It's about that time of year again where I start preparing to spend a lot more time out and about taking photos. The first major trip that I have planned this year, is visiting the Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve. During the first few weeks of March, tens of thousands of snow geese stop there during their spring migration. The first year I visited there the area was inundated with approximately 190,000 snow geese and about 3500 tundra swan (yep, you read that right 190,000). This trip can be tricky to plan for far in advance, because you never know when the bulk of the geese will show up or when they will leave to continue their migration. Once they decide to leave, it's usually a matter of a week and most of them are gone.
In years past, I've been a little frustrated because the lenses I owned were not quite long enough to get the kind of photos that I was looking for. So for this year I purchased a new lens, and hopefully things will work out and I'll end up with some photos I'll be happy with.
You may be wondering why I have a photo of a Blue Jay in a post where I'm discussing snow geese. Well, that sort of leads me into a photography tip that I want to share. From time to time, I'll try and post some tips that I've learned about photography. I can't guarantee the frequency or quality of the tips, but will share them when I can and would be interested in any comments you may have about them.
So, on to the tip. Anytime you get a new piece of gear, whether it be a new lens or a new camera bag, try to take the gear out for a few small trips before going on any big trip you may have in mind. This will give you a chance to do a couple of things. First off, it will let you know if the new piece of gear is going to do what you are expecting it to. If it doesn't then you will have enough time to return and replace it with something that will. More importantly, taking your gear out for a few test runs will give you practice using it. There is nothing worse than being out with a lens or other piece of gear that you barely know how to use. You'll end up worrying and wasting a lot of time that you could be taking photos trying to figure out how to use it.
So why the Blue Jay again? Well, I just purchased a new lens and I've taken it on a few test runs. One being in a State park not far from me and I happened to catch the shot of the blue jay on that trip. You can take a closer look at the photo and a few others from that day by clicking on the photo of my little furry friend below.
So far, I'm pretty happy with the lens and have started to get a pretty good idea of how to use it to get some decent results.