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

 

Vulture/Urubu (Cathartes aura)

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 0 comments

Lac Saint-Pierre, Quebec.  May 2011

A couple of Turkey Vultures look down on the photographer as he inches closer on a boat.

Un couple d’urubu Ă  tĂŞte rouge toise le photographe qui s’approche en bateau.

 

Nikon D300, Nikkor 28-300mm FX @375mm, f8, 1/500s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Muskrat

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in For Sale, Showcase, Wildlife | 0 comments

Crossing one of the bridges linking the Islands of Boucherville, something in the water caught my eye. Turned out to be a very swift muskrat which seems to wink at the camera as it whisks by.
Spring 2011 was a record year for inundated banks and fields. This brought my visitor much closer to the lens than in more normal times.

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Nikon D300, Nikkor 28-300mm FX @300mm, f8, 1/250s, ISO400. Iles de Boucherville, Montreal, May 2011.

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Green Frog

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in For Sale, Showcase, Wildlife | 0 comments

Not sure why but there are times when frogs are very approachable. This green frog was at the close focus limit of my 300mm zoom range. About five feet, I would guess. The successive clicks of the shutter didn’t even make it bat an eyelash (so to speak). I was expecting it to jump any moment and actually lost patience when after many minutes it just sat there staring back at the diaphragm. I was completely taken by the golden iris these otherwise really homely creatures sport.

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Nikon D300, Nikkor 28-300mm @300mm, f5.6, 1/1600s, ISO1250. Oka Nature Park, Montreal. June 2011
 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Flooded Fields

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in Best of, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, Landscapes, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 2 comments

Lac Saint-Pierre, is an area of the Saint-Lawrence River that widens enough to be called a Lake. In the Spring of 2011 the waters had swollen to the point of leaping over banks and flooding fields. A great visual opportunity for someone on a jon boat armed with a camera. May 2011.

Nikon D300, Nikkor 28-300mm FX @42mm; f10, 1/500s ISO200

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Black Steer

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in For Sale, Pets and Domestic Animals, Showcase | 0 comments

Organic Farm, Cap Saint-Jacques, February 2012

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Nikon D300, 28-300mm FX @150mm, f7.1, 1/100s ISO400
 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Goose/Oie (Anas anser)

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in Birds, For Sale, Showcase | 1 comment

Cap Saint-Jacques, Montreal. February 2012

Greylag goose defying the photographer.

Oie cendrée pas trop contente de la présence du photographe.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 28-300mm FX @ 450mm, f7.1, 1/400s, ISO400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Little girl with marbles

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in For Sale, Portraits, Showcase | 0 comments

Athens March 1978. Little Greek girl distracted from her marble by the photographer

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Nikon FE, Ektachrome 64, Zoom-Nikkor 35-105 f2.8-4.5
 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Tourbillon

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in For Sale, Landscapes, Showcase | 0 comments

Tourbillon Castle. Ravaged by fire in 1788, near Sion in Switzerland.

 
Nikon FE, Nikkor 35mm f2.8 – Ektachrome 64. Digitized with Nikon Coolscan V
 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2014

Foggy evening.

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in Best of, Featured, For Sale, Seascapes, Showcase | 1 comment

Sail boat coming into Halifax Harbour on a foggy Fall evening.
Halifax Harbor, Canada. August 2007

Lumix TZ3

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Halifax Harbour.

Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 in Best of, Featured, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Seascapes, Showcase | 0 comments

Island across from Halifax Harbour, Canada – One foggy sunset in August 2007

Lumix TZ3
Copyright Fritschi©Photographs 2000-2014