More Photography from Home

As a distraction from staring at this:

Texas-Covid19-4162020

I have been going outside with my longest lens, 70-200mm f/2.8. A few evenings ago, I sat out back with my computer and noticed that the birds came to the birdbath while I was sitting there. So, the next evening I brought my camera with me to see if I could get an interesting shot.

A lot of female grackles came to the birdbath to get water to wash down some bugs, I guess. Below is the best photo I got. She posed for me for a few seconds in the afternoon sun, holding up her bug for me to see.

Female Grackle on a Bird Bath
Female Grackle on a Bird Bath

The next evening I decided to just go walk around the neighborhood with my camera and same lens. There is a flood control pond at the end of the block and the recent rains put plenty of water in it. On my previous walks I have seen some water birds around and I thought I might shoot a few. On my first pass, I saw a large gray heron I think, you may have to ask Tippy Gnu to be certain.

Gray Heron in a Neighborhood Pond
Gray Heron in a Neighborhood Pond

I was out of position for this shot as the sun is right in front of, meaning I get the shaded side of a dark bird. I tried to get a bit closer, which made him fly away. But I got a couple of nice parting shots.

Gray-Heron-Flying
Heron Flies Away

I did shoot and crop around a lot of houses to make this look like I was out in nature somewhere.

Over by the grocery store there is a field of wildflowers, so I walked over to shoot a few photos. In the photo below, I wish I had framed in more of the bottom of the flowers, but I really like the watercolor background blur effect that I managed to get.

Yellow Wildflowers with Blurred Background
Yellow Wildflowers with Blurred Background

I also managed to find a ladybug crawling on a bluebonnet. I, fortunately, did not find any snakes in all of these tall weeds.

Ladybug-Bluebonnet
Ladybug on a Bluebonnet

Both of the above flower photos were shot at 200mm and f/2.8. I got as close as I could while still being able to focus as this maximizes the background blur. What you don’t see is the back of a grocery store directly behind these flowers.

On the way back home, I stopped by the pond again and found some ducks, I think. I walked around to get the sun at my back and I like the way they looked in the warm afternoon sun against the cool blue water.

Ducks
Ducks in a Pond

The gray heron had not returned but a white one had taken his place. I watched this guy catch bugs or whatever in the pond for a while. I tried to get a nice reflection of him in the water, but I was fighting the reflection of an ugly storage building right behind him.

White Heron in a Neighborhood Pond
White Heron in a Neighborhood Pond

Then it was back home. The long lens really lets you shoot around the distracting elements, like houses and grocery stores. And with longer focal lengths, you can get good background blur to isolate your subject.

I try to go out for walks once or twice a day to get some sunlight and fresh air and now I have an excuse to avoid whomever I happen to meet in the neighborhood. Poor social skills are now an advantage. That’s my photography from home for this week. Thanks for reading.

 

25 thoughts on “More Photography from Home

  1. Thanks for the link. I think the gray one is called a Great Blue Heron, and the white one is an egret. If you hadn’t mentioned the urban surroundings, I could have been fooled into thinking you were in some wildlife refuge. I think the shot of the grackle is the best of this bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All of the pictures are better than your first shot of the CV numbers. I stopped looking at statistics once I saw that we are like the Number 4th highest state.

    The grackle looks all proud of herself! Hard to pick a fav this time. I do like the blurred effect of the wildflowers, unique. Keep getting outside, helps your sanity and gives us great pictures to look at!

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Awh! Tell her Happy Birthday! My daughter sympathizes with her. She is anxiously awaiting celebrating her 21st bday the way she had planned before this pandemic.
            I am sure you will do your best to make today special for her! ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The ducks on the pond are black-bellied whistling ducks. They’re one of my favorites. They’re not only attractive, they can be really quite the comedians. The teenagers like to hang around in groups and cruise their neighborhoods.

    Did you notice the bee on your yellow flower? I always get a kick out of the little ‘extras’ that show up, like the ladybug on the bluebonnets. I’m going to try and get some photos of the baby birds around my place now (or even their parents — that would do). I’ve discovered that mockingbirds love dried mealworms, and chickadees love sunflower. I have a feeling they’re as glad to find an easy source of food as I am to get out and listen to and watch them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I canโ€™t put a feeder in my backyard because my dog is really good at catching birds and I feel guilty about luring them in. I do feed them in the front but I donโ€™t sit out front.

      I did like the ducks with the bright orange bills. I donโ€™t think I have seen them before. This pond they were in was full of trees and brush last year and the city cut it all down so now I see more birds there. ๐Ÿฆ†

      Working from home with the birds and squirrels. Thanks for the comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the crop of the heron at the top of the page. The reflection of the building adds some interest I think.

    I’ve been taking advantage of the enforced free time to clear out the photo archive and delete all those shots that I took “just in case” and haven’t looked at since!

    Like

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