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

 

Foggy Morning Lake Panorama

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Landscapes | 0 comments

October 2013. Val-des-Lacs, Qc, Canada

A peaceful view in the early morning light. Six 30 degree image segments stitched manually in CS6 and perspective corrected in DxO ViewPoint 2

 

Nikon D7000/ 1 Nikkor 18-200mmm @ 18mm; f11, 1/80s ISO 400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Fishing on the Malecon

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in PhotoSolution, Street Scenes | 0 comments

Malecon, Old Havana. Fishing for dinner at sunset. October 2009

Canon G9

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Bumble Bee, Delicate Assault

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in Backyard animals, Insects | 0 comments

Late Spring, Montreal, 2012. This mean looking machine delicately works its magic on this flower.

 

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

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Cooper’s Hawk

Posted by on Nov 3, 2013 in Backyard animals, Birds | 4 comments

Cooper’s Hawk/Épervier de Cooper (Accipiter cooperii)

October 2013,  Montreal. This hawk for some reason decided to briefly perch on a limb of my old acacia tree. Jus long enough for me to reach out to my nearest camera. What incredible luck!

 

Nikon N1V1/Nikkor AF 18-200mm f3.5-5.6/FT-1 adapter @ 540mm, f10, 1/250s ISO 1100-1400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016
 

A Market Elder

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Best of, Street Scenes | 0 comments

“Bieler Altmarkt” – old market in Biel, Switzerland. One of the market elders playing with weights while waiting for a sale.

Photo taken in Biel, also called Bienne as it is a bilingual city, in 1977.

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

 

Copyright Fritschi Photograph 2000 – 2016 All rights reserved

Cardinal in Snow Storm

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Backyard animals, Best of, Birds, For Sale, PhotoSolution | 0 comments

Northern Cardinal/Cardinal rouge (C. cardinalis)

December 2011. Northern Male Cardinal (C. cardinalis), one snowy morning. Cardinal rouge mâle. Matinée enneigée.

 

Nikon D300/Nikkor AF 28-300mm f5.6 @ 450mm, f5.6, 1/320s ISO 1400

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

A tribute to Pablo Casals

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Abstractions, Barcelona, Best of, For Sale, Others, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 2 comments

May 2013. Pablo Casals Monument in Montserrat.

“If music be the food of love, play on…”

This is dedicated to a friend cellist who shares the same unconditional love for music.

 

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-100mmm PD @ 79mm; f5.6, 1/250s ISO 100

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Park Guell Street Violinist

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Barcelona, Best of, Finalists, For Sale, Nikon 1 V1, PhotoSolution, Street Scenes | 3 comments

May 2013. Street Musician.

“If music be the food of love, play on…”

Truth be said, this is a composite of a musician near Park Guell and a wall of Barcelona’s cathedral where the pigeon was “raptured”….

 

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-100mmm PD @ 79mm; f5.6, 1/320s ISO 140

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Cormorant / Cormoran

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Best of, Birds, Featured, For Sale | 0 comments

June 2013,  Lac Saint-Pierre. Cormorant / Cormoran

 

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f10, 1/2000s ISO 800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Arctic Tern

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Best of, Birds, Featured, For Sale, PhotoSolution, Showcase | 0 comments

Sterne Arctique

June 2013, Lac Saint-Pierre. Arctic Tern. Sterne de l’Arctique

 

Nikon D600/Nikkor AF 70-200mm f2.8 @ 600mm, f16, 1/2000s ISO 2000

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016