Do you sometimes jump into something without thinking first? Admit it, you do sometimes, especially when you are excited about it. I was excited about my new hobby--photography, and I joined a photography meetup before my camera arrived!
Now my camera takes me on adventures rather than I take it. One such adventure was the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge. The Landscape and Wildlife Photography Meetup is a Fairfield, California based group and holds meetups all over the greater bay area. So, for me, travel is necessary.
Fortunately, I've been able to find carpools with members who enjoy driving. So, we left the Sacramento area at 8 a.m. to reach Willows, California by 10 a.m. I had packed my camera case with three lenses: a 300 mm zoom, 10 - 20 mm wide angle and an 18 - 55 mm kit lens. I'm starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about! But I was going to find out different.
To shoot flying fowl, you have to be fast and have a very long lens. My 300 mm zoom was no match for the 500 mm lenses, and longer, that some members brought along. So there I was, short in lens as I am in stature, trying my best. Also, I did not bring a tripod, you need one for those big lenses, and I don't have all the patience in the world!
But I did have fun, and got some good pictures. I also learned a lot.
First lesson is patience. Wait for that bald eagle to take flight. Wait! Wait! Wait! Here's where the tripod and external shutter release comes in handy. A good photographer learns to wait.
Next I learned to get a waist pack for my lenses. By the time I took my camera bag off my back and switched lenses, the moment was over. Nature waits for no one.
I also learned to check my settings before I start shooting. I'd forget to switch the settings from the previous groups of shots. Fortunately, there's always a next time.
I want to go back armed with a tripod, patience and a waist pack. I want to get a better shot of the eagle as it takes flight. And I will because I'm still excited about this hobby of mine.