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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk
Thread started 19 Feb 2017 (Sunday) 14:21
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Photographing Shore Birds

 
Rainyday
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Texas, USA
Feb 19, 2017 14:21 |  #1

Okay, this is going to sound absurd, but really...I need advice. Shore birds are super quick and like to hang out right at the edge of the waves and tide. In order to do them justice, I need to actually lie down in the sand and probably get wet and grungy.

So, my question...what do you guys wear and how do you protect your gear? I'm thinking cargo shorts, sandals, a quick drying t-shirt. Or what the heck..wear a bathing suit.

And how do you protect your gear? Using a telephoto lens, I can stay away from the water, but then I've got to contend with sand. Get close to the water and I've got salty water everywhere.

Thanks!




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photosbytw
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Blue Ridge Mountains
Feb 19, 2017 14:34 |  #2

Understand that saltwater will damage your equipment........
camera, lens, tripod, etc. It's very corrosive and no matter how you protect it you'll need to clean all your equipment immediately after your.
Note, staying away from the water wont stop the sea spray..........


Don't even begin to think I'm criticizing your images.
Just a natural curiosity.
tw
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Bsmooth
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New England
Feb 20, 2017 14:56 |  #3

I would use a longer lens and stay away from the actual water, but like its been said the salt spray gets into everything. Try and go on a day with little to no wind as well.
Or find some salt water marshes closeby, which shorebirds like just as well.


Bruce

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joedlh
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Long Island, NY, N. America, Sol III, Orion Spur, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Cluster, Laniakea.
Feb 20, 2017 15:34 |  #4

As the day warms, the onshore breeze at the ocean shore increases. So there is more salt spray. In the absence of other weather effects, the waves will be larger and produce more spray. The golden hours are best as the temperature gradient between the land and sea is diminished.


Joe
Gear: Kodak Instamatic, Polaroid Swinger. Oh you meant gear now. :rolleyes:
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Editing ok

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Tom ­ Reichner
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Omak, in north-central Washington state, USA
Post has been last edited 9 months ago by Tom Reichner. 3 edits done in total.
Feb 20, 2017 15:35 |  #5

.
One thing you can use that will help a little is an apparatus for supporting the camera at a very low POV.

Take a metal pie plate, regular size, about 12" in diameter. Now drill a hole in the center big enough to accommodate a 3/8" bolt. Now get a 3/4" long 3/8" stainless steel bolt and pop it through that hole, with the threads facing up. Now screw your Wimberley or ballhead down snugly onto that bolt. It forms a kind of "pod" for low-angle shooting, and helps to jeep your camera and lens a little more protected from the sand and salt water than they would be if you weren't using the pod.

I have friends that shoot shorebirds a lot, and they all use a similar apparatus whilst lying prone in the sand to get the best angles.
Here's a pic of my friend Harris, using a ball head instead of his Wimberley:
http://harrisbrownphot​ography.com/about.html (external link)

Taking a piece of waterproof material and wrapping it around the lens will keep most of the spray off. You can secure the material to the lens very easily by using some large diameter rubber bands. The very deep lens hoods that come with all of the true super-telephotos are a great help with keeping the spray off of your optics.

.


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ardeekay
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Peoria, Il. and Port Aransas, Tx
Feb 20, 2017 18:12 |  #6

I see you are in Texas. I spend the winters in Port Aransas, outside of Corpus Christi. And I NEVER take my camera to the beach areas. The sand here is so fine and infiltratesee everything. That being said, I see shore birds at backwater marshes, lagoons, etc. We also have a rocky point of land where I see Ruddy Turnstones, and an occasional Willet.
While surfcasting, I often see Eared Grebes, a first for me, but have not tried for a shot. But...we had rain today, so if still damp tomorrow, may try.:rolleyes: Somethings to think about and good luck.


Rog
Gear:7Dll 7D 40D 24-105 4L, 70-200 4L, 300 4L IS, 85 1.8, 1.4 TC, Tamron18-270VC, Sigma 150-600 OS 430EX II

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tonylong
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Feb 23, 2017 15:49 |  #7

Definitely follow the advice about protecting your gear from salt water!

In practive, I'd sit in the sand, and if you can, either a tripod or a monopod can help!

If your gear is good with autofocus tasks, and the critter is active, making goo use of AI Servo will come in handy. Plus, if you are seeing activity, take a set of a few shots and hopefully at least one will be a real keeper!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
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Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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Trugga
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Feb 23, 2017 16:06 |  #8

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18279709 (external link)
.
One thing you can use that will help a little is an apparatus for supporting the camera at a very low POV....

