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Piping Plovers (Puffed?)


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#1 Joejr14

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:34 PM

I headed down to the shore today after hearing that the Piping Plovers were back. I managed some decent shots of them last year, but figured with an upgrade in lens and equipment I should go back for a re-try. I went down Thurs only to get fogged out, so I was thrilled when I hit the beach this AM to clear skies and the sun just poking up over the ocean.

Patience paid off, and I had at least 7 of them within 15 feet of me displaying for over an hour this AM. I'm running off to do some errands but here's a teaser....lots more to post later!

Btw, this is minimally cropped. Maybe 15%.

Oh yeah....if you've never seen Piping Plovers display....you'll understand my 'puffed' comment when I post the other shots from today!

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#2 JimBob

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:26 PM

AMAZING PICTURE! :o Congrats on the pic!

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#3 Doug Herr

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:28 PM

VERY nice! I'm looking forward to seeing more.

#4 Joejr14

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:35 PM

Okay so here's the rest of the set. I think because of the amount of pictures I can link it'll have to be in a few different posts.

These guys were hilarious to watch. I spent the first 30 mins when I got there attempting to 'chase' them, and then got wise and just stayed put. Really amazing how close they'll come to you when you're just kneeling in one spot.

Here's the puffed look. Btw, all comments and critique are appreciated! All of the pics are very minimally post processed---minor temp adjustments and some fill light added.

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#5 Joejr14

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:39 PM

I really wish I had been better able to capture this specific interaction---the puffing led to chasing, with one bird always flying off. This is the only shot I managed to get with both of them in a 'display' pose like that. Of course, I'm picky and sure wish
the bird on the right was in focus, but I suppose this one will have to do for now...

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I love this cropped shot--if you look close under the bird you can see grains of sand that were kicked up from the displaying. And to answer the question ahead of time, I promise that's not an egg under the bird, it's a shell.

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#6 Joejr14

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:41 PM

Last two....just some static portrait shots.

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#7 Joejr14

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:37 PM

Bumpity bump.

Anyone have any critiques? Comments? Suggestions?

#8 ginspin16

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:42 AM

wow those are incredible. were you laying on the ground?

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#9 cabirds

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:56 AM

Positively Primo Puffed Piping Plovers, a Particularly Pleasurable Panorama, Photo, Picture. A Preeminent Perspective!
--- Jodie in Sacramento

Visit my Photo Gallery of California Birds at: Temporarily Unavailable

#10 cabirds

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:15 AM

(Please Pardon my Prior Ponderous Pontification)
--- Jodie in Sacramento

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#11 Joejr14

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:51 PM

(Please Pardon my Prior Ponderous Pontification)


Haha. It got me to laugh just now. Thanks!

#12 Joejr14

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:51 PM

wow those are incredible. were you laying on the ground?


I was half kneeling half laying. I ruined a pair of jeans doing so, but I think the outcome was worth it.

#13 Liam

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

Great photos!

I was half kneeling half laying. I ruined a pair of jeans doing so, but I think the outcome was worth it.


I find that's always the best way to shoot, half laying, or full laying. I took this one laying in the tide.

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4riN89X.png Liam
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#14 sandylee

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:00 PM

Great series Joe! Must have really been a thrill!
Nice low shooting angle! My faves are number 3: Shows action, good angle of the bird toward you, also like the little water drip on his bill...might try to get rid of the stick in the upper rt corner. The last portrait is sweet too...great background, almost dreamy-looking and complementary to the bird ...(the feather/stick bisecting the bird is a bit distracting.) I love images that look natural and are not over-processed.
Thanks for sharing this cutie with us! :)

#15 Joejr14

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:41 PM

Great series Joe! Must have really been a thrill!
Nice low shooting angle! My faves are number 3: Shows action, good angle of the bird toward you, also like the little water drip on his bill...might try to get rid of the stick in the upper rt corner. The last portrait is sweet too...great background, almost dreamy-looking and complementary to the bird ...(the feather/stick bisecting the bird is a bit distracting.) I love images that look natural and are not over-processed.
Thanks for sharing this cutie with us! :)


Thanks Sandy. Funny you mention #3...I posted it on a critique forum and was told that I missed critical focus on the head. :) Which could be true, I was at 1,000mm and I had to manual focus, so there's no surprise it's not as tack sharp as some of more cropped ones that were taken without the 2x teleconverter.

My favorite is actually #6, but the seaweed/junk behind the bird is such a distraction. Perhaps after getting a CD course on some tips and tricks in photoshop I'll be able to get rid of that stuff.

#16 sandylee

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:17 PM

Y'know, I like #6 too! Agree with your note on the "stuff" behind.... Looking more closely at #3, yes, the back feathers seem a bit sharper than the head. There seems to be a lot going on with the beach in general... that in mind.... I think you did a fabulous job with the bird and the environment you had to work with. :)

#17 lyceel

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:28 PM

Really nice shots. I've not seen that behavior before. Thanks for sharing them!




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