Road Trip South

My next trip was in early May 2016. Heading down the east coast with the intention of taking some great shots of birds at the St. Augustine, Florida Alligator Farm. For months each year multiple species of birds nest in the trees above the alligators to take advantage of the gators innate ability to keep predators such as raccoons from getting to the nests. The website for the alligator farm contains a schedule of when each specie arrives, when chicks hatch, etc.

Don't remember exactly when but sometime in this general timeframe I had the lenses of both eyes replaced due to cataracts which helped in my ability to drive and use the cameras.

Again I was ill prepared to deal with the difficulty of photographing white birds in bright sunlight. Although I was still ignorant of a number of factors in getting a correct exposure, particularly of white birds, ignorance is bliss. I had a good time.

The difficulty, for anyone who is curious, is that a camera can not come close to seeing the wide range of light the human eye can. I't called dynamic range. Putting it simply a camera tries to make the exposure average out to 18% grey between pure black and pure white. You've all seen it. Take a photo of someone with a bright window behind them. In order for the photo exposure to average out it has to plunge the person into a black shadow to average with all that brightness coming thru the window. DSLRs allow that photographer to compensate for things like that to a point Sometimes it takes blending together more than one photo to get a good final one. One exposed for the window and one for the person. Ok.. I know I'm boring you....

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I made a stop in North Carolina to visit Erin and Sara and a good time was had by all. I managed to get some nice shots thanks to their showing me around.

Found the Alligator Farm almost overwhelming with the sheer number of birds nesting just a few feet off the boardwalks looming above the alligators. Took a lot of photos since i was still in the quantity vs quality phase of this journey I'm on. A habit I still find myself falling back into from time to time. 99% of them have been deleted. Raising my standards and trying to not fill up my hard drive.

Planning to make another trip to Alligator Farm this Spring with just a quick stop to pick up some stuff in Atlanta and most likely to coincide with the appearance of the Black Bears from hibernation in the Smoky Mountains on the way back North.

Well that's about wraps it up. Use the menu or click on the photo below to be taken to the gallery.

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