David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Tag Archives: 500mm


I visited the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island early February of this year but never had a chance to get back.  I missed out on seeing a lot of the babies as they grew and vide for attention.  Well, this past weekend I had a chance to make a quick run out there.  With the front entrance gate now locked I had to enter from a side entrance.  It was hot as in Hot as I made my way on a long walk.  As I walked up on the levy it wasn’t the usual chatter of birds.  Most had all ready raised their young and were gone.  I made my way along the levy stopping at different locations to grab a few pictures.  Even though it was hot it was still pretty nice being all alone with all the remaining birds as all the usual crowds were now gone.  Even with fewer nesting birds it still offered a number of opportunities.  These twin Roseate Spoonbills had just been feed as their parent had flown off.  The parents quickly feed the young and then fly off.  They wouldn’t hang around because the young ones wouldn’t give them any piece just a constant picking, nudging wanting more.  Probably within a few days these will have to leave the nest for the lesson in finding food.  Sooner or later everyone grows up.  Or, that’s the way it’s suppose to be.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/4, 1/8000, ISO 400  (made adjustment afterwards to bring the shutter down)

Tufted Titmouse

While visiting my mother in-law I had a need to press the shutter. Since it was in my bag I decided to couple the 1.7tc with the 500mm. I was pleasantly surprised.
Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.7tc, f/6.7, 1/2500’s, -0.33ev, ISO 2000



Put It On Take It Off

While sitting on the porch visiting with my mother in-law I noticed this little guy.  I took a quick shot with my 500mm and didn’t think anymore about him.  As I spoke with my mother in-law about different things and of course the changing weather….hot cold hot cold…I noticed the lizard molting.  I changed my lens to the Nikon 105mm.  Getting closer wasn’t easy.  Had to get into some bushes and hopefully not scare him.  Wellllll, he moved, so I moved.  Into the bushes I went some more hoping there weren’t any snakes nearby.  It was all done within a short amount of time.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV -1


Nikon D4, 105mm, f/3.2, ISO 200, EV +1



Great Egret – Posturing

An early morning at High Island Smith Oaks Rookery.  The weather forecast was showing “stay inside”.  Perhaps thinking it would render some different opportunities, off I go.  It was cold and miserable but with thinning clouds I was hoping for a break.  Ok, on the positive side, the wind was blowing about 25 mph keeping the skeeters at bay – except for the one that found my cheek.  I managed to capture a few pics and here is one posturing.

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


Joined At The Hip

This one is from last year at High Island rookery.  I just thought it was odd and really had to zoom in to see how they were suspended.  I will be making another visit to the rookery so I decided to review some old settings on my photos.  I didn’t realize I had so many that have never been processed.  I would rather be shooting than processing the pictures.

Nikon D300s, Nikon 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 200


Eagle Wing Span

Let me set up for you what was happening.  Recently my lovely wife (I need the extra points) said she wanted to go see the eagles in Pearland.  I was excited to take her, hoping she would get to see them fly.  One of the eagles was perched a long way off in the back field and never moved the entire time we were there.  The other eagle flew, but on the back side of the trees.  It left and returned later with a big fish.  It came in low and I thought it was going to make a fly by in front of the trees before it approached the nest.  Nooooo, it flew in from the back and landed in the nest obstructed by some branches.

After dropping off the meal for the eaglets it flew to a nearby perch and stood on guard.  It wasn’t long before it took off towards the lake, gaining altitude very quickly.    All for a good reason.  A hawk was flying at a very high altitude which was surprising since they usually fly lower unless they are migrating.  Approaching the hawk the eagle flew much higher.  The pictures shows the eagle banking hard to the left and then flipping to the right before it took a nose dive.

These were taken a very long way off and were heavily cropped.  But I still wanted to share with you some of the excitement we viewed.  More details to follow in my next post.

Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.4tc, f/5.6, 1/2500, -0.67, ISO 200




I was watching some ducks as they nosed down looking for something to eat.  Two remained behind as the rest slowly swam away.  The entire time I kept wanting them to “duck, duck, come on now, just duck, please duck”.  Well, they finally did Duck and it gave me an unrestrainable smile as I took their picture.

Nikon D300s, 500mm, f/4, 1/640, ev -0.33, ISO 200


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)


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