Tuesday, April 27, 2010
This is a great time of year to photograph nesting birds, and nowhere is it easier and more exciting than the alligator farm in St. Augustine, Florida. The large mature trees attract hundreds of egrets, herons, and woodstorks, and the alligators (which are also great to photograph) keep rodents away from the nests. You can get frame-filling pictures with a 200mm in many cases. Longer lenses can reach birds higher up in the trees.
When shooting white birds, it is essential you shoot in RAW mode versus jpegs. It's important to retain the beautiful detail in the white feathers, and this can only be done when shooting in RAW. Jpegs discard information in order to save space because the images are compressed, and first to go are the pixels that define the most subtle detail in the highlights.
Photographers can pay a special fee at the entrance gate to get into the farm early and to stay later for the beautiful early morning and late afternoon light.