Orlando, Florida – Egret (Infrared)


From Orlando, Florida’s Gatorland here is an Egret from the Rookery. Now is the season to visit and see these beautiful birds as they nest and lay eggs. But watch out for the gators below!

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Pelican Brief (HDR)

Sorry just a quick post today…just got in late last nite from a trip to the left coast.    The title above is from the movie “Pelican Brief” from 1993.  Why it was named that?  I just looked it up!  Info from the web:

The story begins with the assassination of two philosophically divergent Supreme Court Justices. Liberal Justice Rosenberg is killed at his home, while the conservative Justice Jensen is killed inside a gay porn cinema. The circumstances surrounding their deaths, as well as the deaths themselves, shock and confuse a politically divided nation.While the public speculates about who may have killed them and why, the main character, Darby Shaw, a Tulane University Law School student, decides to research the two justices’ records and cases pending before the Court, suspecting the real motive might be simple greed, not politics. She writes a legal brief speculating that the assassinations were committed on behalf of Victor Mattiece, an oil tycoon wanting to drill for oil on Louisiana marshland which is a major habitat of an endangered breed of pelicans.

Been many years..but I recall it being a solid movie!  Have fun!

Austin, Texas – Peacock (HDR)

In Austin we have a cute little park called Mayfield Park.  It is about 10 minutes from downtown.  At this park..I’d guess there are anywhere from 10-20 peacocks living here.  At various times of the year going to visit is wonderful!   From Feb-April it is mating season for the peacocks and this is when you get the best shots.  The peacocks are eager to impress the peafowls (ladies) and spread their feathers out ready to show what they got!    Or sometimes I have noticed they spread their feathers out to other males for a territorial display.

So this past week I stopped by at lunch and the ladies were out and I saw about 7 males bopping around making their loud calls.  Only one dude was spreading  his feathers.  Im guessing with no women around he was a teenager and had no idea what he was doing!  During my one hour visit…he had opened up about 3 times.  Just perfect for me to grab a few shots!  This is one in HDR!  I’ll head back again soon when I have more time.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8
  • Setting: Manual  Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  Single Exposure HDR (1/1250 second)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

Orlando, Florida – Egret

I just returned from Orlando and had a late afternoon free and decided to see how the birding shots would be at my favorite place in Orlando…Gatorland!    It is nearly mating season and the Egrets are gathering.  Already this day I saw one mother with eggs!  Wonderful!  You can get so close to the birds.  If you want to try your hand at birding photos…this is the place to go from Feb-April!   I do not have super skills in birding…but I try my best!   I shot the above pic hand held.  I can imagine a monopd or a tripod might be better.   I hope to be back here in April with more gear in tow!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 + Nikon TC-14EII (1.4x Teleconverter)
  • Setting: Manual Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/320 second
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Hand held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Photo Tools 2.6

Orlando, FL – Tricolored Heron

Here is Tricolored Heron from the Gatorland Rookery in Orlando, FL.   I hope to back in the spring to catch more birding shots.  I need lots more experience shooting birds, I’d consider my skill level…a beginner!  But it is fun and you have to be patient.  And here at Gatorland, the alligators are just a feet away, so you also have to be careful!  Hope your day flys by!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 150.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/500 second
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Hand held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4
  • Austin, Texas – Mayfield Park – Peacock

    We have a few cute little parks in Austin, Texas.  This one is called Mayfield Park.  Here you can find some small ponds with water lilies and lots of dragonflies.  What this park is famous for are the 20 or so peacocks that live here!  I took a morning off recently and drove up to the park.  It was my first visit.  I was amazed to see so many peacocks all over!  In trees, walking around, sleeping in the grass!  I only noticed 1 or 2 with feathers and I asked a worker and he told me it was offseason as they lose there feathers at this time.  I had hoped to catch a peacock with its feathers spread wide and proud.  No luck.  My only choice was close up shots.  These dudes are used to people….it was pretty easy.  I added a little Fractalius to this guy for a cool effect!

    I checked the website and found this info…I’ll head back in late February!

    • Winter – The long tail feathers grow out on the adult males.
    • Late winter/Spring – The peacocks start fanning their tails to court the females. This starts around February and continued throughout the spring.
    • Spring – Peahens will sit on their nest of eggs.
    • Late Spring/early summer – The peachicks hatch.
    • Summer – The peacocks loose their long tail feathers (July/early August)


    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Brookgreen Gardens (Fractalius)

    Finally…a shot I have always wanted to try!!!!   The American Bald Eagle is the symbol is the United States of America.   I have always seen shots form other people and was hopeful one day to get mine!  We were in Myrtle Beach for vacation and I had wanted to visit the famous Brookgreen Gardens.  I will post am HDR shot and tell you more details soon.   At Brookgreen there is a small zoo.  I noticed they had Bald Eagles on the list!  Nice!  We arrived and they were in a netted enclosed area.  Ugh!  Tough to shoot through nets!   Then I noticed a hole about 3-4 inches in diameter on the front face of the net (there on purpose)…maybe for people to take photos??  I stuck my big Nikon 70-200 though it (hoodless as it would not fit with the hood)…perfect!  They had a male and female hanging out and I snapped away!!   I love Fractalius and couldn’t wait to see how it would work with a bald eagle! A little photoshop fun…and a cool shot!!  Fractalius is one awesome plug in for photoshop!!  For some reason I always feel so sad for zoo animals…I know they are fed and kept safe, but these magnificent birds should be flying free.