Tuesday, September 19, 2006


It was bound to happen. Put a camera in her hands and she'll produce wonders. I have just gotten my new Canon 30D and wanted to give it a test run. So I attached it to my workhorse lens - the 500mm monster plus the 1.4 extender. To my old Canon 20D I attached the 300mm (another formidable glass). The latter I handed to Cynthia for her to practice on, it being lighter and can be handheld quite easily by a lady of her stature.

We first visited the tamarisk trees at Camarillo for the migrating warblers. The tamarisk trees line up alongside a farm road and is a "migrant trap" (a place where migrating birds stop over during their southerly journey). The farm road sees only a few traffic but the vehicles that pass through usually do so at speeds that are only witnessed at NASCAR sites. While I was straining my neck to locate these energetic small birds, Cynthia decided to pursue the Yellowthroats darting back and forth across the small creek nearby. I lucked out (not without really trying - but the odds of getting flattened by a vehicle rushing at 60 miles an hour are greater than getting a shot at the tiny, flitting birds, skulking behind the dense pine-like leaves of the tamarisks), but Cynthia's persistence paid off. She got the yellowthroat!

We then moved on to Playa del Rey where the shorebirds are a lot friendlier. Cynthia got shot after shot of the bird population of the playa while I struggled handholding my almost 10-lb gear. I can't use my tripod because the jetty where the birds are are too narrow for it. And the birds are too close for my huge lens that almost all my shots were portraits.

When we got home and after I have uploaded our pictures to the computer, lo and behold, Cynthia had some really great killer shots! She enjoyed it so much she already staked her claim to the 20D/300mm combo as "her" camera. I have created a monster.

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