Wildlife Wednesday

Sandhill Cranes in flight - Image Colorado
Sandhill Cranes during the Spring migration in Monte Vista, Colorado.

I’m still editing photos from last week’s trip to Monte Vista. So far I’ve mined 60 shots for the stock photography portfolio. Not a bad haul for what amounts to two full days of photography. I’ve already seen a few of the images sell. The goal of course is to have the resulting photos earn enough to pay for the trip. Sandhill cranes aren’t the most popular photographic subject in the wildlife world, but, it is a seasonal thing and some people do have them on their mind at this time of year. A worthwhile endeavour.

I’m thinking that the Nikon D500 was a good addition to the camera kit. While I’m used to a little more resolution from the cameras, the 20.7 megapixel images it produces are of high quality and proving to be ideal for stock photography. File sizes aren’t too large and there’s enough crop room in the images to play with. I try to keep all my crops sizes to 8 megapixels or more for stock. We aren’t talking about wall hanging photos here, and even then, an 8 megapixel image will produce a very nice 16 x 20 inch print. Not that I’m making a lot of prints these days.

The only real drawback I’m finding from using the D500 is the accumulation of photos. The higher frame rate, 10 fps, is great for gathering a high number of frames to select from, but all those files get to cluttering up the selection process, slowing things down a bit perhaps as I have to sift through twice as many photos as normal after a trip. I can’t imagine what I’d be dealing with if I were shooting with one of the newer mirrorless cameras at 20 frames per second. Generating that many photos is a total overkill in my estimate. As a matter of fact, I’ve configured the continuous low speed setting on the D500 to 7 frames per second, which I’ll be playing with moving forward.

This may seem like old news to those who’ve had this camera for a while, but I don’t cater to the latest/greatest toy press, I’m more interested in what I’m doing and the gear I’m using and well, this is what it is at the moment.

Speaking of mirrorless, if you haven’t noticed, the photography press is all in on the newer bodies now, as are the lens manufacturers. Not seeing a whole lot of new DSLR talk on the web or from the camera makers. Of course, the top of the line stuff being released is getting some press, as this is what the sports world will be using for the most part in the upcoming Olympics (if the Olympics are held.)

I’m still not in on mirrorless though. Not that I have a problem with the new wave of technology, I just don’t see a mirrorless body as providing anything “better” than a DSLR can provide and there are obvious shortcomings in using mirrorless such as battery life and available accessories and systems.

To each his own. If you are shooting mirrorless bodies these days, I hope you’re happy. Myself, I don’t hop on every bus that drives past me.

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