My exploratory trip to scout for opportunities to photograph Dalmatian Pelicans in northern Greece was very successful. The opportunities there in fact were even better than I hoped for, sometimes unbelievably good!
Dalmatian Pelican in full breeding colors, Lake Kerkini Greece, NIKON D700 and SIGMA 50-500 mm APO OS HSM lens @ 210mm, 1/1250 sec at F8, manual metering, no flash, ISO 1000. Subject distance: 14.1 m. Image Copyright 2011 Robert OToole / Robert OToole Photography.
For this trip I brought my entire lens arsenal and a couple of new lenses on loan from Sigma USA. By favorite camera lens combination by far was a Nikon D700 and Sigma 50-500 EX OS HSM lens (thanks to a loan from Sigma USA). I used my standard setting for birds in flight, Manual mode, 1/1250th of a second at F8. My ISO settings ranged from 200 to 2000. The quality of this Sigma 10X stabilized zoom was surprisingly good and if you are interested, look for a field report on the 50-500 coming soon.
Dalmatian Pelican portrait, Lake Kerkini Greece, NIKON D700 and SIGMA 50-500 mm APO OS HSM lens @ 290mm, 1/640 sec at F8, manual metering, no flash, ISO 500. Subject distance: 2.82 m. Image Copyright 2011 Robert OToole / Robert OToole Photography.
I have to thank my friend Bence Mate and his assistant Casaba which I photographed with over the first couple of days, and for the special help and assistance from the lake management authority there. The trip was made to scout locations for an exploratory IPT/workshop that will be led by Arthur Morris and I next week. I will be posting a full workshop report and details for a 2012 workshop soon.
Interestingly Bence was photographing almost exclusively with his Nikon D300 and 10 mm fisheye lens in a custom remote controlled underwater housing featuring 10 inch monitor, over and under port with three topside and one underwater flash units. The results were amazing, like a fish swimming inside the birds bill open bill and others were made from the inside looking out of the bill with the lens inside the bill. Hopefully Bence will let me share some of his images in the future. I work with Bence with my Hungary bird workshops in May each year.