until then I will continue to amass pretty-good Quetzal shots from before breakfast on the cold side of a mountain in the mist. Woe is me! No really, I am already making plans for my next trip to San Geraldo de Dota in 2025. These two shots are from the first morning in December of 2023, my last visit of that trip. OM System OM-1 with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. (With in this light amounted to ISO 25600, higher than I would have liked, at 1/200th, which is lower than I would have liked.) Woe. Processed in Photomator and assembled in FrameMagic.