Yet Another Puffin Portrait

I can’t help it – I like to shoot puffin portraits. Over time you see so many different faces, different personalities, different, but untold stories. The image below is one of my all time favorites.

It was shot at Látrabjarg, and I was quite shocked how much the bird colony shrunk during the last decade. And again, lots of people everywhere. Interestingly, tourists tend to cluster in all the wrong places – I was completely alone with 5-6 birds for an hour or so. In ideal light, ideal angle, ideal background. But this place was not marked with a “Lay here to photograph the birds” sign…

Yet Another Puffin Portrait

Yet Another Puffin Portrait

Shot with the Canon 1D X Mark II and 500mm f/4L IS II lens plus the 2x III teleconverter. It’s amazing how clear this ISO 1600 image is – not to mention the lovely colors.

A Great Reed Warbler from 2012

From time to time I scroll through old images. Especially ones from the same location and same time frame. And usually end up in a ruthless editing session. Technical imperfections, suboptimal compositions – you name it, I delete it. But once in a while I find a gem.

Great Reed Warbler Singing

Great Reed Warbler Singing

Just sit back, and enjoy the song of the warbler on a late spring morning.

The Ballet Has Begun – With a Little Extra

Herons finally arrived and I spent the afternoon with warming up for the season. This year will be radically different from the previous ones because of the rig I use. The issue with photographing herons at this specific location is that they land at varying distances. This usually means frequent teleconverter and body changes, and lots of inadvertently cut wings and feet.

But not this time. The 5DS R has more than enough resolution for cropping if the bird lands further away while I can avoid truncating vital parts with closer landings thanks to the full frame sensor. I’m using the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM with the 1.4x III teleconverter.

Purple Heron Landing Ballet

Purple Heron Landing Ballet

Images are also much better from the 5DS R than they were from the 7D Mark II and 5D Mark III used for the last couple of years. Not to mention the ancient 1D Mark II… Frame rate is a bit slow sometimes, but still manageable. The real problem is that emptying the buffer to the card may take a lot of time even with a speedy 1066x Lexar CF. This is one point where I expect the 1D X Mark II to do wonders.

Besides the herons, a bunch of bearded tits were also hanging out in the reeds. They are funny little birds and I really enjoy working with them. So much that I missed quite a few heron landings.

Bearded Tit - Another Take

Bearded Tit – Another Take

The light was great, so why not take advantage of the situation and the cooperating birds? Heck, I already have a ton of great heron landing images…

While Waiting

I’m waiting for several things to arrive. For egrets, herons, and my 1D X Mark II. And while waiting, I’m sifting through last year’s images. The one below was made with the 7D Mark II and the then new EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens (plus the 1.4x III teleconverter).

Egret Landing

Egret Landing

This is a deadly combination that brought me a bunch of great images during the last twelve months. I’m curious whether the 1D X Mark II will replace the 7D Mark II in my bag. Weight, size, reach, convenience are all factors – not just speed and image quality. I’m really really curious. But don’t worry, I’ll let you know once the 1D X Mark II is in my hands.