The current line up of The El Orbits is Thomas Escalante on vocals, Jim Henkel on guitar, Allen Hill on the bass and Eric C. Hughes on the drums. On Saturday night they opened for Roy Head, Barbara Lynn and Archie Bell. They also served quadruple duty as the backing band for each of the acts throughout the entire evening.
For this show I used three different Sigma lenses on the Sony Alpha 700, each of which is represented below.
This guy has been coming around, landing on the fence and then hopping up and down making a frightful racket and then jumping onto the feeder. It’s pretty humorous when it happens.
Click image to see full size.
The Hummingbird has taken up station on the crook that holds the feeder. Previously he had been flying in, feeding and flying off and would return every 10-20 minutes. Now he is camped out protecting the feeders from any other hummer that tries to get some food.
We’re pretty sure this is a female Allen’s Hummingbird we have visiting. She’s very curious and even hovered outside the back window and just looked at Cynthia. I didn’t have the camera ready for that but she did come back and flash us with her gold throat. Click the image to see a larger version.
I was sleeping in on a Sunday. Cynthia was kind enough to close the bedroom door while she worked around the house and I was snoozing quite soundly when the bedroom door was flung open and Cynthia ran in, urgently telling me to get out of bed and saying “come quickly for birdage!”
There’s a tone Cynthia gets when it’s important. I respond on a very subconscious level to this tone. I knew something was up and it was important so I jumped out of bed and followed Cynthia to breakfast room.
She pointed to the window saying “It’s an Eagle or something!!”
I looked and there was no Eagle. But there was Hawk sitting on the fence that divides the back patio from the driveway. What a sight!
The blinds were down with the slats open so you could see out the window but it was not ideal for a photograph. I knew that if we were to raise the blinds the hawk would probably just fly away. If I had any hope of getting a photo of this guy I would need to do it through the blinds without moving them at all.
Fortunately for me, my camera was on the table and already mounted with my Sony SAL-70-300G lens. This lens is pretty remarkable and I was counting on it to be able to spot focus on the bird THROUGH the blinds. It was the only chance I would have.
I grabbed the camera, switched it on and quickly made the necessary adjustments and fired off two quick shots before the hawk flew off.
This is either a juvenile Red Shouldered Hawk or a Cooper’s Hawk. I am betting it’s a Cooper’s.
The blinds make the shot a little on the soft side but all in all, it came out pretty well I think. Especially considering I went from sleeping soundly to shooting this picture in probably less than 60 or so seconds.
The last time I got a shot of a Hawk was back in 2007 at West 11th St. Park in The Heights and I have been itching to get something like this ever since I noticed him flying around the neighborhood.
After the Geek Gathering I wandered over to the Continental Club where I ran into Chris Gray, the music dude for The Houston Press. He asked if I was free on Saturday as he needed someone to shoot the Fleetwood Mac concert @ The Toyota Center. I told him I was available and he asked if I had a “long lens” because the photographers were going to have to shoot from the soundboard which is a pretty good distance from the stage.
My longest concert lens is my Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 which works out to be about 300mm on my crop sensor Sony Alpha 700. I told him I would give it a try.
When I arrived @ The Toyota Center there were two other photographers, one with a Canon and a 400mm f/2.8 and another with a Nikon connected to a 300mm f/2.8 and each was armed with a monopod, something I have not yet invested in.
We were escorted to the soundboard before the show started and I was a little disheartened at the distance from the stage which was about 3/4 of the way to the back of the floor seats.
This shot was taken @ 70mm and gives you an idea of the distance
This is my second pass at this image. I was able to clean up the chromatic aberration that was distracting in the original image as well as the HDR version. I have also (I believe) brought out more of the "menace" in the clouds. I was also FAR less aggressive in correcting the angle than I was in the first version allowing the building to have the appearance of bowing or bending in the wind that comes from shooting at a slightly up-angle with a an ultra wide angle lens like the 11-18mm