The English poet and painter, William Blake, once said: “No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
I’m a huge fan of the Charleston Center for Birds of Prey. It’s truly amazing what these wonderful folks do to rehabilitate these injured beauties, and get them back on their own wings. Plus they educate us humans on how to be better stewards of the creatures who share our planed!
As part of their education program, a few times a year the organization hosts “Photography Day”. Wildlife photographers from all over are invited to a morning of learning about the birds in their care, and given photo oportunities that would be impossible in the wild.
Having been to several of these, I knew everything was going to be on the long end. So although I had my full kit in the car, I only carried 2 camera bodies and 2 lenses to the shoot: Nikon D4 with Nikkor 500mm f4G, and Nikon D4 with Nikkor 200-400mm f4G. I mounted the 500mm to my tripod with the Wimberly Sidekick gimbal head. The 200-400mm I hand-held.
It turned out to be a GORGEOUS day for shooting! We got to photograph 16 different species of birds from 8:30 until noon, including a surprise first-time appearance from a brood of adorable baby Barn Owls! Afterwards, a few of us convened at the Sewee Restaurant down at the corner to wrap up the fun with a good meal…and some home-made pecan pie!
Here are a few of my favorites…