August Doldrums

It’s August and that means it is hot out. Sometimes oppressively hot and I lose some motivation to go out and hike or shoot. I have been trying to make myself get out and do something and try to get some excitement and enjoyment out of shooting pictures. I had a failed attempt hiking at Balcones Canyonlands NWR. None of my ideas were really turning into anything interesting and I was a bit late to get the good sun and the sunset was dull. I went home and didn’t even want to look at what was on my memory card.

I brought my camera with me to work and decided that I would try to come up with something to do after work. I decided on a park at a soil conservation pond that I drive past every day on the way home. There wasn’t anything in particular I wanted to shoot there, but there is water and birds and the evening sun.

I got there and saw the trees and clouds reflected in the water. So I got out my tripod and set up my camera with a long exposure photo in mind to smooth out the water and show a nice reflection. I then opened my bag to get my 10-stop ND filter and found that I had left it in my small camera bag back at home. So, this turned into a bit of a scouting mission. Below is the photo of the scene for which I wanted to have the ND filter.

reflections at Brushy Creek Park
Nikon D750 + 24-120mm, f/4; 24mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO100

The good news is, I can stop here any day I want and try this again with a filter on the lens. Maybe even find a more interesting composition.

There were also a lot of birds at the park. I don’t really have a bird shooting lens. Birds are generally small and keep far away from people so you generally need something north of 500mm to get good bird photos. The longest lens I have is a Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8 lens, so I mounted that up and focused on the birds. I didn’t really have time to set very many camera settings when this guy flew off his perch and right in front of me.

bird at Brushy Creek Park
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 200mm, f/4.5, 1/160s, ISO400

I generally have my camera on single-point Auto-Focus, single servo for shooting landscapes. For a moving target, I would want constant servo and multiple focus points. After this bird flew by, I changed my camera settings but I didn’t get another chance at a bird flying close. I did get some OK shots of the birds with these focus settings.

The next picture is a bit of a crop. I thought that the bird against the ripples in the water looked interesting but the bird kind of gets lost. The bird does have some amazing golden hour sun on him though.

bird at Brushy Creek Park
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 200mm, f/4.5, 1/320s, ISO400

Another bird went and perched up in a tree and I think that this would have made a nice long exposure reflection picture. Perhaps I should have rotated the camera to portrait mode as well.

Reflections at Brushy Creek Park
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 70mm, f/4, 1/1250s, ISO800

The sun started dipping below the tree line and most of the good light was fading so I packed up and headed home. But, now I have something to think about shooting in the near future.

Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you like.

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