I know I’ve been strangely silent since, oh, January or so, I’ve really been quite busy running around taking pictures of people and things, and hope to improve my bloggish periodicity in the future. Like now, for instance.

I’ve written before about my Nikor 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 lens (readers may recall from a previous (and very dramatic) post, Evan and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, how a dropped-camera disaster led me to acquire a new lens in a strange city). I’ve discovered a wonderful thing about this lens, which is that it’s absolutely amazing for doing some very nice nature photography. When I’m not working at my day job, or taking pictures of decaying aircraft  or for models’ portfolios (which is, alas, much of the time), I have a propensity for birds and other living things. I’m particularly fond of a local wetland sanctuary called Bolsa Chica, near Huntington Beach, and the Nikor lens lets me capture birds not only from the distances mandated by the shorebirds’ apparent need for space, but its high speed captures movement in a very satisfactory way.

Because the lens is so fast, it compensates for not being as telephoto as other lenses by taking remarkably crisp photos that can be cropped as faux close-ups. And that same speed, coupled with the ability to deal with the low light conditions one often finds when hiking through the wetlands early in the morning, “freezes” birds in flight quite nicely. As we see below:

A triumphant catch for a tern is somewhat less delightful for a fish.

A triumphant catch for a tern is somewhat less delightful for a fish.

Snowy Egret in flight

Snowy Egret in flight

Snowy Egret hunting

Snowy Egret hunting

Long-billed Curlew

Long-billed Curlew

It’s not all about the birds, however. A few weeks ago we went out whale-watching from Newport Beach, and in bright sunlight out at sea, my trusty Nikor let me capture this:

Blue Whale near Newport Beach

Blue Whale near Newport Beach

OK so it weighs about a ton (well, 46 ounces or 1,300g, if you want to be precise), and works best with a monopod supporting it, so it’s not exactly a sprightly lens, but it does some pretty phenomenal work. Not to diminish the vital importance of the photographer’s delicate, sensitive eye and artistic sense of timing, of course, but having the right tools is, obviously, important.

(Oh, and A Shameless Plea for Attention: Check out my redesigned website at EButterfield Photography, and please Like me on my new Facebook page. Thanks!!)