Peeking out

We often see photography of birds in flight or with their wings expanded.  I enjoy taking a different look at these birds, tucked into their nests. Here are a few more shots from May Term Ornithology Science and Art class at AC.  These shots were taken either on Allendale Columbia’s nature trail, which is right on campus, Mendon Ponds Park, or the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge.

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Wild Wings, Inc and May Term

This past week, during AC’s May term, we had guests from Wild Wings, Inc. visit our campus. Wild Wings is a not-for-profit educational organization that cares for permanently injured birds of prey.  This was part of an Ornithology Science and Art May term course. It was great seeing the birds out of a cage and close up, which allowed us to get a true sense of their personalities. Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 2.53.12 PM.pngGreat Horned 1.jpg

High Speed Photography – How It’s Done

Today, a few classmates and I experimented with high speed photography during May Term in our “In the Blink of an Eye” photography course. We used two DLSR cameras so we could capture images at different angles. The DSLRS used were a Nikon D3300 and a Canon 80d which were both mounted on tripods. In high speed photography, having a still camera is crucial for a good picture.

The settings used on the cameras were a shutter speed set at BULB and an aperture of 5.6. We then mounted an Altura Flash to a Vanguard Monopod. We had the flash and the cameras pointed at a table with a black cloth covering it. Also, we had a black velvet backdrop that was clamped to the wall behind the table. Attached to the table was a sensor which then had a wire that ran to the flash. The role of the sensor was that when a loud noise was heard it would trigger the flash to go off. We placed various fruits on the table and one of us stood behind with a hammer. We created a system to have efficient shooting of the fruit. First, someone would turn off the light switch when both the people operating the cameras were ready. Once the light had been turned off, the shutters of the two cameras would be released by the people operating them. Once this was done, the cameramen would then tell the person behind the table to strike the fruit. The loud noise of the hammer would trigger the sensor making one single flash. After the flash was made, the cameramen then closed the shutter. The lights could then have been turned off after that. The reason why it was crucial to have a dark room was because when the cameras were set to bulb, no light was getting in when the shutter was opened. When the sensor was triggered it allowed light to enter the camera at the exact same moment as when the hammer made contact with the fruit. This made it so the only image registered by the camera was that event. This process led to some very interesting pictures and I am excited to do this tomorrow again.unnamed-1.jpgunnamed.jpg

Melinda

DSC_2663.JPG Melinda is a beautiful barn owl at Wing Wilds, Inc in Honeoye Falls, New York. Wild Wings is a place where permanently injured, non-releasable birds are housed and cared for. As part of our May Term at Allendale Columbia, we were lucky to visit Wild Wings and photograph some of these amazing birds.  Melinda by far was the most photogenic, allowing me to take some great close up shots. This is a special place for me since when my Grandfather passed away a few years ago, our family requested any donations to go to Wild Wings. These birds are beautiful and the work they do here is important to help people learn about these animals and how to protect and respect them.

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Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden – May Term Day 4

Today we had to switich things up due to the weather. BayCreek Paddling was not an option, so we headed over to the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden  at The Strong.  This was great for many of the first time photographers, as there were plenty of opportunities to get some great shots of the birds and butterflies.

 

May Term – Day 3 – Montezuma

Day two at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was even better than the first day. We went earlier in the morning, leaving Rochester around 8:30. The animals seemed more active in the morning, and this allowed for some great shots.

Mrs. Lisi and Mrs. Wun have been awesome. They have arranged these amazing field trips and experiences to allow for us to do this work. I cannot wait for tomorrow.

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Home Sweet Home
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On the Waters Edge
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Reflection
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Wetlands
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Busy in Montezuma
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Outing
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Winged Reflection

May Term Day 2 – Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

For Day 2 of May Term, we headed off to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge for the Ornithology Science and Art Field Work class. It’s about an hour from Rochester, and right off the New York State Thruway.  It is just short of 10,000 acres of both dry and wetlands set aside for the nesting, feeding, breeding, and resting of waterfowl and other migratory birds. We are fortunate to be so close and we will head back for another day tomorrow. No bald eagle sightings, but maybe tomorrow will be our chance.  I’m so excited to go back. May Term is such an incredible experience, and I’m so glad I go to a school that doesn’t keep me sitting at a desk taking exams when there is so much out there to learn.

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May Term – Ornithology and Photography

Today was the first day of May Term for us at Allendale Columbia. May Term is a time toward the end of the school year where we can choose coursework from a variety of different things and specialize to our interests.  After seeing an offering for ornithology and photography, I was excited to sign up.

We spent a majority of the first morning with a refresher on how to use a camera for those who didn’t have experience from Mrs. Wun, the Upper School art and photography teacher.  We also had a visit from former Allendale Columbia Biology teacher, Mr. Paul Amber, who was kind enough to give us a tour of campus and the nature trail while helping to identify birds.  Mrs. Lisi, who is one of the instructors, also had a former student who is an ornithologist in Maryland who Skyped with our class. It’s great having my photography teacher Mrs. Wun and science teacher Mrs. Lisi team up in this course, which brings two of my favorite things together; wildlife and photography.

I’m very excited about tomorrow as we head to the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see a bald eagle and get a good photo.

Back to Basics

School, sports, and life have been busy, and I forgot about how much photography can make me happy. I’ve taken some photos, but haven’t had the time to post them here. Here are some random shots that I particularly like that have no particular theme.  I am still using my Nikon DSLR3300, and am hoping to upgrade as soon as I save up some money.

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A Guinea Turaco tips his head as he spots me with my camera.
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“Armor” – I liked the contrast of the metal grate, which seems like armor to me and the hard shell of this bug.
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Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls Canada – Extraterrestrial or Extra Touristy?
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True Colors. I often take photography of the heads of these birds, but I couldn’t help but be drawn in by this macaw’s colorful feathers.

Menorano and OCF

 

On our third day in Madagascar we went to a local school in a village just outside of Ranomafana. The hike was about two hours long. The first part of the hike was to cross a river in a canoe that was a hallowed out tree shaped into the canoe. Then we hiked over large hills and finally got to the village. At the village, we interacted with the school children by reading books to them and showing them iPads. We also gave them gifts such as dresses, stuffed animals, and a soccer ball. They greatly appreciated the soccer ball, since before that, they used a grape fruit. We then hiked back to go to the Research facility where we were staying. We went around the campus of the research facility and started collecting insects and animals for the One Cubic Foot group in order to DNA bar code and photograph them. After we did that, we had a presentation on birds by Jean Claude who was taking us on a bird watch the next day.DSC_0427.JPGDSC_0447.JPG

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