We woke up this morning to terns, gulls, and Egrets flying and perching all over the lagoon on which our condo is located. Wow! What a sight! We own together with two other families a condo in Kiawah Island, SC, south of Charleston. This has happened before, but we only remember seeing Egrets then. Today, the terns ruled and they have not stopped all day. The Egrets and gulls perch on deck railings across the lagoon and watch, but most of the terns are in constant motion. Of course, this counts as "backyard wildlife," right? (http://www.infotor.com/blog/four-new-photographic-things-to-try-backyard-wildlife-photography/) So, I had to pull out the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and attach the Olympus 75-300mm lens. This gives me a 35mm equivalent focal length of 150-600mm! Serious reach! Of course, at 300mm (=600mm), my widest aperture opening is f/6.7, but by boosting my ISO (no problem with the E-M1!), I can still get a reasonably fast shutter speed of 1/125 or even 1/250 and pull in the birds from across the lagoon.
One problem this morning, however, was the heat. Wow, by 9 AM it was already in the high 80s and humid! This means that when you walk outside, your glasses fog up and, naturally, so does your lens that has been inside at high 60s/low 70s! The ole "camera in the Zip-Loc bag" (freezer size) trick worked perfectly though. I attached my 75-300mm lens, stuck camera and lens inside the Zip-Loc bag, zipped it up, laid it on the table on the deck, and waited about 5-10 minutes before opening the bag. When I did, the lens did not fog up! Perfect!
Below you will find a gallery of my favorite shots from today. I took over a hundred or more, but many were not tack sharp or just failed to impress. I am still not super happy with my results and find that it is very difficult to zoom in and get a sharp image of even a standing Egret let alone birds in flight. Every time I try this, I gain more respect for those folks who do succeed in get very tack sharp images. Good practice, though, and I will keep practicing. I shot many hand-held, but finally did pull out my MeFoto DayTrip tripod and placed it on our deck table. That helped. Then, I went an additional step and turned the E-M1's Wi-Fi on, connected my iPhone, launched the OI.Share app, and fired shots from the iPhone. That was cool, but two Egrets beat me. I just didn't wait long enough for them to take flight, so I missed their take off! Bummer. Something for next time.