I took a walk around the local lake to test my new 75-300 mm lens and got some…let’s say. ‘Interesting shots’ of a pretty special bird. The Great crested Grebe.
They belong to a group of fresh water diving birds.
In the spring time they have this very elaborate dance that they do to attract and bond with a mate. Other than that, I knew next to nothing about them.
Great crested Grebe photographed in RAW with a Canon 75-300 mm lens #animalphotography
There were two families of Grebes on the lake and this got me thinking. Why so few? There are dozens of ducks on the same lake?
Grebes migrate to warmer parts of the globe in winter time but it’s still summer here so that isn’t the reason.
They are great at diving and hunting for fish and I was lucky enough to get a photo of a grebe with a fish in it's beak.
What happened next was pretty amazing to watch as it dropped the fish in front of its partner for her to pick it up.
Grebe with a fish
Grebes are related to Flamingos way back in their DNA and they belong to a very select group of animals. They are an example of convergent evolution. Their legs are further to the back end of their bodies and they have lobed toes which makes them excellent swimmers and great hunters of fish.
A grebe (/ɡriːb/) is a member of the order Podicipediformes and the only type of bird associated with this order.
Source deep dive Grebes
Field test of the Canon 75-300 mm lens
Getting back to the lens. It worked pretty good straight out of the box and I just need to fine tune my use of it.
When I was taking these photographs, the birds were about 150 feet (45 metres) away and moving fast on and under the water.
I tried a few different camera settings from full auto to full manual. After a lot of trial and error I got a few usable photos.
The difficulty of photographing nature is that it doesn’t often stand still for long in the wild and these Grebes were hunting which means spending a lot of time under the water.
Luckily, I was shooting in RAW and managed to get a few reasonable photos out of a total of 253 photos taken and a little video clip.
After about an hour of photographing them at a long distance one popped up right in front of me and I got the title shot above.
The settings were well all off the scale for such a close shot but because it was taken in RAW I was able to recover the title image above.
When I uploaded the image to my computer it was just completely black but the information was there to boost the exposure values and get that image. Amazing!
Somersham Nature reserve
Hope you enjoyed this little walk around the lake. It was a #sublimesunday
I also used the new lens to get some astro-photos last night and again it worked pretty well.
More details of the stars are visible with this lens and it will yield better results in future shoots.
P.S. I may be absent for a few days as my internet connection is playing up something chronic. I'll post when I can.
!steemitworldmap 52.3839305 lat 0.0053071 long Somersham Nature Reserve, UK d3scr