I made a ground pod out of a frying pan:

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7593/16694586820_4b97f8c280_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/rrf8​2N] (external link)www.Loz.Pics 20150321_104500 (external link) by Lawrence Fowler (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5545/29736663914_efc93c3739_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/MiJb​aY] (external link)20161013_151956 (external link) by Lawrence Fowler (external link), on Flickr

I think I used a 3/8" UNF coach bolt to fit a small ball head in the pan (having dished the underside for clearance).

This might not necessarily be the solution you are looking for, but might spark a few ideas.

Lawrence

Canon EOS 7D, EOS 5D Mark III | Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM | Samyang 8mm f/3.8 VDSLR Fish-eye | Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C | Yongnuo YN-568EX, YN-568EX II

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hanstermonster
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Feb 23, 2017 20:10 |  #9

beautiful


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tonylong
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Feb 23, 2017 20:42 |  #10

Trugga wrote in post #18282977 (external link)
I made a ground pod out of a frying pan:

QUOTED IMAGE
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/rrf8​2N] (external link)www.Loz.Pics 20150321_104500 (external link) by Lawrence Fowler (external link), on Flickr

QUOTED IMAGE
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/MiJb​aY] (external link)20161013_151956 (external link) by Lawrence Fowler (external link), on Flickr

I think I used a 3/8" UNF coach bolt to fit a small ball head in the pan (having dished the underside for clearance).

This might not necessarily be the solution you are looking for, but might spark a few ideas.

Lawrence

That's a nice setup!

One thing, though, is that decent tripods should have legs that can be shortened, low enough for even macros and such! And they definitely give you space to perch on the sand without having to crouch over to view and get the shot!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBaseexternal link
Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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nordlysBW
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Feb 25, 2017 11:03 |  #11

When I use the tripod in the lowest position on loose beach sand I stick the legs into three lengths of grey plastic piping sealed off at the bottom with a cap (bathroom supplies found in any hardware shop). The piping is fixed on the leg with a loop of velcro tape. Saves the tedium of cleaning the threads of the tripod joints when returning home. In shallow and quiet seawater that also proved good many times.

As to lying in the sand and/or dirt any old clothes will do. Getting close depends on the birds. For example that fellow down below several times went for a worm a mere few inches from the front of the lens and my problem was more to move slowly back because of minimum focusing distance problems. I have had pied oystercatcher and ringed plover offspring pecking around in the sand next to my elbow while shooting other birds on the shore. Some others can obviously be more skittish and find you too intrusive when you show up 100 meters away.

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Larry ­ Johnson
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Mar 03, 2017 20:06 |  #12

There's no need to get in the surf or even get wet. Let the water be your background. Stay above the wave zone and either sit, drop to one knee or lie down in a dry spot.

As far as protecting the equipment from sea air, I've heard that all you can do is clean it with alcohol afterwards. There are "raincoats" that can be used to help keep out the sand. Cap your lens when you're walking along. I wish I knew about that subject.

I try to avoid going to the beach when the wind is in my len's face or when the wind is strong.


IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8766/16646230394_51e3c2585c_z.jpg

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nordlysBW
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Mar 04, 2017 11:35 |  #13

Larry Johnson wrote in post #18291134 (external link)
There's no need to get in the surf or even get wet. Let the water be your background. Stay above the wave zone and either sit, drop to one knee or lie down in a dry spot.
QUOTED IMAGE

Absolutely!




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tonylong
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Mar 04, 2017 12:14 |  #14

nordlysBW wrote in post #18291600 (external link)
Absolutely!

Larry Johnson wrote in post #18291134 (external link)
There's no need to get in the surf or even get wet. Let the water be your background. Stay above the wave zone and either sit, drop to one knee or lie down in a dry spot.

As far as protecting the equipment from sea air, I've heard that all you can do is clean it with alcohol afterwards. There are "raincoats" that can be used to help keep out the sand. Cap your lens when you're walking along. I wish I knew about that subject.

I try to avoid going to the beach when the wind is in my len's face or when the wind is strong.


QUOTED IMAGE

Although I do have "protective caps for my lenses, I haven't resorted to using them, because I haven't spent much time in windy beach situations...in those environments if there is a lot of wind especially with salt water, then, sure, protect your lenses!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBaseexternal link
Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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Bjarne ­ Hemmingsen
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Mar 17, 2017 09:49 as a reply to Tom Reichner's post |  #15

I prefer a sled like this rather than a pan, because I find it more stable with a supertele attached and it is easy to push in front of yourself while crawling on your stomach closer to the bird. This one is homemade of stainless steel, but I have seen similar equipment for sale here in Denmark for about 300 dollars.

In stormy weather I wrab my gear in a plastik bag to avoid most of the sand and salty water.

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