Thank you Marylin!

Marylin (Photo by Fay-la-la)

Marylin
(Photo by Fay-la-la)

A special thank you to Marylin for setting up the opportunity for us to go shoot at the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in celebration of their 10th year anniversary.  Marylin volunteers at Lake Lavon and through this association, she invited us to shoot as volunteers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  By so doing, some of our photos may be featured on either their website or brochures.  What a unique opportunity!

Rebekah, Marylin and I arrived about 30 minutes before the event kicked off and also got to meet Jeremy, another photographer who shoots for the BPRC.  He gave us a heads up as to what would be happening and then from there we fanned out in different directions to capture as much as we could from different perspectives.  It was a fun challenge and I thought I would share some of our favorite photos with you.

And as you know, Marylin is the techy one in the group and she has some great suggestions for the club that we will be implementing in the coming months.  She has suggested that we start using Dropbox to save our photos “in the cloud” for easy access as well as sharing.  (“Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. Any file you save to your Dropbox will also automatically save to all your computers, phones, and even the Dropbox website. This means that you can start working on your computer at school or the office, and finish on your home computer.”) As with all things, there is a learning curve to using it.”)  There will be more information on that in an upcoming e-mail.

Hopefully, Marylin may find more shooting opportunities for us in the future, and I do thank her for thinking of our group in this most recent venture.  So let me share some of our favorite photos with you.  Click on each photo to see larger.

Here are some from Rebekah:

And some from Marylin:

And some from myself:


IMG_5141rs

Tess… Chiggers… and Raptors…

Last year Tess joined me to shoot the raptors. Little did we know that we would be eaten alive by chiggers. E-mails flew back and forth about these strange bites that were popping up all over our bodies two days after the shoot, and I do believe we even took a few photos of them to compare. Yep… chiggers for sure! So when this year’s raptor shoot was announced, I asked her if she was interested in going and in spite of our chigger experience she immediately said yes but we did spray ourselves with “Off” in hopes that it would prevent further problems.

Tess has a 100-400mm lens and after letting me try hers, I was lusting for the lens as it has good zoom range. The only drawback is the weight. I had a weak moment after using hers and got the same lens and I must say, I think our bird photography has improved as a result. We’ve had some practice shooting the birds at White Rock Lake which is always fun but we could never get as close to birds in the wild as we do at the Blackland Raptor Center, and I think that is why she immediately said she wanted to return. It is a great opportunity for close-up bird shots regardless of the lens you are shooting with.

So let me share with you some of Tess’s favorite shots from Photo Day…

Red Tailed Hawk (Photo by Tess)

Red Tailed Hawk
(Photo by Tess)


Red Tailed Hawk (Photo by Tess)

Red Tailed Hawk
(Photo by Tess)


American Kestrel (Photo by Tess)

American Kestrel
(Photo by Tess)


Great Horned Owl (Photo by Tess)

Great Horned Owl
(Photo by Tess)


Great Horned Owl (Photo by Tess)

Great Horned Owl
(Photo by Tess)


American Kestrel (Photo by Tess)

American Kestrel
(Photo by Tess)

Blackland Prairie Raptor Center

On May 25th, Tess, Donna and I went to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Lucas for Photo Day. Once a year they have a photo day. The cost is $20/person for a morning to shoot their raptors. They limit the number of photographers so it makes it a fun day out to be able to get up close to these beautiful birds. They go out of their way to present their birds in a natural setting. If the birds show any sign of stress they immediately remove them from the situation. So many people in North Texas have learned about raptors through their efforts.

This is the third year I have gone to shoot the raptors. Last year Tess joined me and we were eaten alive by chiggers! I personally counted 200 bites and at that point I stopped counting as there were more than that. Needless to say, this year we sprayed ourselves in hopes of avoiding more bites.

We met Mary, a friend from Capture Dallas at the shoot and then we all went to the Cheesecake Factory in Allen for lunch. It was a delightful day out and we took way too many photos. I took over 900! Yikes… my computer is groaning! Obviously not all of them are keepers but you never know when shooting birds if you got the shot or not.

Tess, Fay/Lala, Donna (Photo by Mary from Capture Dallas)

Tess, Fay/Lala, Donna
(Photo by Mary from Capture Dallas)

Hope some of you can go next year. It is a fun day out and an opportunity to shoot birds close up. To obtain shots like this of birds in the wild would be extremely difficult and we thank the employees and volunteers for making this possible.