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on Jun 6, 2008 in Wildlife Photography

Howdy from up North!

Just back from the trip chasing tornadoes and I’m already on the road and in Alaska (for our Base Camp). But the experiences from last week left a definite impression.

This thunderhead over Cook Inlet is upsecuring the view we were just minutes before enjoying of Mt McKinley. Its speed and density brought back memories of last week in KS. But we ain’t in KS no more 🙂

We then went out scouting for some of our training locales for Base Camp and came across some old and favorite subjects like Mew Gull. And…

Arctic Tern. This one is flying in with a fish which it delivered to its mate tending the nest. While I nailed it in flight, it smoked me when it dove down to its nest and delivered its fish. Outta practice I guess, need to work on my vertical panning this week. Panning is something we stress at Base Camp. Stopping action by moving the camera body (sounds like an oxymoron) is an important tool in the wildlife photographer’s bag.

So is this tool, the Wimberley Head VII. I depend on this head for supporting my 600VR. Mine got “unhappy” on our SD Base Camp (TSA dropped). Well, sent it to Wimberley for TLC and man, did they deliver. Waiting for us in our room when we checked in AK was a silky smooth, very happy Wimberley. Now that’s service!

Personally, I use my Wimberley slightly differently from the instructions. You can see here I mount the lens in the opposite direction so my wrist isn’t fighting the main support post. Also, I never tighten the controls but rather, have them slightly loose so panning is smooth but not stiff.

I’ll post from AK the next week as I can. With only a few hours of “dark,” it’s going to be some long days!

Photos captured by D3, 70-300VR / 600VR on Lexar UDMA digital film