The Great Journey in Photography

Ruby, Edgar, and Why I Like TCs a Tad Less

Ruby and Edgar Brown Pelicans-1

400mm f6.3 400iso 1/800sec

I am going to start calling them Ruby and Edgar. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that some researcher or docent has already named them something else but for me they will always be known as Ruby and Edgar. I am talking about the pair of Brown pelicans that I have encountered time after time this Summer. I wrote about them earlier calling them my extended pet family and somehow felt the need to give them names. I am not very good at identifying gender when in Summer plumage so they could be the “Odd Couple” for all I know but in my mind they are that old couple that decided to stay in town this Summer. I love watching these two just as much as I do photographing them. Late in the afternoon they go out on their fishing expeditions. Whether it is in a large or small body of water, they fish in a triangle pattern which usually guarantees a few head on photographs along with the great fly by’s. The pattern repeats for hours on end, float for a bit, walk on water a bit, take off, fly twenty or thirty yards and dive into the water head first emerging with a small fish. Pick the right location and they will buzz right by you on several occasions. I know that in just a couple of short months Ruby and Edgar will become just two faces in the crowd of Browns that will invade the area for the Winter and most likely never be seen again. I will miss them.

Ruby and Edgar Brown Pelicans-4

420mm f5.6 250iso 1/1250sec

Ruby and Edgar Brown Pelicans-2

420mm f6.3 400iso 1/640sec

Photographically, I was trying to change things up a bit. I really wanted to work in some more depth of field into my Bird in flight shots. Easier said than done. decided to work the 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter and mounted it on a tripod which is a pretty unusual set up for me. It didn’t work well. One of the problems I encountered was the location. While the area is rather scenic the afternoon transition from harsh light to deep shadows is very sudden as there is a sharp elevation change near waters edge blocking much of the golden hour sun. All in all I was not very pleased with the days results. I did not do right by Ruby and Edgar. My choice to use the 1.4x teleconverter was probably a mistake also. Under such demanding conditions of BiF’s it showed its limitations. Not really so much limitations as differences. Color and contrast is a tad different, sharpness is a tad off at wider apertures, and auto focus is just a tad slower. Not bad mind you but compared to the performance of the 300mm f2.8 it is a tad off. While these things are virtually unnoticeable in most situations they do exist. There is still a month or two left, we will get em next time.

Thanks so much for reading this blog- Every time you read a new post an Angel in heaven gets it’s wings.


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