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

 

Guarda, Engiadina

Posted by on Jun 16, 2013 in Engadina, Engadina architecture, Nikon 1 V1 | 0 comments

April 2013. Guarda, Switzerland.

One of the typical Romansch style house in a Lower Engadin village.

 

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-30mmm @ 10mm; f5.6, 1/640s ISO 100

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Palau de la Musica Catalona – Corner Sculpture

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture | 0 comments

May 2013. Palau de la Musica Catalona.

A corner detail of this jewel of Art Nouveau. Built at the turn of the 20th century by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner as a home for the Orfeó Català choral society.

 

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-30mmm @ 10mm; f5, 1/200s ISO 200

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Casa Batllo, Barcelona

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture | 0 comments

May 2013. Barcelona

Antoni Gaudi, Casa Batllo facade.

One of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece architectural works in Barcelona. Built at the turn of the 20th century.

 

Nikon 1 V1/ 1 Nikkor 10-30mm @ 15mm, f4.2, 1/250s ISO 800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Palau de la Musica Catalona – Orfeo Catala Detail

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture | 0 comments

May 2013. Palau de la Musica Catolana.

Commemorative relief dedicating the Palau Hall to the Orfeo Catala choral society.

 

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-30mmm @ 24mm; f5.3, 1/200s ISO 280

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Palau de la Musica de Catalona – Stage and Organ

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture, Nikon 1 V1 | 0 comments

May 2013. Palau de la Musica Catalana.

Main hall of the Palau de la Musica Catalona in Barcelona. Minutes before the Passion According to St-John by Bach.With the Orfeo Catala, the choir to whom this building was dedicated.

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-30mmm @ 22mm/ f3.5, 1/200s ISO 800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Palau de la Musica Catalona – Uppermost Balcony

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture | 0 comments

May 2013. Palau de la Musica Catalana.

View of the main hall. Ceiling and window detail. Minutes before the Passion According to St-John by Bach.With the Orfeo Catala, the choir to whom this building was dedicated.

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-30mmm @ 19mm/ f4.8; 1/100s ISO 450

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Palau de la Musica Catalona – Glass Ceiling

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture, Nikon 1 V1, PhotoSolution | 0 comments

May 2013. Palau de la Musica Catalana.

 

Nikon 1 V 1/ 1 Nikkor 10-30mmm @ 22mm/ f5, 1/200s ISO 800

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Torre Agbar.

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture, For Sale, Nikon 1 V1 | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

Modern architecture in a city better known for Antoni Gaudi and his contemporaries. Jean Nouvel, a French architect designed this 38 story building which opened in 2005 and now houses the water company – Aigues de Barcelona. It is located in the Poblenou district near the Glories Square.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm; f9; 1/250; ISO 100

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Palau de la Musica Catalana – Exterior Facade

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Barcelona, Barcelona architecture, Best of, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, Nikon 1 V1, PhotoSolution | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

A beautiful concert hall hidden away in La Ribera district. Built for the Orfeo Catala choral society at the turn of the 20th century by Lluis Domenech iMontaner.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm; f4.5; 1/200; ISO 200

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016

Mandrill

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Best of, Featured, Finalists, For Sale, Nikon 1 V1, PhotoSolution, Showcase, Wildlife, Zoo | 0 comments

Barcelona, May 2013.

Powerful portrait of a male adult mandrill. The late afternoon light was tricky but very effective.

 

Nikon 1 V1/Nikkor 10-100mm @100mm; f5.6; 1/160; ISO 720

 

Copyright Fritschi © Photographs 2000-2016