Slack Slough resides immediately beside HWY2(stupid busy road) in Red Deer, Alberta. It is home to an amazing amount of birdlife. I visited the slough this evening to take in the sights and sounds. Of course I dragged along my camera and telephoto lenses to see what I might capture. I got there kind of late so didn’t have a lot of time before the light was gone for the day. Using a Canon FD 800mm f/5.6 with an adapter to fit my Olympus E-M5, I ended up using only 1/80 sec. at ISO 800 when I finally packed it in as that is really starting to push the envelope of what can be done! This monster telephoto gives me the equivalent focal length lens as a 1600mm on a 35mm/full frame camera, or a 32x spotting scope. Obviously one must use a large and very sturdy tripod/head combo. In this case,for those that care, it consists of a set of Gitzo 3 Series carbon fibre legs and a Sachtler FSB8 fluid head.
All that said, here are a few images of some Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes):
[Olympus E-M5, Canon FD 800mm f/5.6]
I took my E-M5 out today to Fleming Slough which is just on the south end of Penhold, AB. I’ve never been there before and quite enjoyed the couple hours I spent there. Unfortunately it was extremely windy so much of the birdlife was hiding amongst the cattails and grasses. I still managed to grab a few shots using my Tamron 500mm which is equivalent to a 20x spotting scope on this camera.
Mallards heading west…. and Canvasbacks heading east.
Thankfully Coots aren’t very shy, so the afternoon wasn’t a complete bust. Ducks were sure jittery today!!
I am including three images made last night which I didn’t get a chance to edit until today. They aren’t from Fleming Slough, but are in Red Deer County.
[Olympus E-M5, Tamron 500mm]
Yup, there is swampland in Alberta, granted this one may disappear by the end of summer depending on how much rain we get. Really it’s just a ditch along a very small and (Don’t read this part Laura)very muddy country road in Red Deer County. Actually got to lock my vehicle in 4WD! Haven’t needed to do that in quite some time.
Anyway , back to the swampland…. I came across this place just as the sun was setting tonight as I played with my new camera (Olympus E-M5) and was so worried about losing my light that I simply slammed on the 12-50mm kit lens and cranked up the ISO to 1250 and started looking for some compositions amongst all the tangle. I thought the lens performed admirably. I even took a couple of these files up to a 40″ print in PS and they look rather good still, even into the corners. This of course may change depending on the focus distance, but so far at least at middle distance work it seems to be just fine. A slightly more relaxed time out tomorrow or over the weekend will give me a better idea of all it’s character.
I don’t expect it to perform up to the standards of the great Olympus 12mm and 45mm prime focal length lenses, but it is weather proof and has a very nice range as a one lens carry around kit. The E-M5 camera is fantastic to handle. I absolutely love the size of it, so small! A full compliment of lenses ranging from a full frame Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye, right up to a Tamron 500mm mirror lens(which gives me the equivalent focal length of a 1000mm in 35mm talk) all fit in one medium sized gadget bag!!
These images were all made handheld, and obviously, just as all good photographers should (or do), I would have benefited by using one as I could have slowed down a bit and used a much lower ISO which would hve increased the quality of the files. These are also all jpegs even though I was also shooting in RAW at the same time, it’s just that Adobe has not given us Olympus shooters any RAW processing capabilities in CS5 yet. I will rework these images once they bring it out and I can then easily eliminate some bits of chromatic aberration that are creeping around in the corners and I should also then be able to remove some noise as well.
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm]
One of my great pleasures is searching out abstracted images in the ordinary everyday places I happen to be in and around. This was the same day that Doug Williamson and I were out a few weeks back in the Ogden area in Calgary. Just like the last post, I can’t really say much about the images here in the way of explanation other than the balance of colours, textures and patterns appealed to me enough that I felt it necessary to examine them closer and attempt to capture an image that holds together. I hope you enjoy them, and as always I welcome your comments.
[Panasonic GX1, Olympus 12mm M.Zuiko, Olympus 45mm M.Zuiko]
Doug Williamson and I spent some time a few weeks back exploring the Ogden district of Calgary searching out some photo ops. We weren’t really looking for anything in particular, just things that caught our eye.. Things we could study to find balance and patterns. Things that may not mean anything to anyone else but things that somehow made sense to us at that time and in that place. It is fun to head out without any agenda and just explore with your eyes and mind to come up with an image that “works”. I can’t really say a whole lot more about these images as they were just things on that day that “worked” for me. If any strike you as something that “works” or maybe they all “fail” for you, I’d love to hear your comments!
Doug is a fabulous artist and I have had the pleasure of spending time with someone who inspires and enriches my life. I always look forward to the time I can spend with him and his very talented wife Shannon! Doug has a big exhibit of his artwork coming up in Calgary at the Wallace Gallery starting on April 26th.
[Panasonic GX1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, Leica 60mm Macro Elmarit-R]