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 🙂

 

 

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

 

Mallard/Colvert (Anas platyrhynchos)

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 2 comments

Lac Boivin, Qc. March 2012.

Male Mallard up close. Colvert mâle de très près.

 

Nikon D700/70-200mm f2.8 + TC20E III @600mm. f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

The black bike

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Abstractions, Best of, For Sale, Showcase | 1 comment

Switzerland, 1970. Black bike resting on blue wall

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Nikon FE, Ektachrome 64, Nikkor 35mm f2.8, digitized w/Nikon Coolscan V

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Lago di Lugano

Posted by on Apr 8, 2012 in Best of, For Sale, Scenery, Seascapes, Showcase | 3 comments

Lugano, Switzerland, 1979. Sun breaking through the early morning fog lingering on the lake.

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Nikon FE, Ektachrome 64, Nikkor-S 35mm f2.8

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Orsay Museum Clock

Posted by on Apr 7, 2012 in Abstractions, For Sale, Showcase | 1 comment

Orsay Museum, Paris 2001. The old Orsay railway station became a fine arts museum in 1986. It is situated across from the Louvre on the left bank. It houses over 2,000 paintings and 600 sculptures. One can get a close up view of the large railway station clocks from inside the museum. I was quite impressed by the silhouette effect of the visitors back-lit by the sunlight coming through the glass panes of the clock. A solarization effect enhances the image.

 

Canons Powershot S20

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Hiding my Mallard Beak

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Best of, Birds, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 2 comments

Mallard/Colvert (Anas platyrhynchos)

Lac Boivin, Qc. September 2011.

Female mallard with her beak buried deep inside her plumage.

Colvert femelle le bec dans les plumes.
Nikon D700/70-200mm f2.8 @400mm. f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO 800

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Pill Bug Twirl

Posted by on Mar 12, 2012 in Abstractions, Best of, For Sale, Insects, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 6 comments

Macro Table, Montreal.

Pill bugs have the ability to twirl their bodies on a vertical axis. This led me to wonder what a horizontal twirl might look like.

Nikon D700/Nikkor 105mmm f16, 1/2s, ISO800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Robin/Merle (Turdus migratorius)

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 2 comments

Cap Saint-Jacques,  Montreal 2012.

American Robin in winter. Merle d’AmĂ©rique en hiver.

 

Nikon D300/28-300mm f2.8 @300mm. f5.6, 1/640s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Meditation

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Abstractions, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

Saint-Catherine Locks, Montreal. Snow figure contemplating the flow.

 

Nikon D700/70-200mm f2.8 + TC20E III @140mm. f9, 1/1600s, ISO2000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Grasshopper

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Best of, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, Insects, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 4 comments

Lac Boivin, Qc.  August 2011. This baby grasshopper was basking in the sun attached to the  glass pane of a door.

 

Nikon D700/70-200mm f2.8 + TC20E III @400mm. f6.3, 1/1250s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Tour Guide

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012 in People, Portraits, Showcase | 1 comment

Old, Havana. Cubanatour guide takes a break reading Bresilian author Paulo Coelho. October 2009

 
Canon G9

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014