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!

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
  • Orlando, FL – Gatorland (HDR)

    This hungry guy is from Gatorland in Orlando, FL.  I am a big fan of Gatorland.   A small park near Disney…if you are in town on holiday…its a great place to visit.  Lots of critters to see and these big gators!  This dude was waiting for lunch…good thing I had a big lens, so it wasn’t me!

    We lived about 30 minutes north of Orlando for a few years.  Florida is a wonderful state…but we learned quickly if there is a lake with water..chances of a gator in it are good.  When we first moved there about 2004 we had a small lake in the backyard.  Probably 25 houses surrounded it (decent size).  We asked the agent, “There are no gators in here”..he kindly noted “No, this is a gated community”.   Then about 2 months after we were in…I was eating my breakfast and the lake was nice and calm.  I saw something floating.  Looked twice…and yep a gator in our backyard!!  He wasn’t too big luckily…about 4 feet.  But hey..any size is too big for me!  I grabbed a tennis ball and did my best Nolan Ryan and missed him (just a bit outside).  He turned and watched me for the next 10 minutes.  I got bored that he was not showing any aggression.  Probably afraid of me.  LOL  In FLA if I can recall, an alligator below 6 ft must be left alone if not causing any problems.   So I called anyway as our daughter was just a baby…and a gator in the backyard is not welcome!  Never saw him again after that day!  Whew!

    I have quite a few gator stories.  I am sure anyone that lives in FLA does!  If you ever see one and he chases you…just remember to run diagonally!!  Their small legs cannot make quick turns!  C Ya Later Gator!!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR + Nikon TC-14EII (1.4x Teleconverter)
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 280.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  1/160 – Single RAW HDR  (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/10
    • Gear:  Hand Held
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

    Orlando, FL – Egret Babies

    Springtime in Florida is wonderful!  Bird photography is at its best this time of the year.  Rookeries all over the state have lots of Mother birds nesting and the eggs are hatching daily!   I was lucky enough to see the first bunch of baby egrets close to the walkway at Gatorland.    It was tough grabbing this shot…shooting through branches and leaning over the railing….hoping not to fall into a lake of alligators!  I’ll call these guys Larry, More and Curly!  I love the hairdos!  I had no idea that baby Egrets were punkers!  LOL

    I shot many birds this day…but still need more skills on bird photography.  I’ll be back next year and may rent a 400mm lens?  Borrow Lenses is a great place to rent gear!   This was hand held..also a tripod would be helpful!!  I used my 70-200mm lens…it was ok..but I really want those up close shots a 400mm lens can offer!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8 + Nikon TC-14EII (1.4x Teleconverter)
    • Setting: Aperture Mode
    • Focal Length: 210.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  1/160 sec
    • Aperture:  f/10
    • Gear:  Hand Held
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

    Orlando, FL – Polly want an HDR?

    Last week I was in Orlando and wanted to head to Gatorland after work and take some birding shots!  I did get some wonderful Great Egrets…will post em soon!  But the Parrot’s and Macaws they have there are classic!   This is an older guy…kinda grumpy!  Funny all the others are together…this guy is solo away from them.  A definite character!    When you walk up to him, his voices his opinion or what on his mind!  Too funny!  He was nice enough to pose for me!  So thanks dude!    After I processed this I thought what are the most famous Parrots in history…my first thought was the one on Sponge Bob!  He is Patchy the Pirate’s Potty the Parrot.   You can tell what TV shows I watch!  Thanks to my little one!  Gotta love Sponge Bob!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 + Teleconverter TC-14EII
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 210.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR from Single Raw (+2 to -2)  1/160 sec
    • Aperture:  f/6.3
    • Gear:  Hand held
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

    Orlando, FL – Train Tracks (Infrared)

    Gatorland Train Tracks IR

    NIKON D70S (Modified by LifePixel), Nikon 18-200 VR

    Back in the summer I was in Orlando at Gatorland and took a few IR photos.   Here is one from the train track crossing.  At Gatorland they have a little train you can ride that takes a quick 10 minute tour of the park.   Nothing special, but cute.  I am eager to head back to Gatorland in the spring!   The Rookery will be busy!    If you have read my previous posts on Gatorland…I give it two thumbs up!   Just go when its cool!!    Enjoy!

    Orlando, FL – Gatorland (HDR)

    Gatorland Lunch HDR

    NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

    Since we visited Gatorland last week, I wanted to tell you about a good laugh I had this day.    I was across the way taking bird photos and saw from the distance this area where they feed the gators in the lake.  As I walked near, the are was fenced off area with a few people inside.  My interest grew as I walked up to the fence about 25 feet from the gators.  I think you can buy a full experience ticket and you get to get real close to the gators.  From what I have heard you can have a photo opportunity riding one (its mouth taped shut) and/or this shot here.   You squat near these cute large fellows and they have a photographer taking your snapshot. 

    This isnt my best HDR above…I had to do it hand held through a shaky fence as there were other people watching also…but the effect gives you some texture on the gators. 

    Gatorland Photo Op     So back to photo op.  As you can see a trainer is behind the girls here taking the photo.Now if you can see these gators are about 5-8 feet behind them.  I am sure they are trained, but whew…thats scary!  All the trainer has is that long stick you can see in the photo.  Is that enough to stop an 8+ foot gator charging?  Probably not.    Look at all those hungry gators!  After I took this picture…the the Gatorland photographer snaps away and says ok after she is done….here is the fun part…. 

    As soon as she says ok….the trainer takes his stick (unbeknownst to the girls sitting near the gators) rustles the leaves behind him (so it sounds like the gators are coming for them) and yells…look out!!!!!  Those 2 girls jumped to the moon!!!!!!   I was cracking up!    I think they may have needed depends after that one!    So it was a good laugh for everyone!    Kudos to Gatorland…witnessing that made my day! 

    I guess when you are working at a theme park you need to create some fun!   Hope you have some today as well!

    Orlando, Florida – Gatorland – IR (Infrared)

    Orlando, Florida - Gatorland IR

    NIKON D70S, (Modfied IR by LifePixel), Nikon 18-70

    I was just in Orlando this past weekend and had a chance to head back to Gatorland with the family and friends.  We went early around 11 AM…but it was still hot!  The good thing is that is was not too crowded.  I think our 5 year old wanted to play in the splashpark for the remainder of the day as soon as she saw a few gators and got her fill.  We had fun and stayed til about 2 PM.   This time I had my IR camera with me and the bird Rookery was still filled with birds!  Some babies were just learning to fly.  I took this shot of an Egret perched high above checking out the scene.   I enjoyed my second visit to Gatorland.  I hope to go back in Feb and hope to get a photographers pass.  With this you can get in after hours and easily use your tripod…as everyone else there is shooting birds just like you!   I did hear on the announcements while we walked around….that at the food area….you can get some gator to eat!   Hmmm….no thanks!   I will drink some Gatorade after a hot day though!  Have fun!

    Orlando, Florida – Gatorland

    Gatorland - Gator

    NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

    This guy is ready for lunch!!!  Glad it wasn’t me!  You get so close this this impressive creatures at Gatorland.  I lived in Florida for a few years…once we had a gator in the backyard.  Luckily it was only 4 feet long.  This big guy was about 9 feet.   Yikes!  Always remember – we were told if a gator is chasing you…run diagonally…gators can’t make fast turns (with such short stumpy legs).   This is the last post from Gatorland….Gator-done!