Photographing Bald Eagles at the Conowingo Dam

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Once you fall for bird photography, the Conowingo Dam in Maryland beckons. The hydroelectric dam on the Susquehanna River is known to attract dozens of bald eagles in the fall. In their wake, an equal number of photographers and long, fast teles show up for an annual ritual of fishing, photographing and freezing.

The eagles, opportunists that they are, come for the fast food delivered to them courtesy of the Exelon Power Corporation which operates the dam several times a day, in the process stunning the fish that make the trip through the generators and making them easy prey for the big birds.

Like few other places, this predictable ritual allows photographers multiple spray-and-pray runs at fishing eagles and thus increases the chance for the money shot. One hour at Conowingo can deliver more payback than many freezing hours along the Hudson in mid-winter, as I can attest based on personal experience.

The season starts at the end of October and runs through the beginning of December, although there are always some eagles around. The height of the hunt is apparently around the Thanksgiving holiday. On weekends, the crowds of photographers, fishermen and onlookers do get large and parking space limited, but weekdays are manageable.

I was there at the end of October for two days and will return later this week for three days. I will write a detailed guide based on my experiences and talks with local shooters who have photographed here for years. For now, a few quick impressions and images.

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Kipon EOS – MFT AF Review: New Adapter Fails the Test

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Excitement quickly replaced disappointment a few days ago as I tested the eagerly anticipated Kipon EOS to Micro Four Thirds adapter that promised us fast autofocus performance with Canon lenses on MFT cameras.

I had ordered my copy from China on eBay and got it in the mail Saturday morning. A little later, I mounted my Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II via the adapter on my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and headed out to the Hudson to give it a shot. Since the MFT system has plenty of good short glass, what I really want is to be able to use Canon’s long lenses on my MFT cameras.

At first, things looked okay. Focus wasn’t stellar, but it was acceptable at 400mm with the camera set at single AF and the large or small center point used.

Weird

But quickly weird things started happening:

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Impressions of the Canon 7D Mark II

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Curious fellow that I am, I decided to rent a Canon 7D Mark II to see how it performs and to what extent I’d be blown away by its speed.

It’s been interesting, not so much what I learned about the camera, but what I learned about myself and cameras.

The first thing I noticed as the camera was lying on my desk, was that I didn’t reach for it that often. Currently, I also have two Zeiss Loxia lenses on loan and I had just received the new Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. These were all vying for attention and I tended to veer toward the smaller, mirrorless options instead of the larger DSLR.

This is not a negative against the camera itself, but merely yet another reflection on how my own use of cameras has changed. Taking my own 5D Mark III with me is always a conscious decision, whereas I often quickly grab one of the smaller cameras as I head out the door. So it was with the 7D II.

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Nikon D750 vs Canon 5D Mark III: Part 2


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Canon 5D Mark III 

In the end it all comes down to one question: is the Canon 5D Mark III worth $1,000 more than the new Nikon D750?

In my last post on this topic, I compared the specifications and concluded that on paper these cameras are basically the same. In handling, they’re basically the same. So, without actually shooting with them – say when you’re browsing an online camera store or standing at the counter of your local camera shop – you’d have a hard time giving Canon your money when these cameras are so similar.

Does that change when you start shooting with them?

With that question in mind, I set out to shoot these two machines side by side and see whether the Canon can realistically continue to command the premium price.

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News! 46MP Megapixel Canon 1DsX DSLR About to be Announced!!! Or the Anatomy of a Rumor

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On September 17, when a forum member calling himself Psychic1 wrote his post on the FredMiranda.com Canon forum, he had no idea how wide the information he was sharing would spread. Speaking in hindsight during a call with Photographic Wanderings yesterday, Psychic1 said he thinks ‘it’s pretty funny.’

This is what Psychic1 posted on FM.com, under the heading ‘OMG – 1DsX in NYC…‘: ‘…Canon will release a 46MP pro body at the Javits Center in October.’

What happened next tells a couple of tales: photographic gearheads falling over one another to endlessly discuss the ins and outs of non-existent equipment on the one hand and, on the other, a community clamoring for clicks no matter how iffy the basis for its reporting.

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