March and April are busy months here in Louisiana for bird photography. The birds are back, early in the month I do scouting trips and then later I do my first tour. This year is no different I've done several scouting trips and I completed my first tour.Read More
My good friend Kim Voorhies of the Atchafalaya Experience polling us through the swamp on the November photo tour. I've been working with Kim on these tours for 15 years now and he is the best, going the extra mile time after time to get us the best images.
Unlike photographing with visable light, creating a realistic looking IR image requires a significant amount of post processing.
The following outlines the steps I've taken editing a typical image from my D800 camera with the 665nm IR conversion.Read More
I've been frustrated for some time about having a very short window of good light early and late in the day. The middle of the day has always been a challange. Fortunately there's one form of photography that is best in the middle of the day with bright light, Infrared (IR) photography.
On Friday March 24, 2017Louis Benard, Kim Voorhies of The Atchafalaya Experience and myself visited Lake Martin to check out the status of the birds, clear some of the boat paths to our favorite shooting spots for the upcomming photo tours (April 16th, and May 21st), and get a few photographs along the way.Read More
Yesterday, March 18th, 2017, I made my first trip to check out the sites I use for my April and May Louisiana Bird Photography Tours. I visited Lake Martin, Jefferson Island, and the Wading Bird Rookery located in Klondike Louisiana.Read More
When I arrived early Sunday morning May 1st, the weather was not looking promising for the tour starting that evening. I sat out a torrential downpour in the car at Lake Martin and thre were reports of I-49 being closed due to flooding. The forcast was dismal until Wednesday morning, the last day of the tour.
Fortunately things did not work out as forecast I this is one of the best Spring Lousiana Bird Photo Tours I've done to date.Read More
I'll be giving a talk tonight at 6:45pm at the Lafayette PHotographic Society Meeting in the Magnolia Room at the Comeaux Recreation Center 411 West Bluebird Drive, Lafayette, LA 70508. Attached are the Slides I'll be presenting.
Charles Bush Photography Newsletter
Water Levels in the Atchafalaya River
The water levels in the Atchafalaya River, where much of my photo tours are conducted, are dependent upon the Water levels in the Mississippi River. The Atchafalaya is a tributary of the Mississippi and in fact once was the main channel of the river. North of Baton Rouge there is a structure, called the Morganza floodway, that controls the flow allowed into the Atchafalaya and except for when there is a risk of flooding downriver, regulates the flow into the Atchafalaya at 30 % of that going into the Mississippi. There were projections last week, that suggested the Floodway would need to be opened to mitigate a risk of flooding to the populated areas in and around New Orleans. Fortunately the level has been less than projected and the floodway is not expected to be opened. The level of the River may be tracked here.
Even though the levels aren't as high as projected, the river will be much higher than normal allowing access into areas we normally can't reach. For example, Cow Island Lake is an ideal place to photograph Osprey in flight, the River level must exceed 15 feet to allow access. Many years we aren't able to get in. While I suspect levels will be lower by the time of the tours, we'll be keeping an eye on the River Levels between now and then and adjust the itinerary to match the conditions.
Photography Classes and Presentations
During the Spring I have numerous classes scheduled in New Orleans. I'm also scheduled to present to the Lafayette Photographic Society on April 11, 2016. Check out the classes on my Web Site here.
Spring Photo Tours
This will be my 12th year leading these tours. For that time I've teamed with the folks at "The Atchafalaya Experience", who are second to none and get us into some incredible areas for photography. While each year is a bit different due to changes in the environment and weather conditions, each has gotten a bit better. Since the loss of the Rookery at Lake Martin, we have found alternatives that offer even better photography of wading birds, including Roseate Spoonbills, as well as other opportunities such as Osprey in flight.
Please consider joining one of the tours this year.
At 10am this morning the Corp of Engineers opened parts of the Bonnet Carre Spillway diverting some of the flow of the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain. It is also possible they will open the Morganza Floodway, diverting some of the River into the Atchafalaya River Basin sometime next week.
This is being done to protect the populated areas in and around New Orleans.
The photograph above was taken in early April of 2011 at Cow Island Lake, one of our favorite places to photograph Osprey in the Atchafalaya basin. This is a great place to photograph them as the nests are just above the water level. Later that spring the Morganza floodway was opened and the nest you see above was underwater. Several of my friends participated in the rescue of the chicks on this and other nests on the Lake.
While I'm in full support of opening the floodway to protect New Orleans and other communities along the river, I can't help think about the impact on the people and wildlife in the Atchafalaya Basin that may be impacted.
[I heard an interesting article on NPR this evening. All but 3 of the pay phones in New York City are being replaced with WiFi Kiosks. A search on the web uncovered this NYtimes article.
I've had an affinity for pay phones for some time. I spent quite a bit of my engineering carier building telephone networks and installing private telephone systems. I don't have any good images of pay phones as when they were plentiful, there was no reason to photograph them and then they disappeared and belatedly I wish I had. LIke Book stores and Newpaper vending machines, I fear they are now really a thing of the past.
While we don't have the colorful red phone booths like the British, there's something about the sleek glass booths of day's past that just invites a photograph. Oh well, time marches on.
Playing with Photoshop, converting a large panoramic image into a circular composition.Read More
My latest Newsletter containing information about the 2016 tours and classes as well as additions to the web site.Read More
An article documenting a project to capture images of Becky Burt's incredible art.Read More
OK the second in yesterday afternoons work with Focus Stacking.
This time a shot of a small Acorn. Shot with a 105 micro at f\5.6 with an extension tube attached. About twice life size. Shot on a sheet of black plexiglass to get the reflection. This is a 41 shot Focus Stack processed in Zerene Stacker Software.
I'll be demonstrating this technique at the Macro Class on December 4th.
I spent the afternoon shooting some focus stacks using my stack shot rail. This is an example, which can be fine tuned some more in photoshop, of a branch from the yard. I used a extension tube with my 105 micro lens giving me about a 2 to 1 magnification. 41 shots processed in Zerene Stacker.
Review of the 2015 Spring ToursRead More
February 2015 NewsletterRead More
Bird Photography on a Budget
The equipment for bird photography can be very expensive. Part of this is the nature of the business, photographing small moving objects requires long telephoto lenses and effective autofocus systems
Beginning bird photographers would be well served with a good cropped sensor camera body and 400 mm f/5.6 lens or a 300 mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. By applying several common sense strategies you can acquire such a system at a reduced cost.
During the past week I focused on Computer Issues. Here's an article on the issues and what it means to your workflow.Read More