I had yesterday off because of President’s Day. So after doing a few things around the house I decided to head up to Guttenburg, Iowa. My friend Andreas had reported on his blog that the eagles were plentiful there and he had captured some very nice eagle pictures. I’ve never tried to shoot eagles in Guttenburg so I thought I’d spend a good part of the day there. When I left Dubuque it was sunny with some high clouds and 41 degrees. A good day for shooting. When I arrived in Guttenburg it was cloudy and overcast with intermittent rain.
Even though it was cloudy I still shot at ISO 200, which is native for the D3S, but I noticed a lot of noise in my images, which I do not understand. I set a new record for me anyway. I shot 2,053 images. Of those 226 were totally black (lens malfunction) and 1,571 were out of focus images (photographer malfunction.) 😦
I did get some reasonable shots, but none I would enter in a contest. Very frustrating. It seems to be a contact problem with the lens. The lens doesn’t seem to seat properly with the camera. At some point the lens displays a F-0 and that is when I get the black images. Everything seems to work well but it doesn’t take a picture. Trouble is when I’m following an eagle my main focus is on keeping the focus point on the bird and so I don’t see the F-0 until after the series of shots show up as black. The other malfunction is that the focus will lag behind because it is jumping between F-0 and F-8. When it is on F-8 it the lens will focus, when in transition to F-0 it will not focus. I’ll take credit for some of the out of focus images but not all of them.
Enough about the lens. There is a pretty nice place to shoot at Guttenburg. Just a few blocks South of the dam there is a boat ramp and parking lot with a small park area. I was able to take my tripod out on a boat ramp at the water’s edge and shoot pretty close to the eagles. They all flew further out in the river when I first arrived, even though I took my time walking to the ramp. They did come back after about an hour and so I had some fun watching them interact.
These little Coots were plentiful around the area and would come up pretty close to the boat ramp until I would turn and shoot them and then they would scurry away.
After I got frustrated trying to shoot eagles I drove around Guttenburg for a little while. It has a nice looking downtown area and lots of parks. There are picnic tables all along the river. I was excited to see my first Robin of the season. There were many of them around the North part of town. I didn’t see any South of Main Street but they were very thick on the North side.
So last night I spent an hour and a half going through the shoot of the day and hitting the delete button. It was depressing.
Back to work today. Thanks for checking in. Enjoy your day and be careful.