Kapok Park

Anhinga with bokeh in Clearwater

anhinga in Kapok Park Clearwater Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G VR with 2x teleconverter @ f/8 ISO 640 1/500th

I have heard Scott Bourne call bird photography the most difficult kind there is.  I do not know if I can necessarily agree with that, as anyone who has tried to photograph a wedding on a super hectic schedule might have a legit disagreement, or done underwater photography, but no doubt when you consider the serious kit you need to even get within range of most birds, it is not a type of photography to enter into casually.  For example, this anhinga actually was just standing on the edge of a short pier.  Even with a 70-200mm lens and 2x teleconverter on my D300's 1.5 crop sensor, for an effective focal length of 600mm, this is only as close as I could get doing no cropping.  The anhinga was maybe 25 feet away.  Nikon's true 600mm lens is a $10,000 piece of kit!  The lens and teleconverter I borrowed from a friend itself is not that cheap, about a $2,200 solution.  

anhinga ruffling up - Nikon D300 Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G VR with 2x teleconverter @ f/8 ISO 400 1/400th

You might be wondering why was I shooting at f/8?  Why not shoot closer to the lens' maximum aperture of f2.8?  Well, first, the 2x teleconverter automatically makes a f/2.8 lens a f/5.6 lens.  Then, I could not get a sharp shot at all with an aperture larger than f/8.  It was my first time ever to use that lens as well as the teleconverter, and I was handholding that huge setup, so on at least a monopod I might have been able to stop up a bit.

The anhinga is a very showy bird always willing to dry out its wings for you or, as seen above, flex up.  If you do like to do bird photography, Florida is a great place to live, and even Scott Bourne winters here for over a month ever year.   

Free iPhone Wallpaper - Anhinga with Twisted Neck in Clearwater

free iPhone wallpaper -- Anhinga with Twisted Neck in Clearwater

Start your day off with a free new wallpaper for your iPhone or iPod touch!

A recent visit to Kapok Park in Clearwater gave me the chance to make some of my best bird photographs yet.  This anhinga very nicely hung out for awhile looking all around, eventually ending up with its neck almost tied in a knot!  I have several in this series I will post together in the near future.

Please let me know if you use this wallpaper in the comments below.


My full (and growing) collection of iPhone wallpapers can be viewed HERE and are available for just $1 each.


 To Install the wallpaper onto your iPhone:

1. Right-click or control-click on the image.

2. Select “Save as…”

* Mac users:  save the image to a folder or add it to your iPhoto library.

* PC users:   save the image in your “My Pictures” folder.

Connect the iPhone/iPod Touch to your computer and do the following:

1. Launch iTunes, click your iPhone icon on iTunes, choose the Photos tab, and select “Sync photos from:”

2. From the pop-up menu, do one of the following:

* If your using a Mac, choose iPhoto or your Pictures folder.
* If you’re using a PC, choose My Pictures folder.

3. Choose Folder, then choose any folder on your computer that has images.

4. Choose “All photos,” or choose “Selected folders” or “Selected albums” and choose the folders or albums you want to sync.

On your iPhone:

5. Launch the Photos app. Browse through the albums or Camera Roll until you find the picture you wish to use.

6. Select the picture so it is displayed full screen.

7. Tap the icon in the lower left corner of the screen. If you don’t see the icon, single tap the picture to display the menus.

8. A menu pops up with three options: Email Photo, Use as Wallpaper, or Assign to Contact.

9. Choose “Use as Wallpaper"

Thanks to Photo Focus and Scott Bourne for the directions above.

All iPhone/iPod Touch Wallpapers are provided without any technical support. Each image is a 320×480 jpg file. All images are Copyright Jason Collin Photography, All Rights Reserved. You are granted a single use, non-exclusive, perpetual license to install this wallpaper on any iPhone or iPod Touch personally owned by you. This license grants you the right to use the wallpaper for non-commercial/personal use only. You may not re-sell, distribute, print or otherwise publish the image without the express written consent of the Copyright owner: Jason Collin Photography 

At long last a wood stork at Kapok Park

This wood stork flew conveniently right over to my side of the pond! Thank you Mr. Stork!One bird I have been trying to photograph ever since moving back to Florida one year ago is the wood stork.  I have seen them many times, but have never been in a good position or circumstances to photograph one.  That was until I joined the NPPF meetup group on a Sunday morning photowalk to Kapok Park.  

New photo friend Marc was also there, and he happens to be a Nikon shooter as well.  He had let me borrow his Nikon 2x teleconverter, but it did not work with my somewhat older Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens.  So he very generously offered to let me use his Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f2.8G lens which works perfectly with the 2x teleconverter!  On my Nikon D300, this gave me an effective focal length of 600mm!  However, I can tell you I quickly found 600mm to not even be enough.  So if you do drop $10,000 on Nikon's 600mm lens, you still may not be satisfied.  

Marc's generosity did not end there though.  The wood stork was on the far side of the pond from me when I first spotted it.  It would have taken me a good 10 minutes to walk all the way around the pond over to the sandy bank it was on.  I saw Marc just a few dozen meters from the wood stork and waving at me.  He had spotted it first and was going to have the best chance to shoot it . . . until he startled it over to RIGHT in front of me on the far bank!  What a pal.  

I never had a totally clear shot, as reeds and tall grass were in the way from my position on the boardwalk, but nonetheless I was finally glad to be able to make a shot of a wood stork.  Thanks Marc!

Sunny Florida at f/11 project #01 - Kapok Park Pond HDR

I broke my own rule and made this HDR image without a tripod.

I bet when most people imagine Florida in their minds, the image is of a white sandy beach with palm trees.  However, such places make up only a very small part of Florida's land mass.  In fact, most of Florida looks like the above landscape -- flat countryside with a mix of trees scattered about.  Spanish Moss hanging from live oak trees should be as iconic a Florida image as the coconut palm tree.  

I assigned myself a personal photography project for 2010 -- "Sunny Florida at f/11" and the above photograph is my first official shot in that series.  If you have no ongoing, personal photo project yet for yourself, I highly recommend it as both a means of having a photography goal for the year and to make a number of images in the same theme that could potentially be used for a gallery exhibition!  

On this particular day my goal was first to photograph birds, but when I realized my Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens was not going to get me nearly close enough, I thought I would have to change the day's shooting goal to landscapes.  Then a friend let me borrow a Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm VR f/2.8G lens and Nikon 2x Teleconverter for the day so I was able to photograph birds after all.  Still, I could not resist breaking my own rules when I saw this landscape scene and photographed something outside of my theme for the day and even worse handheld an HDR shot!

If you have a personal photography project for 2010 describe and link to it in the comments below.