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Birds Blogging Nisqually NWR

Lens Envy

As I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into photography I’ve seen the gap that exists between my equipment and the equipment the top photographers are using. Almost all serious photographers I’ve talked to are using Canon D20’s and using faster 400mm lenses than I have, most considerably faster, and considerably more expensive.

They’ve also steered me to some top-level websites that feature shots taken by other photographers in the Northwest. It’s hard not be intimidated by some of the shots I’ve seen. I’ve never even seen Great Blue Herons as beautiful as the ones pictured, and none of my lenses would allow me to get the kind of crystal clear close-ups they’ve taken.

I’ve had to re-examine my own values and goals in taking photographs. While admitting a fondness of “trophy shots,? that’s not really what I’m attempting to do in my photographs. I’m trying to convey the natural high that I get from being out in nature experiencing nature at its fullest.

Sometimes I think pictures like this

do a better job of conveying that feeling then a spectacular close-up of the same heron would do.

While my shot of a Cedar Waxwing

is not as spectacular or technically outstanding as a shot of two Osprey attacking each other or of a Bald Eagle scooping up a salmon, watching the Waxwings fly back and forth in front of me while feasting on plentiful berries was a highlight of my day.

In fact, I think this rather fuzzy shot of an all-too-common crow shot through layers of branches and leaves is my favorite shot of the day

because I love crows and have no idea why. Born a city boy who spent most of his life shut up in a classroom, my a warm-fuzzy view of nature sometimes seems little more than a romantic longing, but it has served as a constant source of strength throughout my life.