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

 

Havana Fortune Teller

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012 in For Sale, People, PhotoSolution, Showcase, Street Scenes | 0 comments

Old, Havana. One of the many fotune tellers. Her lace dress blends into the huge shawl pinned to the wall behind her suggesting angel wings. The cigar is a dead give-away. October 2009

Canon G9

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Las viejas

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012 in For Sale, People, PhotoSolution, Showcase, Street Scenes | 0 comments

Old Havana. “Come here, take my picture”, she says. october 2009

Canon G9

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Yellow DeSoto

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012 in For Sale, People, Street Scenes | 0 comments

Old Havana, old DeSoto cab awaits in front of the Capitolio. October 2009.

 
Lumix TZ3

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Sunset on the Malecon

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012 in For Sale, Landscapes, Scenery, Showcase | 0 comments

The Malecon is an 8 kilometer stretch of seafront road meandering from the port in old Havana to Vedado, a vibrant part of the city. October 2009.

 
Canon G9

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Waxwing/Jaseur (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

Cap Saint-Jacques, February 2012.

I momentarily disturbed this cedar waxwing feeding on small fruits. It was part of a large number of waxwings just passing through.

Un jaseur d’Am√©rique islo√© de son groupes de passage en train de manger des petits fruits

 

Nikon D300/28-300mm f3.5-5.6 @450mm. f5.6, 1/500s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Wood Duck Posturing

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Best of, Birds, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 2 comments

Wood Duck/Branchu (Aix sponsa)

Lac Boivin, Qc. October 2011.

This male wood duck seems to want to enjoy the last rays of sun to their fullest. Or is he rehearsing a posture for the spring mating season ?

Branchu m√Ęle se chauffant les plumes au soleil couchant ou en pr√©lude de pariade…..
Nikon D700/70-200mm f2.8 @400mm. f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO2800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

“I come in Peace”

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Abstractions, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 0 comments

Montreal, Winter 2012

Nikon D700 70-200mm f2.8 @400mm. f5.6, 1/640s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi Photographs 2000 © 2014

Black Duck/Canard noir (Anas rubripes)

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

Lac Boivin, Qc.  August 2011.

Black duck relaxing on a log, the late afternoon sun enhancing the texture and complexity of its plumage.

Canard noir sur une souche. Lumi√®re de fin d’apr√®s-midi r√©v√©lant le superbe plumage.
Nikon D700 70-200mm f2.8 @140mm. f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO3200

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Big Woody Rampage

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Best of, Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

This rarely seen pileated woodpecker decided to target this tree not far from my house during the Spring of 2008. Two years later the tree had to be taken down. It had not survived the assault.

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Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200mm @200mm; f5.6, 1/200s, ISO360

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Gull/Goéland (Larus delawarensis)

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

Lac Boivin, Qc, Canada. August 2011

This ring-billed seagull was perched on the boardwalk at Lac Boivin one August day in 2011. Luckily for the photographer, it seemed more interested in basking in the light of the setting sun than the approaching photographer.

Go√©land √† bec cercl√© trop pr√©occup√© par son bain de soleil couchant pour se soucier du photographe qui s’approche.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm f2.8 + TC-20E III @400mm; f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO3200

 

Copyright Fritschi©Photographs 2000-2014

 

 

Nikon D700, 70-200mm f2.8 + TC-20E III @400mm; f5.6, 1/1250s, ISO 3200

 

 

 

 

Copyright Fritschi Photographs 2000 © 2014