I was never very interested in birds……in fact, unless quite large and colorful and most often in a zoo they would go by unnoticed. Until Spring ’11 when a friend invited me on a fishing trip. Now, fishing is another story. Not only is it something I do not care for, it is also the type of activity I would just as well replace with just about anything else.

 

On this particular occasion, I was told that the St-Lawrence River in the area of Lac Saint-Pierre had risen to an unusual level and that several areas were now passable by john-boat and that wood ducks and others might be more easily approachable as well as other birds. It was decided that the fishing trip would be reorganized so as to include a sizable photo component.

 

Needless to say, I was sold and secretly elated to be able to try my new D700/28-300mm combo.

Couldn’t have picked a more perfect day!

 

Wood ducks, unless in a wildlife preserve or national park are by nature very shy, like to perch on tree limbs and preferably in the shade. This made the beginning of my very first bird safari quite disappointing as we could never get close enough for my limited lens reach to be effective.

Until we came upon the following and this made my day. Even now I have goose bumps thinking about this magic moment.

 

 

This turkey vulture couple had probably never seen people so close and the male was looking down at us about 25 feet below. I understand that one of the things they do when feeling threatened is to spit the regurgitate from the carrion they are in the process of digesting. In retrospect, I feel quite fortunate for having been able to take this shot and remain dry ūüôā

 

 

Just a few minutes later we glided on to an area where Bald Eagles patrol their territory and hunt for local fish and sometimes a wounded goose or duck. On the branch sit a juvenile and an parent. Interesting to note that bald eagle females are larger than males. A few bird species are subject to this dismorphism based on sex. Here is a shot of the jevenile in flight showing the incredible plumage backlit by the sun:

 

 

And, if you think this was it for my first bird photo electroshock, keep reading: !

 

Arctic Tern.

Cormorant Rising.

Common Moorhen.

 

This half day spent in total photo bliss could not have ended on a better image than this one:

 

 

This first trip convinced me that my 28-300mm just didn’t cut it and there followed a trip to the local camera store to pick up the magnificent 70-200 f2.8 VRII coupled to a 2x TC20E III.

 

This combo rigged to the D300 would yield a reach of 600mm and to the D700 a reach of 400mm. Now the real fun begins. Unfortunately it also begins with getting used to shooting with a close to 15lb rig in your hand, most often shooting without a tripod or monopod so as to be mobile enough to track a bird in flight. Needless to say, very high speeds are necessary to assist the limited action of the VR mechanism. I usually use shutter priority at 1/1250s. Most often this means a high ISO which is not a problem with the D700 body but tends to be very noisy on the D300. You just don’t want to have to crop too much under these circumstances.

 

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2018

 

La Martre Lighthouse from Hy 138

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in For Sale, Landscapes, Scenery | 0 comments

La Martre, August 2012. A landmark along the Gaspé peninsula coast. Guardian to a lovely village on highway 138.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 28-300mm f14, 1/250s, ISO 640

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Peony Heart

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in Abstractions, For Sale, Others, Showcase | 0 comments

Late Spring, Montreal, 2012. Pink on white at the heart of the peony.

 

The freshly opened white peony was the source of inspiration for a still life which turned into a macro and eventually a Photoshop abstract.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 35-105mm macro zoom + Kenko Extension rings.  f3.5, 1/50s, ISO 800. Lit by a SB600 on the side.

Acacia Butterfly

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in Animalia, Backyard animals, Best of, For Sale, Insects, Showcase | 2 comments

Late Spring, Montreal, 2012. Unidentified butterfly resting on a new acacia shoot.

 

Nikon D300/Nikkor 70-200mm + TC20E-III @400mm f5.6, 1/800s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

The Red-Eye Fly

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Animalia, Backyard animals, Best of, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, Insects, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 4 comments

Late Spring, Montreal, 2012. A red-eye fly busy feasting.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 70-200mm+ TC20E-III @400mm f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO560

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

The wasp and the Ant

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Animalia, Backyard animals, Best of, Finalists, For Sale, Insects, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 5 comments

Late Spring, Montreal, 2012. A close and disproportionate encounter.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 70-200mm+ TC20E-III @400mm f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO560

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

The Wasp and the Green Leaf.

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Animalia, Backyard animals, For Sale, Insects, Showcase | 2 comments

Late Spring, Montreal, 2012. A wasp climbs up the green ladder.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 70-200mm+ TC20E-III @400mm f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Mesmerizing Seagull

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Best of, Birds, Featured, For Sale, Showcase | 6 comments

Gull/Goéland (Larus delawarensis)

October 2011, Lac Boivin, Quebec.

The late afternoon sun very nicely illuminating the scene. And, an intense and surprised look from a ring-billed gull.

Un goéland à bec cerclé. Un regard intense au soeil couchant.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 70-200mm+TC20E-III @400mm f14.0, 1/800s, ISO800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

The Peony and the Wasp

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Abstractions, Animalia, Backyard animals, Best of, Finalists, For Sale, Insects, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 2 comments

Late Spring, Montreal, 2012. While dozens of peonies are being helped open with the formic acid that ants secrete. This one is being inspected by a wasp. Or perhaps just casually digesting an ant previously devoured on the next door neighbor.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 70-200mm+ TC20E-III @400mm f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Water and Ice

Posted by on Apr 22, 2012 in Abstractions, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

Montreal, 2012. A very thin sheet of ice floats on the river. I was taken by the different textures, colors and the fragility of the ice surface.

 

Nikon D700/Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @140mm f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Flowers with Black Background

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Abstractions, Best of, For Sale, Showcase | 2 comments

Montreal, 2007

 

Nikon D200/Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 @75mm f5.6, 1/80s, ISO100

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014