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Thread: More time under camouflage. :)

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    More time under camouflage. :)

    I've been seeing a lot of Great Egrets on our lake but they spook easily. So tonight I decided to bring the camouflage back out. Drove the ATV up to the lake, backed it into some trees and threw the camo net over the front. Still nothing landed on our side of the property but they did get a lot closer.

    I was zoomed in on the Egret in this first picture and with my eye glued to the eyepiece had no idea that another was approaching. One thing (among many) that separates me from the experienced is that when the other bird suddenly showed up in the frame, I was startled and lost track of what to focus on as the birds were criss-crossing about. Have many more shots since I was in burst mode but most have both birds out of focus.

    #1 I think she sees the other bird but I don't. I'm disappointed the eye is not sharp.

    More time under camouflage.  :)

    #2 She flies but I still don't know about the other bird.

    More time under camouflage.  :)

    #3 Finally, I'm clued in.

    More time under camouflage.  :)

    #4 This is my favorite.

    More time under camouflage.  :)

  2. #2

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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    You are really getting good, Terri.

    My favorite is the third one. There is something very nice about the bird on the left being almost out of the frame, as if it is a distant observer of the subject (the bird on the right). If you have a crop that allows a bit more space on the right, that might enhance the effect I'm already seeing.

    In the first one, add Local Contrast Enhancement to the bird's torso and head (not the beak). That will sharpen the eye that disappoints you and will bring out more details in the feathers. Also try increasing the exposure about 1/2 stop. It's a wonderful image, though typical of good birders' images. (That's a compliment. )

  3. #3
    botspur's Avatar
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Well done Terri. A good idea with the car and camo-net, I'm sure more opportunities will present in the future using this method.
    I also like #4, the splashing water and outstretched wings make it a good image for me.

  4. #4

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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    connecting 2-3-4 impresses me like an enthralling waltz ...................
    lv it

  5. #5
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    2, 3, and 4 are very nice.

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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Well done Terri, nice images. Our birds in Florida are tame compared to the wary birds you describe in Texas.

  7. #7
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Thank you everyone for your comments.

    Mike, I will play around with your suggestions. I had already increased the sharpness and clarity locally on #1 but had not added the contrast.

    Joe, How skittish the birds are does seem to correlate to where they are. The ones at the wildlife refuge north of us seem to be acclimated to cars because the roads are near the water but if you get out of the car they immediately shy away. The ones in the refuge on the coast seemed more acclimated to people on the walking trails - to a point. But the birds and turtles on our lake spook very easily. I suppose since there's usually no one back there. I'm even able to sneak in slowly behind tree cover and the herons/egrets will fly before I even see them. I'm moving slowing and trying not to make noise. Also developing my stalking/crouching muscles. I just never get to where I can see them before they fly, unless they are on the other side of the lake and even then I have to move slowly. So I was thrilled to have them closer using the camouflage.

  8. #8
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Beautiful images Terri. #1, #3 & #4 look fabulous to me. And #2 is close. I love your compositions, the colour and the detail and I think the exposure is perfect.

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    I was zoomed in on the Egret in this first picture and with my eye glued to the eyepiece had no idea that another was approaching. One thing (among many) that separates me from the experienced is that when the other bird suddenly showed up in the frame, I was startled and lost track of what to focus on as the birds were criss-crossing about.
    Hi Terri!

    If you aren’t already, it might help you to keep both eyes open when shooting.

    One for the viewfinder, and the other a “spotting” eye. I assume you are keeping one eye closed if one of the birds just “suddenly showed up” in the frame.

    Once you get used to it, it really helps one be more aware of what’s happening outside the frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    I'm even able to sneak in slowly behind tree cover and the herons/egrets will fly before I even see them. I'm moving slowing and trying not to make noise. Also developing my stalking/crouching muscles. I just never get to where I can see them before they fly, unless they are on the other side of the lake and even then I have to move slowly. So I was thrilled to have them closer using the camouflage.

    Maybe some camo clothing (camo is the official State Color in Missouri!) would help your stalk. Shoes/boots, gloves, hat, head netting, the works!

    There are even special items to deal with scent!

    Nice shots by the way!

  10. #10

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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Canon View Post
    it might help you to keep both eyes open when shooting.
    I would do that all the time except that using the toothpick to hold my outside eye open is really uncomfortable.

  11. #11
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Thanks Christina!

    Terry, thanks for the comments and suggestions. I can't say for sure if I had my other eye open as it is a habit I'm trying to break but am not always successful. But since the bird came in from the left and my left eye is the one at the viewfinder, I'm not sure I'd see it anyway. It's always good to be reminded though as I'm apparently like Mike and have a really hard time with that practice! And camo clothes - yes lots to choose from around here from my husband, the former hunter. Doesn't help. Maybe when the grass grows in more so I'm not breaking dry twigs and stuff with every step!

  12. #12
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by mike buckley View Post
    i would do that all the time except that using the toothpick to hold my outside eye open is really uncomfortable. :d
    :d :d :d (ok well I can't get the emoticons to work! I'm laughing Mike, I'm laughing...)

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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Hi Terri,

    I'm no expert on north american birds, but I think this is the breeding season for great egrets - so they should be less mobile. Is it possible to track down their breeding sites (without disturbance of course), or even to do your own habituation?

  14. #14
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: More time under camouflage. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Hi Terri,

    I'm no expert on north american birds, but I think this is the breeding season for great egrets - so they should be less mobile. Is it possible to track down their breeding sites (without disturbance of course), or even to do your own habituation?
    I have tracked down a few spots where these birds nest and hope to visit soon. One established rookery is reported to be in a park near downtown Dallas on the campus of a teaching hospital where my husband has been numerous times over the years. We will be back down there in a few weeks so I plan to take my camera and occupy my time that way rather than waiting around in a waiting room. Hopefully, they'll still be there.

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