Wading in a pool of abstraction © Robert Sommers 2023

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Falcon crest

Peregrine falcon

I went out to the wildlife area with Ken today. He has been laid up and we haven't shot together for a while. Piled a flotilla of gear in my car and drove to Perris.

I had a good time but it wasn't a particularly good day photographically, you might say I lacked focus, if I may be permitted a pun. One of those rare days when I could have deleted the whole card with nary a whimper.

Don't recall a day with so many failures, so many birds out of frame and focus.

It didn't really bother me, I was there to relax and have fun, just shows me how far I have come in terms of equipment and aptitude.

I actually know exactly
how not to do this again.

Still we got a great walk in and saw some stuff. A lot of meadowlarks, singing away, always good. Ken reminds me that they are the official state bird of Kansas, the place he hails from.

Space and engineering was difficult, couldn't swing my big lens out of the back or front seat so I switched to my lesser lens, the Sigma, and stuck it on his Nikon d500, which is a crop sensor camera with less resolution than I am customarily used to. Results pretty disastrous and the camera and lens were not fine tuned together. Reminded me why I love full frame and primes so much.

Still I saw a falcon, and a turtle. Might be a western painted. Nothing wrong with that.

Hawks were scarce, eagles nonexistent but that is what you get when you shoot at midday, that and deep cross shadows.

We did the best we could, took several loops, stopped to take a picture of a heron and pissed off a guy in an obvious hurry who drove around us and sprayed my new car with rocks and gravel. A real dick.

We missed a good shot. We had stopped to look for burrowed owls, spotted a meadowlark and just missed a kestrel with a mouse who quickly flew out of my optical reach.

Did see a pretty pair of hooded mergansers. And any day I can capture a peregrine falcon and play hooky with my buddy and get a good hike in is a good day.

Oh well, no good days without an occasional crummy one, photographically speaking anyway.


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