Looking for a flare

I’m no expert on capturing the sun flare effect but I love to see this. In many cases, getting a lens flare is something that photographers try to avoid.  Shooting into the sun can often result in reflections off the lens which produce blotches of light that obscure the subject.  In this case, I was looking for the flare effect on purpose.

The idea is to capture the sun as it is peeking around another object in the foreground.  To get the most pronounced effect, you need to close the apperture down as small as possible (in this case, I had it set for 22).  This also means you will amost certainly need to be on a tripod because you normally will need a longer exposure and you don’t want any shaking of the camera.

My image here was taken along the breakwater on the Captiva side of Blind Pass, which is the divider between Sanibel and Captiva Islands.  I like this view of the setting sun but it is often hard to get a shot here without someone sitting on the rocks.  I got my chance with nobody in the way and took some shots.  One of the advantages of using the small apperture is that I also got a wide depth of field so the rocks, beach and horizon all are in focus.

Nikon D500
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
10mm @ f/22 – 1/15 sec – ISO 125

#BlindPass #sunset #SunFlare #beach #Sanibel-Captiva #Florida #WithMyTamron

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Back to the Locals

I know I have been kind of stuck on a single topic lately but there were lots of good opportunities on our vacation to Sanibel Island and I wanted to share some of that.  I noticed the bird feeder in our back yard was pretty busy so, I spent some time watching the local birds yesterday.

Even the most common species are amazing to watch.  There are a whole bunch of House Finches that love to congregate around a stick-feeder that I try to keep full.  Now that the monsoon season seems to have let up, I can get a few images where the light is good and you can really see the details.  Hopefully, we will have more days with some sunshine and I can get some good shots to share.

House Finch (male)
Roswell, Georgia, USA

Nikon D500
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8.0 – 1/60 sec – ISO 500

#BirdWatching #birds #HouseFinch #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Not a flamingo

Shore birds are fun to watch.  This Willet was wading through the shallows and seemed to get seaweed stuck on its foot.  The “flamingo pose” was struck every couple of steps as he tried to shake off the extra baggage.

Sanibel is such a beautiful place and we enjoy being here each time we visit.  The sun and sand are wonderful but I really love watching the animals.  It is really amazing how often we walk by these natural wonders and don’t even notice them.  The more time you spend looking at them, the more interesting they become.  I hope my photos encourage others to take the time to enjoy the wonders of nature.

Nikon D500
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD
400mm @ f/7.1 – 1/320 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #Willet #beach #Sanibel #Florida #WithMyTamron

Best spot on the Beach

Each morning that we were on Sanibel, we went for a sunrise walk on the beach.  Some days had more spectacular sunrises than others but each day was a walk in paradise.  On this morning, the sunrise was not the greatest but it was beautiful none the less.  As we were headed back to our place, we saw the rising sun reflected off the windows on this house.

This is a location we always notice when walking toward the Sanibel Lighthouse.  Somehow, this house is built almost on the beach.  There is only a small barrier of sea oats that separates it from the white sands.  I wish I could awake and look straight out onto the Gulf of Mexico and watch the sunrise from bed each day.  Ah well, I will have to be satisfied with warm memories until our next visit.

Nikon D500
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD
80mm @ f/10 – 1/160 sec – ISO 400

#sunrise #reflections #beach #Sanibel #Florida #WithMyTamron

Sunset silhouette

I love taking pictures at sunrise and sunset.  The colors are so amazing and it just looks fantastic.  The one thing that I often struggle with is that I want to see details and also get lots of contrast.  These two goals often seem to fight with each other.  In this image, if I had enough light to get detail in the egret flying, I would lose all the color in the sky.  This is one of the times when a silhouette is the best solution.

Under these circumstances, the outline of the bird stands out against the amazing orange and yellow sky so strongly, I don’t mind not having the details.  Hopefully, this brings the same feeling to those looking at the image.  Feel the warmth of the sun slowly melting into the horizon and imagine yourself flying over this scene along like a graceful bird.  If you can go here in your mind, my image was successful.

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Sanibel Island, Florida

Nikon D500
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD
170mm @ f/8.0 – 1/1000 sec – ISO 400

#BirdWatching #sunest #silhouette #DingDarlingNWR #SanibelIsland #Florida #WithMyTamron

Scouring the shoreline

This shot kind of reminded me of wrapping paper scattered over the floor on Christmas morning.  I know the birds see all the remains that are washed up on the tide every day.  You can watch them as they pick through to find little treats.  It’s a daily ritual on the beach which I wish I could see all the time.  Some things however, you can only enjoy  for a short while until you get the chance to return.

Wishing warm memories to all who long for a walk on the beach and happy days to those who are lucky enough to be there now.

Nikon D500
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD
400mm @ f/8 – 1/400 sec – ISO 200

#BirdWatching # #beach #Sanibel #Florida #WithMyTamron

Merry Christmas

Whether you’re out on the beach or up to your neck in snow, I hope that you will have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and that your New Year brings great fortune and good health.  May we all spend this wonderful season with family and friends being glad for what we have and sharing love and good wishes with those we care for.

Nikon D500
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD
26mm @ f/22 – 1/160 sec – ISO 640

#MerryChristmas #sunset #beach #Sanibel #Florida #WithMyTamron