Friday, July 15, 2011
Loons, Puffins & Moose (7/11)
Had a super trip last week to New Hampshire and Maine. The primary photo goal was to capture a Loon with a chick on the back. Puffins and Moose were also on the list. The above and below images were some of my favorites of the female with chicks. These loon images would not have been possible without the worthy assistance of the Camera Gear Lackey, who changed hats for this trip and became the Canoe Lackey. When approaching the loons by canoe, she carefully kept the light at my back and us at the appropriate distance so as not to cause disturbance. Local photographer Judith E. Lombardi also provided essential advice on locations, which certainly facilitated where to go for the 3 days we were in New Hampshire.
This was a special shoot for two reasons. We had some great light. And watching the male and female take turns feeding the chicks, often at close proximity, made our time on the water just extraordinary. After the first morning of hand holding with the 400/5.6 and looking at the soft image results, decided to make some adjustments and ended up duck taping my tripod to the Wenonah Ultralight canoe with the Wimberley Head and the 400/2.8. This alteration did the trick!
Below are some additional female loon/chick shots.
Here you see the male delivering a crawdad breakfast to one of the chicks.
Here are two loon images with the body wake taking on the blue sky reflection, which made for some great shots.
After 3 exceptional days in New Hampshire, we headed over to Maine. Photo goals were Puffins and Moose. We also had a fodder goal of sinful amounts of lobster and clams. The first stop in Maine was Machias Seal Island. To get to the island you have to take a 45 minute boat trip from Cutler, Maine. There is a breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins (approximately 3K) on the island as well as other predominant Alcid species of Razorbills and Murres. Having been to the island before, I concentrated on Puffin fliers. Below are some of my favorites.
We next headed to Baxter State Park. Known for its moose density, we stayed in a campground and hiked to a pond in the early mornings and evenings. We saw several on every outing. We had our best morning the last day of our trip, between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM. We had the pond to ourselves and the light was awesome. These are shots I've always wanted to capture, with the water dripping off the velvet.
Neat capture with the guy breaking out of the water.
Living a dream folks. Blue Skies and great histograms.