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Where We Live by John Silveira and Richard Blunt. Photos and commentary from Oregon and New England.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for the ‘Ospreys Catching Fish’ Category


Ospreys in 2013 02

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I promised to show more of the ospreys that are pulling fish out of the mouth of the Rogue River, where I live in Gold Beach, Oregon.

I’ve said in my previous posts based on photos of elk, ospreys, eagles and more, that here, on the Highway 101 corridor, tourists blast through town going to other places, unaware that just a few hundred yards from the highway nature’s dramas are unfolding at the mouth of the Rogue.

Again, without captions are more of these beautiful birds.

G83C4581  cropped for blog

G83C4544  cropped for blog

G83C4547  cropped for blog

G83C4599  cropped for blog

G83C4540  cropped for blog

G83C4602  cropped for blog

G83C4605  cropped for blog

G83C4653  cropped for blog

I hope you enjoy seeing these birds as much as I do. I’ll run at least one more set from the series of photos I took a week or so ago. But, if you’re one of the tourists going through town, bring your camera and stay a day. It’ll be a memorable stop.




Ospreys in 2013 01

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

They’re back—the ospreys. I love these birds. What’s better is that I found a way to photograph them so I have more keepers. I’ve gotten too many bad photos.

In the past, most of the photos I’ve taken of these birds have been blurry. What I’ve posted have been the few clear shots I got. The problem is that the ospreys are diving, zigzagging, trying to elude other ospreys and seagulls that are trying to steal their catches and I, in the meantime, am trying to following them with a heavy camera and telephoto lens as I turn, look up, and generally try to keep my balance on unlevel and even rocky ground.

What I suddenly realized, just last Friday, was that it wasn’t camera motion or the motion of the birds that was causing the blurring and my singular lack of success in getting good shots, it was that I was using single-point autofocus and I wasn’t usually hitting the bird with that one point the camera was using for focus. So, my focus was on the background, either clouds or sky, which is like focusing at infinity. But the birds, my intended targets, were, at most, a few hundred yards away. And that, of course, is why so many of the osprey shots  I’d taken had been blurry.

So, I expanded the focus area to nine points and was standing on the south jetty of the Rogue River, early Saturday morning. As I snapped photos I was sure I was getting good shots, but it’s hard to tell on the Canon 5D Mark III’s  little screen. I wasn’t going to know until I got home and downloaded them.

What follows, and there are plenty of them, are some of the better shots. I’m going to run a bunch of them over the next few days. All are without captions.

Oh, I used my Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM Lens and all were taken at 1/1000 of a second and f/7.1. I let the ISO drift.

G83C4526 cropped for blog

G83C4539  cropped for blog

G83C4543  cropped for blog

G83C4568  cropped for blog

G83C4598  cropped for blog

G83C4601  cropped for blog

G83C4604  cropped for blog

G83C4649  cropped for blog


Ospreys in Oregon, Part 8

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

I haven’t posted in two weeks because I’m trying to write. I’m writing columns and I’m trying to get two novels ready to put on Kindle. The columns and the novels are eating up my time. When I’m not actually writing, I’m stressing over writing. But it dawned on me that what I do to take breaks, and break the stress, is take my girlfriend, Chloe (she’s a Canon 5D Mark III DSLR), out and take photos with her, and what I like photographing best are ospreys.

Unfortunately, the “osprey season” is coming to a close. In a few weeks, they’ll migrate and I’m going to have to find other things to photograph here on the coast of Oregon. Fortunately, my camera is pretty much weather-sealed, as are most of my Canon L-Series lenses, because not long after the ospreys (and the pelicans and several species of seagulls, found on the Oregon Coast) migrate, it’ll start raining, and it won’t stop until next spring. But I’ll be out there shooting photos, anyway.

So, I’m putting these breaks from writing to use, today, and I’m going to post some of the osprey photos I took just a few days ago.

All I can say is that you’ve got to be lucky in a lot of your shots. You can wait and wait and wait and when the shots come, most of them turn out to be not that good. There are a variety of factors that can cause this. Some of them will be eliminated as I learn more about my camera and photography in general. Others are just unavoidable.

Then you get some photos — sometimes a string of them — that are great. They’re the kind I want to blow up to 12″ X 18″ size, frame, and try to sell, this winter. I’ve already spoken to some of the owners of galleries here in town.

The following are from a string of shots of one bird that I got lucky with. I used Chloe with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens and, for the first time, I tried using my EF 1.4 III Extender, which increases the focal length by 40%, giving me a little more reach. However, using the Extender, I lose an f-stop, a little image quality (and I’m an image quality hound), and focus speed. But, enough about that. I’m going to shut up and let the photos speak for themselves.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 250     focal length 280mm


Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 250     focal length 280mm


Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 250     focal length 280mm


Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 250     focal length 280mm


Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 160     focal length 280mm


Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 125     focal length 280mm


Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 125     focal length 280mm


Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 6.3     ISO 125     focal length 280mm



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