Monthly Archives: May 2011
Roads and cars have intruded into almost every area of our country, making the birds and wildlife accustomed to cars whizzing by – so much that they pay less attention to a car than they do a person on foot! With this in mind, I would like for you to consider your car a giant rolling blind…easy to move and much more comfortable than the classic blind.
Plan your outings accordingly. Birds are active, feeding early in the morning and late afternoon.
Use the longest lens available. Birds are usually small, and no matter how long of a lens you have, you will always want a longer one!
Have your equipment out and ready before you think you will need it. The sound of Velcro ripping open can easily startle your best/first shot of the day.
Know your equipment. Have it set up for the most likely photo before you start. If you need to use one of the fancy features on your camera, but have to consult the manual to figure it out, you’ve lost the shot.
Use extra support. Place a beanbag on the half opened car window to rest your camera on, or buy a car-window clamp. Both methods will supply the necessary support for bird photography out of a car window. [Tip: If funds are low I have seen people use foam pipe insulation from your local hardware store]
Buddy System. When possible, take along a friend or family member who can take turns driving and watching for traffic. This enables the other person to devote their full concentration towards making images.
Take it slow. Once you’ve spotted your subject, approach slowly, and well in advance. Take a few images, work in closer, and then take a few more. Move in until you are as close as possible without jeopardizing the subject or the environment. Even if your subject bolts at closer range, you will have taken a few shots of them.
- Speak quietly, turn off your radio
- Roll your windows down ahead of time
- No sudden stops
- Set your focal point on the eyes
- Turn off your engine to ensure the sharpest focus possible
- Drive Carefully – Drive slowly – it’s difficult to spot birds (or any wildlife) at normal travel speeds!
The bottom line… your car, whether it’s a $4,000 VW or a $40,000 BMW, is one of the best bird blinds that you can buy.
Examples of this type of photography can be found in our bird gallery (with the exception of the hummingbird)
We were recently invited by family to attend the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans. Three days of culture, music, sights and wonderful cuisine. What an experience! We often hear of Southern hospitality, It’s so true! We experienced this everywhere we went.
The annual French Quarter festival is Louisiana’s largest free festival. With over 200 hundred performing musical acts over 4 days in the French Quarter and along the Mississippi River. Put on your walking shoes. You’re in for a wonderful experience…….. everywhere you go there is music as you stroll down their streets and walkways.
While in Louisiana we tried several different restaurants. I never knew there were so many different versions of Gumbo and Jambalaya! You know what? They are all wonderful! Mmmmm…..how can I recreate these dishes at home? Anyone knows of a really authentic, good cookbook?
Their architectural style is lovely. So much history. Balconies and courtyards are found everywhere. I would love to transplant a courtyard home!
While in Louisiana we enjoyed a visit to Avery Island on the Southern Louisiana Coastline. Avery Island is home to the Tabasco Factory, Jungle Gardens, 1000′s of nesting White Egrets and lot’s of wildlife. Fantastic!
If you get a chance, go experience New Orleans for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
For a small taste of what we experienced please enjoy our online gallery of this trip.