Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Paging Gail Dixon, paging Gail Dixon...

Yesterday, I had a blast with my blogging buddy, Tammy, of Simply Southern Happiness.
 She invited me to come to her house for a delicious lunch of chicken salad and ice tea and brownies.

Then we headed out for Stone Mountain Park where she was hoping to capture a black bird that she had been scouting for a while. The bird remained elusive, flying around, hiding behind trees and such. But the ducks were another matter.

 They were everywhere, on land and on water. Good thing we brought goodies to entice them. Tammy handed out cheerios, while I had stale bread and crackers.

Hey George, have you seen Maude?

 Do you have any idea how hard it is to shoot birds? It is not like doing portraits, still lifes or landscapes. These suckers are always moving! I have to say that I threw out about 95% of what I shot. That is really humbling. Ha! I hate the word "suck" but I really suck at shooting wild life.

For one thing, how do you get your exposure right, when the duck's head is almost black and you are getting reflections from the water?? I will have to do some homework.

Don't fight, there is plenty to go around!

Now Gail Dixon of Louisiana Belle Forever 
is a wonderful bird photographer. If you have never visited her site, now is your chance.

Dare I eat another bite?

Hey, guys, leave some for me!

Even this turtle got in the action. See the cheerios floating?
Would you believe we saw a crocodile sunning?

 No,  I didn't think you would.

The day spent with Tammy was so peaceful and relaxing and we hated it to end so soon. But I had a drive ahead of me to get back to my babies. Lola was probably crossing her legs by now.

After Tammy packed up a tub of chicken salad and 3 of her famous brownies, I drove off into the sunset. Well not really into the sunset, but you get the picture.

Oh, and she gave me a copy of her book of photos: "The Anatomization fo the Magnificent Southern Magnolia". It is a compilation of photos of the flowering cycle in all stages from the beginning. It is a gem and I will treasure it along with our friendship.

Peace and Love to you all!  XOXO
This is the bird that Tammy was on the lookout for:
Courtesy of the Graphics Fairy


hootnonny said...

The title cracks me up! These are great and that crocodile looks like a log! Glad you and Tammy had a fun day on your quest to find the elusive black bird.

Maybe matrix metering instead of spot?

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Ha, you are a scream, "crocodile"... let me say I would have been miles away had that been one... I would have skimmed across that lake with my toes hardly touching the water.

You did get some good shots there gal, but like you, I tossed out most too. We both got the same quality of pictures. You did manage to get a good one of the ducks fighting over the food. Calling Gail Dixon is right. We need to fly up there and see if Gail can give us a few pointers.

Oh well, as Miss O'Hara would say, "After all tomorrow is another day.".. We can try again.

Maybe capturing the water wheel at the mill wont be so difficult.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I smiled all the way through, Charlotte. Haha, thank you for that. I have had a bad week. How I wished I could've heard your page. Any excuse to get away from the drudgery of work. That log does look like a gator--well maybe a fossilized one. Seriously though, I think you did a great job with these. Sounds like you and Tammy had a marvelous time. One of these days I'm going to Georgia to meet y'all. :)

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

I've been waiting to see your photos Charlotte!! You did a very good job. I don't know how you all got so low to capture the ducks - you both must have been laying on the ground!! The best part is that ya'll had fun :-}}

Lisa Gordon said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time Charlotte, and I DO see the Cheerios!

..."For one thing, how do you get your exposure right, when the duck's head is almost black and you are getting reflections from the water??"

If there is a big difference between the darks and lights, expose for the lights (and fix up the darks in Photoshop/Elements). If you blow out the lights, there is no way to recover them. Another option is to use spot metering, and meter off a mid-tone. When there is a large difference between the darks and lights, it's very difficult and sometimes impossible to strike a "happy medium."

Rosemary Aubut said...

Wow these are great shots and I am sure you have done Gail proud! Sounds like the two of you had a great time!

Barbara said...

These are wonderful shots, but I agree with you on Gail's photos! Amazing!

Nancy Claeys said...

1. Gail is a lovely lady whose photography is the bomb.
2. Your photos are awesome.

Thank you for sharing at Rural Thursdays this week. xoxo

Mandy said...

Wow! How did you manage to get to them!