Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birds In Flight

I am getting better and better! As I was heading back to my hidden river, I found myself in the middle of a huge flock of robins. I actually got several pictures of these birds flying back and forth. Anyone who has read this blog for awhile knows of my problems with getting shots of birds in flight.

As I began to say, I was walking along the small hiking trail to see the river. About halfway there, I noticed that there was this huge flock of birds in the trees all around me. I looked through the camera to see what kind they were, and noticed that they were more robins. That's what seems to be around here this time of year.

As I was watching them, they began flying back and forth and all around me. I was ready this time. I was armed with some new knowledge of camera work! I lifted the camera towards where the birds kept flying. I pushed the button down only halfway, to the focus position. Then I waited for some of the birds to fly into my view.

As you can see by my photos, it worked splendidly! I got these shots of the birds flying around, and even more that I won't bother showing here. These are the best, so you're not missing anything. I'll always give you the good stuff.

It was really easy this time. As they flew by, I just pressed the button down the rest of the way. That solved the time lag problem that was preventing me from getting the shots in the first place. I know I can get flying bird photos now whenever I want. That part of that quest is now over!

I'm not finished improving yet though. As you can see, these aren't the greatest bird photos that were ever taken. They are kind of dark looking and the birds aren't very clear. They are still a good record of my progress! I know my next step.

Next comes the step where I get clearer photos. My camera isn't necessarily a professional camera, but it is the next best thing. It's actually a very good camera. The only thing holding me back right now is my own shortcomings as a photographer. I have only scratched the surface of what this camera can do.

I would learn to use it faster, but I'm too busy just having my everyday adventures to move very fast with it. That's okay with me. I'll pick up tips along the way, and learn as I go along from every new experience. The best thing about that is you'll get to read along, and see my happy progress, and my miserable failures. See, that makes it fun for all of us!

Another thing that makes getting these shots a challenge is the interruptions from other hikers and nature lovers. As I was taking these photos, I realized that there was a man on the trail behind me. I didn't see him or hear him, it must have been my spider sense tingling that alerted me. Do rats have spider sense?

Well, I turned and looked at him, and saw that he was politely standing there waiting for me, so he wouldn't get in the way. I remember thinking again how people on these trails are so much friendlier than people back in town. That's a happy thought, and another reason to go out to these places.

I told him to please go on, and he apologized the whole way as I kept telling him it wasn't necessary. Everybody is nice and polite out here. Getting back to nature is a great way to civilize people. It's kind of ironic, isn't it?

Thee was only one problem with this little social interaction. The birds didn't seem to be as friendly towards other people as I was. As he walked by, all of my little flying subjects flew away! I waited to see if they would come back, but I soon realized it was time to move on.

That was the end of my flying bird photos for the day, but at least I was left with a few happy little events. These things made a great everyday adventure for me, and I went home happy again. I like that feeling.

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  1. ROBINS?? Did you say ROBINS???
    We won't see hide nor hair of a Robin here in the frozen tundra until about April. And everyone in town talks excitingly about spotting their first spring Robin! I envy you seeing them in February. I love seeing and watching birds, too (as you can see on my blogsite!) Birds and Flowers are my two favorite things to photograph.
    P.S. Glad you liked the idea about taking photos of lightening rods! I will be waiting to see them when you find them!)
    Thanks for sharing the Robins...mabye there is hope for us to get spring afterall............

  2. Hi Ratty- Good job catching those birdies! PS... one of the people I passed Lemonade on to accepted it! She is My Life With Boys... so I'm not a complete flop as a lemonade salesman.

    Retired One- more and more the robins are staying in Michigan all winter. After this year, they might change their minds!

  3. I've been seeing robins this year even though I normally don't.

    Birds are so hard to catch in flight.

  4. I agree with you, people in the trail are a lot friendlier and happier, they always are ready to give in and give their happy smiles. Same thing happened with me when I took the pictures of birds over the lake in my last post, I was carried away taking photos I did not realize I was blocking the trail. When I asked sorry, he even told me thank you for because of me he stopped and able to see what I saw. And he smiled a great smile. Oh, I like your first and last photos. Glad you finally found the technique how to catch their flight. Your joy in reporting your adventure is surely felt.

  5. Can I conclude that trekking or hiking burn away the saturated fat of tension and strain? That's why we manage to smile which then lead us to calmness.

  6. The Retired One - I've been surprised about these robins too. I always thought the same thing about the first robin of spring. When I got my firs closeup shot of one of them, I wanted to identify it, and was shocked to find out it was a robin. Since then, that's mostly what I've been seeing.

    I've already been out looking for lightening rods, but I haven't seen any so far. I'll keep looking, it's going to be fun to find them. I did find a few more weather vanes. Now I'll have to take my camera along.

    Sharkbytes - Good job of selling the free lemonade! It actually tastes pretty good after you have some. I've seen here site before, and I'll take a look.

    Those robins do seem to be a strange sight in the winter. They've probably been more surprised by our hard winter than I have.

    Naturegirl - I knew those robins were a strange sight when I first saw what they were, but I thought I was just ignorant about their behavior. Now, from today's comments, I know that their behavior is unusual this year.

    Yes, they're very hard. I've chronicled my sometimes comical quest for flying bird pictures right here on this site.

    Betchai - I grew up in the city, and all I ever met were bitter angry people. The only pleasant people I ever saw was when we went on trips back to my parents home town. So I was very pleasantly surprised to find actual nice people on these trails. It makes it a huge positive part of going out to these trails.

    It took me a long time and some hard work to figure out those birds, so thanks.:)

    Rainfield - That's exactly right! That's part of the reason I do it. I go after work, even when I don't feel like it, and when I'm finished on the hiking trails I go home much happier and refreshed than I would if I just went straight home from work. I have been a much happier person since I started doing it.

    Oh, welcome back from your short vacation!:)

  7. A while back I spent two years working in a place I hated. I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark and for the first year I worked in a room with no window. I HAD to go hiking every Sunday afternoon or I couldn't stand it. It was that period when "My Quality Day" was born (the concept, not the current blog.

    Keep hiking, Ratty! We love seeing your world.

  8. Sharkbytes - The place I work now resembles your hated place. I don't go home in the dark anymore, only because the economy isn't good enough to warrant the extra hours. I hate the job, but I'm very good at it.