As the northeast part of our country has been experiencing blizzards after snowstorms (four-in-a-row), out here in Wyoming the past month has been exceptionally nice. Here in the Wind River Canyon it has been hitting 71 degrees lately; not a record but a wonderful late-February early-March in the mountains.
The finches have just started to sing their songs, and bird migration into the canyon hasn't yet started. The snow is mostly gone except for those hidden, northern hills where the sun cannot reach; every night everything freezes. As I write this Wind River Canyon Blog it's mid-60's with a mind blowing blue sky this afternoon. All this great Wyoming spring weather has given me time to work-out with (test) my new zoom lens.
Just in time for this warm Rocky Mountain weather came a certified-refurbished Tamron SP150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 zoom lens....and I'm only going to write that long name down this once! The price was great even if the warranty wasn't; such is the life of the starving artist. It's honestly a real thrill to have a monster lens like this in my old, arthritic hands. At one time a lens like this would have been unimaginable, or rather, just a dream.
This super-zoom Tamron seemed real heavy at first in the field; the lens itself weighs nearly four and a half pounds! After several weeks of daily use it all seems somehow lighter now. Does this mean I'm getting stronger, or am I just getting used to carrying this tech-log around the canyon? In any case, it slowly became easier. Bottom line----used correctly, in steady hands this monster lens is a modern marvel, but it does take a commitment.
This first picture is of one of my favorite wildlife models. He is a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) that I've known and photographed since he was an ugly, brown raptor. He was photographed on the morning of March 16th @ 1/1600, f/8, ISO 400. The eagle was photographed on a tripod, which is highly recommended with the Tamron 150-600mm lens. The zoom was locked in at 500mm, which is a great feature. He is a real beauty!!
This next bird picture was imaged last Wednesday afternoon and was hand-held @ 400mm, 1/1000th, f/7.1, ISO 400 and is one of our favorite birds that reside all year long in the Wind River Canyon, a Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi), the most northern of the mountain-forest thrushes. They eat juniper-berries in the winter here in the canyon, and can hover when they are feeding on their favorite food....flying bugs! This photo is crazy sharp thanks to the new Tamron. As I wrote in my last blog, this Tamron is a heavy beast of a lens for the casual user, but a real magic trick of technology that at one time would have seemed impossible at any price, let alone the low price I paid. And as summer very slowly approaches, I will practice every day in anticipation of my very favorite time of the year....hummingbird season!
Thank you for reading about the wildlife and photography from the Wind River Canyon in wonderful Wyoming. All content of Wind River Canyon Blog and HogbatsPhotography.com are protected under copyright and is produced by Michael John Balog.
We could use some snow!