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Welcome to My Monthly Newsletter - June, 2011
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5D MKII Continues to Deliver - San Diego

California Brown Pelican, San Diego - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
California Brown Pelican at First Light, San Diego - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, Canon 400mm L @ f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Hand-held

Ring Neck Duck, San Diego - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Ring Neck Duck, San Diego - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, Canon 400mm L @ f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure, Hand-held

I continue using the 5D MKII for bird photography when the time is right. During my trip to San Diego, the birds were so close that using the 5D MKII allowed me to fill the frame nicely. Next January, there is a good chance I'll use it again with the 800mm lens to create more intimate composition. These images were also created in Manual Mode, Al-Servo (continuous-servo AF (AF-C) on Nikon) and with all 9 focusing points active.

I can't wait to go back to San Diego!!

Yet Another Great Example of When and How to Use Fill Flash - Facebook Post!

Burrowing Owl Close-up - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Burrowing Owl Close-up - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm @ f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO 400, 580EX II with Better Beamer, Manual exposure, Tripod

During my Burrowing Owls workshop, we had a great opportunity to photograph these guys using fill flash. If you look closely, the right side of the owl would be much darker due to the side light. Using fill flash allowed me to balance the light nicely creating a more pleasant image all together.

The key of fill flash is to nail you natural light exposure first (sunlight) then decide how much flash to give without OVERPOWERING the natural light (sun). Here were my flash settings for this image.

  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO 400
  • Canon 580EX II set at HIGHSPEED, 50mm zoom and manually at -3

Go out there and have fun!

Spoonbill & More Workshop #2 Update

Spoonbills & More Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Spoonbills & More Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 100, Manual exposure, Tripod

Yellow-crowned Night Heron with Prey - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Yellow-crowned Night Heron with Prey - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/1500 sec, ISO 400, 580EX II with Better Beamer, Manual exposure, Tripod

Spoonbill Preening - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Spoonbill Preening - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure, Tripod

Spoonbill Profile - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Spoonbill Profile - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 200, Manual Exposure, Tripod

Spoonbills & More workshops series was a total success. We photographed several species at pretty much all angles... LOL! I've announced the 2012 workshop dates. They are already filling!!

Florida's Birding & Photo Fest, St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine Sunrise - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
St. Augustine Sunrise - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/8, 1 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod

Harris Hawk (captive) - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Harris Hawk (captive) - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 70-200mm L with 1.4x @ f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Hand-held

This image was created thanks to Greg Downing for allowing me to participate on his workshops. I stood behind everyone making sure I was not on the way. I learned a great deal about how folks behave during a photo shoot. I understand everyone gets excited but we must learn how to analyze what's happening first.

I watched this Harris Hawk fly for few minutes studying flight patterns, exposure and such. I also paid close attention to my background and got a lot lower than everyone else allowing me to have the sky as a background. I also changed lenses as the 800mm was way to close.

This image was created using Al-Servo (continuous-servo AF (AF-C) on Nikon) with all 19 focusing points active. My exposure was set way before this image was created. The shutter button was pressed 3 frames before this image, allowing me to capture the entire sequence, selecting this image as the winner of all.

Take your time and learn your subject's behavior. Think before you press that shutter button!!

Testing the 800mm Hand-held with Image Stabilization Turned Off!

Spoonbills & More Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Spoonbills & More Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Hand-held

During my recent Spoonbills & More workshop, I had the chance to test the Canon 800mm hand-held from a boat turning the IS (Image Stabilization) off. The main reason I did this, was to experiment how much the IS can actually delay the auto focus on my 7D during that particular environment. I felt the 7D was doing a good job tracking but as soon as the IS kicked-in, I was loosing my subject.

At such high magnification (800mm x 1.6) I knew my panning technique would have to be at its best. The 7D tracked and locked at much faster speeds allowing me to create more images. What did I learned? Be creative and have an open mind to something new even if on paper its not recommended. While I don't recommend turning the IS off while hand-holding your lens, in this particular situation it worked out very well.

Have an open mind and try new things!!

Tim Grey & Rick Sammon, Having Fun Again?

My good friend Tim Grey shared a recent blog post on Facebook that made me smile... I thought it would be a good idea to share the fun with you all.

Check out Tim's latest blog post.. CLICK!

Summer is Here and So Are The Nesting Shorebirds!

Sunny Florida Beach - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Sunny Florida Beach - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/16, 1/30 sec, ISO 50, Polarizer filter, Manual exposure, Tripod

I've put myself few goals this summer. Besides nesting birds, I'm also targeting landscapes visiting few remote locations around Florida! Follow me on Facebook and let me share my experience!!

Have a great summer!

 

Sincerely,

Maxis Gamez
941.623.5155
maxisgamez@gmail.com
www.gvisions.org

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