7/52-11 Unexpected Egrets

For this week’s 7/52, I decided that the theme would be “not at home; not at work” and made ‘limited’ myself to shooting in areas outside of a 100 yard radius of my apartment or desk cubicle, and also disallowed shooting from the car window.

One of my main goals with this hobby is to get out in the world more, to get away from just sitting at a desk, or sitting in the car, or sitting on the sofa, or hanging around the apartment. I’ve had limited success thusfar, as a tour through my 365 or previous 7/52 entries will show.

So last Sunday, I started trying to brainstorm places to go shoot after work. If I was smart, or less lazy, or more open to going out in the world with the camera, or whatever, I would’ve just gone on walks in the neighborhood after dinner. This would serve a dual-purpose: better shooting light, and an increase in ‘exercise.’ Alas, I’m too lazy, or too shy, or just plain too stupid, or too something.

Anyway, that was my plan: walks after dinner, or perhaps after work.

So Monday, came, and I was on my way home from work when I remembered this little park or walking path, or something on the south-east (really just south) corner of Inwood and Harry Hines that I’ve passed before, and decided to stop and see what it was, find parking, and do a general scoping-out of the place.

It looked quite and safe-enough and not the least bit crowded or overrun with people, but I was already too far out of my comfort zone, so I didn’t even get out of the car.

Tuesday came, and I stopped again on my way home, pulled into one of the two parking spots, and was out of the car and walking around with the camera before I had time to question it.

I shot some trees and some shadows and some randomness, found a plaque that gave a reason for this little park—something about a memorial to those who had served at Parkland or Harris Methodist or I don’t really remember—and started down the walking path, when I noticed these alien pod-looking things in the tree-tops.

Come to find out, this area is a nesting sanctuary for Egrets and other birds (mostly Great Egrets this time of year).

Apparently, the Great Egret was hunted nearly to extinction for its  breeding plumage (used to decorate fancy hats in the 1910s and 1920s), but is making a strong comeback, thanks, in part, to nesting sanctuaries of like the one at Inwood & Harry Hines. (FYI: if you visit this location in GMaps and zoom in some, you can see a bunch of white blobs in the tree tops. Those blobs are Great Egrets doing their nesting/breeding thing.)

So Wednesday, I returned with the 70-210, and tried my hand at shooting birds… I should think about investing in some auto-focus lenses… but I should really remember to stop-down a bit and work on my technique first. After all, it’s technique and vision that makes pictures, not gear.

In the end, I ended up with some nice-enough shots, I think. They’re not world-class, by any stretch, but they were a tiny, baby-step of a stretch for me, so I think they’re win. Unfortunately, I did violate one of the primary rules of the 365 by shooting only two days this week (or, rather, by shooting for the 7/52 only two days… I shot every day, but not for this project).

The first two were shot with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, ISO100, Aperture-Priority at f/4, and the rest were shot with the Vivitar 70-210mm f/3.5 Series 1 (Kiron), also ISO100, AP mode, at f/3.5 (shot #3) and f/8 (the rest).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *