David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Eagles – Pearland, Texas

I recently received my 500mm lens back from Nikon and wanted to try it out with the D4 and 1.4tc extender.  There was an overcast which is what I was looking for to see how it handle the situation.  Well, what better than taking a short trip to see a pair of Bald Eagles with their two eaglets.  It’s always good to watch them fly.

D4, 500mm, 1.4 extender, f/5.6, 1/1000, +0.67, ISO 450  (Shooting aperture priority with auto iso)


D4, 500mm, 1.4 extender, f/5.6, 1/1000, +0.67, ISO 1250  (Shooting aperture priority with auto iso)


Red-bellied Woodpecker – Nest Building

I kept hearing what sounded like a woodpecker tapping on a tree.  I slowly moved in that direction trying to find the location.  I finally narrowed it down to one tree but thought it was playing games with me because I couldn’t find it.  That’s when I saw the hole in the dead tree as he came out.  I stood there for about 30 minutes as two would come and go.  They would disappear into the hole and I could hear them pecking inside.  A short while later they would stick their head out with a beak full of tree clippings and throw it into the wind.  I was fascinated with their work and took several hundred pictures.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, iso 200


Nikon D4 – Quick Shot

Here is one reason why I think it is an awesome camera.  I was standing behind my mother-in-law’s place watching some hawks hooking up talons in the distant sky and wishing they were closer.  Through the leafless trees flying at top-level I noticed a GBH about to come overhead.  I raised the camera above my head because that was the only opening and it was going to be a tough capture.  With the D4 set at 10 fps the GBH came into the small opening.  I might as well been laying on my back shooting straight up.  I focused and shot at the same time.  Six captures and it was gone in a flash.  Bingo!  Six shots and all in focus.  No way….I couldn’t believe what I was reviewing on the screen.  Good thing no one was looking because I was talking to myself.

This capture is about 75% of full frame.  Small ACR and levels adjustment in CS6.  I wanted to show you what it looks like without any noise reduction or  sharpening. 

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ev +0.33, ISO 220


Nikon D4 – Checking it out

This weekend I had a chance to give the D4 a try.  Took some pictures Friday in really bad dark overcast and I was impressed.  Took a few more Saturday and Sunday which were beautiful clear days.  Also impressed. 

These two were taken early this morning (Sunday).  I wanted to see how it handled early light but still fairly dark.  For the first one the sun was just starting to rise but way below the tree line so I was still in a lot of darkness.  I set the camera to auto ISO with shutter set at minimum 1/500 and a high ISO 6400.  It worked like a charm.  The second one was taken about 15 minutes before sun rise.  Some light present but still dark. 

I couldn’t have made these shots with my last set up.  The noise would have been horrible.  I might add, a slight noise reduction was made on the first one but really didn’t need it.  I would have been happy without it.

Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 2000


Nikon D4, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 1600


Waiting On A New Day

Waiting On A New Day – This was taken two years ago at High Island.  I was cleaning/deleting files as I get ready for a new computer.  I never gave this one a second look until now.  No, it doesn’t show any action, movement, or in general something taking place.  But, for me, it’s a beautiful morning as this mother sits on her eggs waiting to see what the day brings.  Look close; she is facing you with her head slightly turned to the right.

Nikon D300s, Nikon 500, f/4, 1/2000, ev  -0.67, iso 320


Mating Great Egrets

Early morning activity.  Right after this he usually leaves to find more nesting material.

Nikon D300s, 500mm @ f/4, 1/1250, -0.67, Spot metering


Singing out Loud

In about two months there will be a lot of singing (squawking) as a variety of birds begin their courtship’s.  If you have never been to one,  Smith Oaks Rookery is a great place to visit. 

Nikon 300s, 500mm @ f/7.1, 1/1000, ISO 200


Nikon 300s, 500mm @ f/7.1, 1/1250, ISO 200




It’s also known as the “Snakebird”, swimming with body sumerged and long neck showing.  If you see them in the water try to follow them because they will usually come up with a fish in their beak.  With the lack of an oil gland they have to perch and spread their wings to dry out.

Nikon D300s, 500mm @ f/5.6, 1/40, ISO 200


Nikon D300s, 500mm @ f/5.6, 1/30, ISO 200