I have finally decided to move from reef aquarium to hardscape freshwater one.
This september I had the opportunity to visit the common cranes in Hungary at Hortobagy. I have never seen these beautiful birds before, but could not imagine why these birds would come to a small artificial pond to drink.
So I started my journey with my brother-in-law without high expectations. We spend one night at the beautiful guesthouse on SakerTour. Then on the following day at 8 we arrived to the hide. Unfortunately at 11 when the birds appeared on the sky there was a bunch of cows and some car activity so the birds decided to go forward.
So we just waited, waited and were practising on frog portraits.
However around 3 pm a crane family approached and we got what we was going for:
20 minutes of posing of the cranes.
So buy the end of the day I was happy to check all the pictures and do a rough first selection of the pictures.
I think I had the biggest nature photo event of this year two weeks ago when I was invited to take part a 2 day long photo shooting in Ópusztaszer, Hungary. I went together with my brother in law to the hides of Bence Máté, a famous nature photographer.
It was…wow. Very professional hides with large variety of beautiful birds on the Great Plan of Hungary, in a natural reserve, close to Ópusztaszer.
There are 15 hides, specialised for different bird species. The birds were coming so close that our 500mm f/4 lense was too long 🙂 The best was the 70-200mm with full frame or crop bodies.
It was a great experince, because I have never taken pictures from a leather chair, being under the water level. I honestly felt a bit that it is too comfortable. Still if you like the pictures what I did – see here http://ow.ly/y2Sym – do not hesitate to contact the team of Bence.
Living close-by the Castle of Grand Bigard, west of Brussels, obliges photogarphers to have a visit of the blossoming high season. This year I went again with my family and friends interested in photography.
My main lens was the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 G which is a fabulous lens, actulally it is too good because it does not have a huge distorsion like other wide angle lenses therefore this surrealistic distorsion is not really there.
Beside that lense of course I used the obligatory macro gear: the 180mm Tamron macro lense. Of course I met many obstacles like the wind and also the flowers were a bit ahead this year, so the perfect and fresh petals were difficult to find. Check out my gallery on the visit @http://ow.ly/vJFS9
I have always been scared of using a wide lens: for portrait not really good, not for nature photography either. I have a Sigma EX 12-24mm MK1, that is considered an ultra wide full frame lens, but I kept it for a possible landscape/Nordic light trip and that’s it.
Then two weeks ago I had to take part on a event photography and suddenly everything has changed. I friend of mine took some pictures with a Nikon 17-35 f/2.8, just to give the taste of the event. Amazing pictures were born, here are some examples:
It was very nice to see details getting into the spotlight and somehow it gave a bit extra.
So I tried myself in a botanical garden a week later and I have to say, I was really pleased with the results.
After that I had the opportunity to take pictures on the speech of the President of the European Parliament at the openining ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition in Brussels.
So as a bottom line, since I will have to do more events I sold the Sigma and bought the Nikon 18-35mm G lens…and the experience is coming soon.
In March 2012 I decided to change from the Canon EOS system to the Nikon D.
I sold all my lenses and bodies, and got the mysterious D800 with 36 MP, the 70-200 f/2.8 VR II, the 85mm f/1.4 and my all around nature tele, the 300mm f/2.8 VRII.
Since then I am over 2000 pictures with the Nikon.
Do I regret the change?…Very difficult question. Yes and no as well.
What I experienced….
– Canon has the 7D which is a smaller body, bigger resolution one, better for wildlife photograpy than the Nikon D300s.
– Canon has the EF 400mm f/5.6, a super nice lense with affordable price and
– Canon has a MP-E 65mm macro that is unique macro lense among all the brands.
– Nikon D800 is ithe king among the semi professional camerars with its resolution and picture quality,
– Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8, and the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 are unbeatable regarding picture quality, and
– Nikon camera function of using FX or crop mode on the same camera body saves you a second body.
For the moment I would say that Nikon is mainly for people and landscape photography, and Canon is for mainly serious nature photography.
Prices of the lenses and bodies for Canon are more reasonable, picture quality are more or less the same, autofocus performance is a bit better with Nikon. Of course, as you can read it everywhere, there is no clear winner, it really depends on the goal.
The Nikon bodies that were introduced in the past few moths have undergone a big evolution, and think they have now overtaken in most of the respects the Canon ones. After thinking long nights I decided to change from Canon to Nikon. The aim is to have all the main portrait and tele lenses I had for now to a D800 body.
I made some pictures of the building of my pond in La Hulp forest in Belgium.
Click here for the gallery