Over the weekend, when my brother and I biked around Irvine looking for flowers to photograph, we discovered the Quail Hill Preserve. I came back with my canon 400mm f5.6 telephoto lens and tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens to grab some wildlife shots.
How cute is this little fellah?! He is a Western Toad. It is about the size of a quarter. There is a small pond in the Preserve where he must have hatched. I found him hopping across the trail as I was walking along. I picked him up and tried my best to photograph him one handed. Easier said that done! He kept on trying to hop away. Btw, when was the last time you have ever come across a wild toad or frog here in orange county? Last time I have personally seen one was over 20 years ago.
He fits on my thumbnail. When it comes to macro photography, its always nice to put a reference object in the shot. It helps to give the viewer a sense of scale. Sitting on my thumbnail, you can really appreciate how tiny he is. Another important point, is the power of using a true macro lens. Macro dedicated lenses have special optics which allow them to magnify images close up with amazing sharpness and clarity.
For this shot, since I had plenty of light to work with, so I stopped down my aperture to f8. Macro lenses have a very shallow depth of field when focusing close up. Stopping down your aperture helps to give you more depth of field to work with. For this shot, I wanted to get as much of the toad in focus as possible. This is one way to use a macro lens. You can also shoot wide open at f2.8. This gives a very shallow depth of field. Shooting like this can give a cleaner out of focus background and lends itself to more creative and artistic shots by playing around with the depth of field.
After awhile, he grew tired of being my photography subject and bounced outa here! Cya later alligator!
Here is a Western Meadowlark. I have seen them before but I have not gotten any decent shots...until today. I spotted him in the shade and I got down low to take this shot.
This is a Blue Grosbeak. I've never seen one before let alone photograph one. It is quite a rare bird to come across these days here in orange county. They like to nest in overgrown fields and thickets next to streams. With the ever expanding suburban sprawl here in orange county, there are not many wild open fields left for them to make home.
A Western Kingbird doing a fly over.
A female Red Winged Blackbird perched on mustard plants.
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