The past two days in Florida have left us excited as we had some nice morning light for photographing the sandhill cranes at Lake Weohyakapka. I had been told that the previous 10 days had been cloudy and rainy in this region but that the rain was needed due to a drought. Since the nesting crane was comfortable with us, we were able to get close enough to work on headshots without disturbing or distressing it.
Image: Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 290 mm, f/6.3, 1/1250 sec at ISO 400, hand-held
As I begin to learn more about bird photography, many considerations swirl in my mind as Artie calls out advice and suggestions. For these sunny conditions, Artie advised using ISO 400 and an aperture of f/6.3 with a starting shutter speed around 1/1600. I adjusted from there, trying to make sure that the “whites were not blown out,” as photographers like to say. For those new to the photography world, this means that I needed to capture enough light to get the details in the white feathers of the birds’s head without allowing too much light into the camera’s sensor that takes away our ability to see the details of the individual feathers.
Image: Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 480 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec at ISO 400, hand-held
We also discussed head angle, an important feature in bird photography. When taking an image using a long lens that gives us a close up shot of the bird’s head, the depth of field becomes less. That means it is more difficult to get the whole bird in focus from front to back. Because of this, head angle becomes critical to get the eye and beak in focus. If we focus on the eye, we want the beak turned just a degree or two towards us so the tip of the beak is in the same plane as the eye. This allows for an image with sharp focus on the eye as well as the beak, a very pleasing result.
Image: Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 210 mm, f/11, 1/500 sec at ISO 1000, hand-held
To learn more about bird photography in greater detail than I can provide at this point, please visit Artie’s blog, Birds As Art Blog, where he gives great daily tips on his images.
Now on to our infamous patient…
I have returned to the basics with Artie, teaching him how to breath differently to help relax his autonomic nervous system. It has been 6 weeks since I last treated him, so he had tightened up quite a bit after undergoing a procedure and dealing with a few health issues. Because of this, his body was in a “protective mode” and his muscles had been taught to guard. He was unaware of this, other than feeling “tight all over” and pain in his certain joints with movement. We can all relate to how our body feels when we are in the “fight or flight” mode and our body tenses up all over. Now imagine that your body is in that state all the time and that becomes your new norm. That is how I found Artie on Tuesday. After a couple sessions of going through some breathing techniques plus my hands-on treatment to reposition his ribcage and pelvis, he had significant relief. Yesterday and today, we got him back to something that gives him almost as much joy as photographing birds. Below is a man whose left shoulder MRI 6 weeks ago showed a full thickness rotator cuff tear with 3.2 cm retraction and a biceps pulley injury.
Image: iPhone 7 Plus, hand-held by Amy Novotny
He told me, “when I got into the water, I almost cried because I thought I might never be able to swim again.” Sometimes, alternative healthcare techniques can do wonders to help get rid of pain and restore motion and function. He wasn’t the only one about to cry when seeing this. 🙂