October 21, 2009

Yellowstone, October 18th - 19th


I made another two day trip to the park and yet again my main goal was to spend time with Owls. Many of you who know me know that I do not give up on a goal once I get it into my head. I have the vision of a shot I want and I am going to keep going back until I get it, heck even when I don't get it I come home with quite a few nice images of Owls, so I'll keep going back.

The 7D got to go on its first trip to Yellowstone. The camera proved its worth after shooting lots of test shots, a football game, and volleyball match. It did a great job proving itself and did not let down in Yellowstone. Now my disclaimer is that Lightroom, the software I use to edit, only has beta support for the 7D's RAW files. The images I have online and my impressions are based on what I have been able to dial in via Lightroom myself without full support. I will keep these saved in Lightroom and edit them again when there is support for the camera; but as that could be a month or two I decided not to make you all wait to see the images.

The park has warmed back up and most of the snow has melted. Dunraven pass opened back up; but the bears were not to be found. The Canyon group was way out from Alum Creek. The Owls were active and put on a nice show. The Tundra Swans are moving through, I'll ask that if you are going to try to photograph them you do so without scaring them off as some of us go and sit for hours so that they will come in near to the shore and when visitors come running down to the shore the birds move away. Thanks :)

Oh you want to know my thoughts on the 7D, well the AF is significantly better than the 50D. The speed... 8 frames per second speaks for itself. From what I am seeing with noise and noise reduction from the beta support in Lightroom I will say that the camera is 1/3 to 2/3's of a stop better than the 50D. ISO1000 made some very nice files and made it possible to photograph Great Grey Owls in flight while it was raining and quite dark. The metering is something that many have not talked about; but I found much better than any of the non "1" series DSLR's have been. The new sealing made me feel much more comfortable shooting with the 500/4.0L IS in the rain. The camera is a great upgrade from the 50D.

My new full gimbal head from Induro (GHB2) is very nice. It has things dialed in very nicely, and does so for less than the Wimberly II. I was also able to fully test out a custom machined version of the RRS long lens stabilized that I have spoken of a few times. It is nice and I would say adds 5% to 10% to sharpness overall. Thanks Pete.

I had a good trip and all of the new gear worked out as well as I had hoped it would.

Take a look at the photos on my site and as always feel free to leave comments, questions, and criticisms there… oh and give your favorites a thumbs up too.

Thanks, and enjoy.

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