I knew that I would be indoors for most of the day trying to clean-up the two rooms upstairs so I went out for my walk early today. Frances and I headed out towards Col. Sam Smith Park. It was a glorious morning and the runners, dog walkers, nature photographers and cyclists were out early as well. With my iPhone in hand I took as many photos as Frances would allow.
Usually when I approach birds of any kind they tend to fly away. I was hoping that my new zoom lens would allow me to get closer without actually having to physically approach my subjects.
A few day ago, when I left the dog at home, I walked into the Col. Sam Smith Park hoping to find some birds to capture with my camera. Despite the bitter cold, I found a gaggle of geese along the first beach as I entered the naturalized area of the park. To my surprise the geese did not fly away. Instead a couple of them walked towards me as if looking for something. I don’t know if it was curiosity on their part or if they were looking for a handout.
At one point they got so close to me that I found myself actually backing away from them. One thing I know about geese and swans is that they can be rather nasty and they will bite if they feel threatened. Clearly these two weren’t threatened by me or this big black contraption hanging from my neck.
I’m pretty pleased with the photos I managed to get. In fact, I didn’t have the zoom lens with me. I used the macro lens. These birds were way to close to me for the zoom lens anyway, unless I wanted pictures of their eyes. I’m sure that an expert could find plenty wrong with them. The day was overcast, Canada Geese don’t have a lot of colour and the beach we were standing on was also void of a lot of colour. Consequently there’s not a lot of contrast and everything seems a little muted. None the less, it is what it is and I finally got a close-up even without my zoom lens.
My husband has been suffering all week with a miserable cold and sinus infection, so when the dog barked non-stop to go outside and no one moved from their cozy chair in front of the TV I knew that I would be the designated dog walker for the day.
If I had to go outside I might as well take my camera and make the best of it. I bundled up, knowing that the temperature had plummeted to well below freezing and I tucked my camera inside my coat.
Now taking photos with a dog at the end of a leash is not easy but I did manage to take a few interesting shots close to home. I’m still experimenting with my macro lens and sometimes it’s very hit or miss but with a digital camera it really doesn’t matter. There’s no waiting for film to be developed and you can see immediately if the shot worked or not. In the photos below it’s difficult to see but I started tracking a couple of geese but as I got closer they flew down to the water.
Later in the day I had to pick up a library book so I drove and left the dog at home. I decided to park the car by Sam Smith Park after getting my book in hopes of getting a few more shots. The lake side was ice free but on the pond there was a thin sheet of ice across most of the pond.
After an hour or so of hunting around for interesting shots my fingers started to freeze. This is the one downside of taking photos on such a cold day. Wearing mittens is impractical and my leather gloves are fine when I’m moving a lot but they don’t do a very good job of keeping the cold out when you’re standing around, fiddling with dials on your camera. Keeping the camera inside my coat helped preserve the battery somewhat. Batteries don’t like the cold either.
Do you have any tips for taking photos on freezing cold days? I’d love to hear about them.