As a distraction from staring at this:
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also managed to find a ladybug crawling on a bluebonnet. I, fortunately, did not find any snakes in all of these tall weeds.
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.
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.
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.