Truland Photography

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Both Bald Eagles on the Nest

I was rushed for time this morning but took a quick walk out to the nest viewing site on Peebles Island on my way through Waterford.

Initially, as I approached on the trail, one eagle was on a branch next to the nest The other one then joined and eventually they were both on the nest. I'm now thinking no egg(s) yet, but I'm no eagle expert.

I'm also assuming that the smaller male is the eagle on the right and the female on the left, but I'm no eagle expert. Odds are that from now on there will always be one or both eagles on the nest.

I'm hoping for a lack of severe weather for the rest of the season to increase the odds of more than one eaglet surviving this year.

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Roaring Cohoes Falls

Recent warm weather and rain has brought quite a bit of water coming down the Mohawk River. Blue skies and a few clouds make Cohoes Falls a good afternoon location. Add a strong wind and the resulting rainbow from the mist and it's all good.

These are all five file HDR composites with the 5D Mark III and 24-105mm f/4L lens at f/8 and ISO 100.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Remnants of Last Year's Flora

Although I've had several dedicated macro lenses, some of my best closeup photos have been made with long lenses that focus closely or long lenses with a closeup attachment on front.

In particular, the 300mm f/4L IS lens saw a lot of use for this purpose. That lens had a minimum focusing distance of 59 inches with a magnification ratio of .24X. In my current kit, the 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lens serves that function. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 33.5 inches with a magnification ratio of .29X.

It's way to early for this year's flora to start emerging but the temperature reached 60 degrees yesterday afternoon and it at least felt like Spring. There are always bits and pieces of last year's flora that hang on through the Winter. Using the EOS M3 and the 55-250mm lens, I took advantage of the warm weather to grab some quick shots.

Tulip Tree Blossom

Wild Thorny Vine

Maple Leaf

Rose of Sharon Blossom

Monday, February 19, 2018

Islands in the Fourth Branch of the Mohawk

I did some research today to make sure I was accurately naming the branches of the Mohawk River - they're also called sprouts - as well as the various islands that frequently appear in my photos. Goat Island, upon which the Bald eagle nest sits, and Bock Island, the other end of the hydroelectric dam on Peebles Island are in the fourth branch of the Mohawk.

Also in the fourth branch - between Peebles Island and mainland Waterford - are Second Island, formerly Kings Island, and Polrump Island. Polrump Island is not named on the Google maps graphic below.

I was walking on Peebles Island with the M3 and 55-250mm zoom lens this morning to check on the eagles. One of the pair was sitting deep in the nest so maybe there is some egg incubating going on.

Second Island has three duck blinds that are visible from Peebles Island. Here are shots of two of them.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Finally! Bald Eagles on the Nest

This morning was sunny but cold enough for the trails on Peebles Island to be frozen and not muddy. Not as much ice as the other day so no ski poles.

I again carried the EOS M3 and 55-250mm lens in a backpack. I saw one of the eagles flying into the nest while I was still quite a way from the viewing spot. I grabbed a couple of shots of them both in the nest before one flew off. They were both off the nest eventually so there obviously aren't egg(s) yet.

These shots of the nest are JPG files straight out of the camera, cropped to 100% 1200x800 files.

Canon EOS M3, EF-S 55-150mmm f/4-5.6 IS STM at 250mm

Canon EOS M3, EF-S 55-150mmm f/4-5.6 IS STM at 250mm

And for reference, here is the un-cropped image resized to 1200x800.

Here is another White-tailed deer processed in Photoshop Elements 2018 from the RAW file. This image is not cropped, just resized.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dealing With Icy Trails

The combination of snow, then warm weather and rain, followed by cold temperatures has left the trails on Peebles Island like sheets of ice. Yesterday morning, I headed out to check on the eagle nest and fell only one hundred feet from the parking lot. Both camera bodies hit the ground, knocking off the lens hoods and caps. I decided not to try to go further and headed home to check out the gear.

Thankfully, all the gear is fine. This morning, in the same conditions (temperatures in the low 20s), I made some smarter decisions. I carried the cameras in a backpack so I didn't need to worry about them as I walked and I used a pair of cross country ski poles. It felt much safer and I did get over to the nest viewing site.

I did see one of the eagles on a tree on the other side of the Island that the nest is on but no activity on the nest. We're about two weeks from when they were sitting on eggs last year.

Here are some shots of the trail conditions out by the nest viewing location from the EOS M and kit lens.

Here are two shots of the nest from the EOS M3 and EF-S 55-250mm lens cropped to 100%.  The first is the JPG file out of the camera. The second, cropped slightly differently, is converted from the RAW file in Photoshop Elements 6.

As I was walking back to the parking lot, one of the employees commented on the ski poles. I explained that I had fallen yesterday. He said, "with cameras?" I said yup that was me. Someone had apparently seen it from inside.

Friday, February 2, 2018

EOS M3 and EF-S 55-250mm STM Lens

I got out this morning for the first time with my EOS M3 and the lens which replaced my DO zoom. It's kind of a cool looking setup as you can see.

The lens does extend with zooming and with the lens hood on and zoomed out to 250mm, it's almost twice as long.  It weighs just over half what the DO zoom weighed and while I'm giving up 50mm of reach, I'm gaining a lot of image quality. Which is strange when going from a lens with a list price of $1,399 to one which can be had new (grey market) for $170.

So I took the setup over to Peebles Island this morning. It was cold but clear and sunny. I first shot the Eagle nest to see what kind of shots I'll be able to get once they hopefully settle in later this month. It looks like they're keeping the nest up but I haven't seen them on or around it. This is a 100% crop and I'm happy with the quality.

Then, of course there are the deer. This shot is not cropped and is a JPG from RAW processed with Photoshop Elements 18, which I had to buy today from the Mac App Store since my trial version downloaded from Adobe ran out. $10 cheaper on the App Store. The M3 requires a version of Canon's software that won't run on my MacBook Air for some reason. There really is no substitute for being able to adjust white balance after the fact.

These last two shots are of the third branch of the Mohawk River at the wide end of the zoom. Even though the M3 auto brackets exposures at about a frame a second, the HDR software still manages to line things up for a decent result. The M3 will only bracket 3 files and these are +/- 1 2/3 EV.