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on Apr 9, 2009 in Wildlife Photography

Platte River Day2 AM

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After a night in the blind, at 06:41 the light started to come up and the cranes went into action. We no sooner had our stuff cleaned up from the night and lenses in the tripods when the cranes up river burst into the sky. It was still dark as sin but shot I anyways. We later learned that a Bald Eagle flew over the cranes to the north which sent them into the sky. A number of folks have asked what ISO I shot at and when I replied I was at ISO200 the whole time, they asked why didn’t I crank it up. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’m still of the mind set of ASA64 so I’ve already cranked it up shooting ISO200. I dunno, it just works for me so I stick with it.

Shooting in the morning from the blind was by far the highlight of the whole trip. After jamming the lens left, right and up while panning and trying to get use to the limited movement, I got the sort of got the hang of the blind and the cranes. There was easily 3000+ cranes in front of us when we opened our eyes that morning. As always, they seem to celebrate the sunrise which made for great photography. It really goes beyond words!

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There was lots of pair bonding and dancing. I missed a lot of it because I would pan in the direction of the action, hit the side of the blind and by the time I corrected for it, the dancing would stop. Or, the dancing would occur and another crane would step right in front of the action. Since I couldn’t move, I missed the photo. I just simply hate blinds. But I loved the cranes. Here’s a little flavor of the morning shot just prior to the major left off of the cranes to the fields.

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When they picked us up, we headed back to the car to pack our gear and then off to the restrooms. After finding out what the other blinds had for the morning, checking out hot birds sighting, we left to check the fields. But the light basically sucked. Since we hadn’t eaten for 24hrs, we headed to food. Mark took me to a favorite of his, Skeeter Barnes. Darn good BBQ with Sweet Chips…yummy!

I can’t thank Mark enough for the thrill of a lifetime. It was a longtime dream come true that now I will have to venture back to every year. I HOPE to run into you there!

Photos captured by D3, 600VR on Lexar UDMA digital film

MooseCam captured by Canon HF10 on Lexar digital film