White Kites…

Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.

I’ve been trying for weeks to get a decent shot of a Kite that lives in Moss Landing without success. That Kite likes to perch on a tree out in a Marsh which is too far away for my longest lens. Here’s the best I’ve been able to get. It’s soft, and there isn’t much detail. I used a Nikkor 70-300mm VR on a tripod for this shot in mid November 2011.

I hoped by renting the Nikkor 300mm f4 I would have better luck. I’d be able to use my Tamron 1.4x Extender with it and have a bit more reach.  With that in mind I took the rental lens with me last Saturday to Merced National Wildlife Refuge with my friend Rainey. We made a detour on the way to try to find some birds at another park and along the way we spotted this Kite perched on the branch. I was busy clicking away when I noticed it opened its beak, and then I heard it call then in came this other Kite!  Oh, how I hoped I nailed the shot with its beak open!

While this photo isn’t as sharp, or have as much detail as I would like it to have I’m thrilled it’s decent and I did get the shot with its beak open. You can see  a little more detail, but it’s still too far away for this lens plus extender.  Also when using an Extender  there is generally a loss of sharpness. With my aperture wide open and focused on the perched Kite I missed the opportunity to get them both in focus.  I was focused on the perched one.

I’m learning though. One thing I’ll do differently the next time is stop the lens down to f8. I expect the clarity will improve a bit.

A brief word on the Nikkor 300mm F4 lens. This is the 3rd time I’ve rented this lens . Each time I rent it I want one of my own! It’s a great lens.  It produces wonderful colors, and superb details if you can get a bit closer, and the Bokeh is yummy. I do wish it had image stabilization though. Hand-holding this lens isn’t easy so I’m using a tripod, or a pillow when I am shooting out of the car window.

Right after I took the picture above the perched Kite took flight. I got a little of his profile, and the sun peeked through the fog and overcast morning for a little while which lit up its chest nicely.

I do love the thrill of the chase so, I’ll continue to look for Kites maybe the next time they’ll be a bit closer.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 70-300mm VR & Nikkor 300mm f4 w/ Tamron 1.4x TeleConverter

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