Stuck on Auto

It’s been two weeks since we set up home here in Rockport, Texas.  The weather has made it a wild ride thus far.  Thank goodness the polar vortex has moved on and we’re back to normal temperatures for the area.seagullEven with all the crazy weather, I’ve been having a wonderful time getting to know my way around Rockport.  Due to cold and rain, my explorations have been tempered, but with fairer weather upon us I hope to take in more of the sights and wildlife.Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Our RV park is nestled among some mature and unique oak trees located a couple of blocks from the Aransas Bay.  Its a lovely walk or quick bike ride to the shoreline.  This part of Texas is known as a birder’s paradise.Aransas BayJust across the bay from our RV Park is the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  I’ve already made one trip there and plan to return.  I’ve discovered photographing birds is very difficult, especially when they move…haha.   I guess now is the time to take my camera off “auto” and start experimenting with custom settings.  I’m open to any suggestions regarding bird photography because thus far, delete has become my new BF….sigh 😉Pelican


71 thoughts on “Stuck on Auto

  1. Fantastic photo of the great blue heron — and I know what you mean about your friend the delete button. A pro told me that taking lots of photos is key to getting great ones! 😉 Thankfully we now have digital, huh?

    • Yes, thankful we have delete. I just figured out how to set the ‘burst’ mode on my camera so I’ll be trying that soon. I think I read somewhere where a fashion photographer said he shoots 100 photos in hopes of getting one or two really good shots. I guess I have high expectations and want better odds than that 🙂

    • Actually you did do an open invitation to anyone in the area wanting to join, so thank you. I saved that post and had plans to join you guys but hubby had already made commitments with our friends whom we’re camped here with. Thank you though….appreciate 🙂

    • I was actually using a fence post to try and steady as best as possible. I have a tripod but am usually too lazy and since I was on my bike there was no way I was going to try and cart it around 🙂

  2. Wow, great photos! Other blogs I’ve followed had the same type of weather experiences as you did about a week ago. Glad you managed to get out and take a few candids.

  3. Reblogged this on Tiny House, Big World and commented:
    Occasionally, I like to reblog others post who I can really identify with or who think really posts quality work. Here’s one of the many great posts by Ingrid, a fellow RV’er. You’ll enjoy this. She visits beautiful places, is a great writer, and always has high quality photos. Check them out!

  4. As always, you have great photos. I have never heard of that park but I’d like for our next adventure to head down to Texas and then make our way through the Southwest desert region. It’s great to see others out there doing what we enjoy. Keep it up.

  5. I don’t know how many photos you may have deleted but you hit it out of the ballpark on these. I am sure that when I get more accustomed to my camera there will be many bird images I will be dumping. Right now I would be happy just for the opportunity to see a variety of birds. 🙂

  6. great pic of Gulf birds. On my real camera ( not iPhone) I try to use TV mode for birds. Like another said I do not like Elements either. Your photos are so good it seems you only have to use ‘crop’ .

    • Thank you. I appreciate everyone’s recommendations and comments. It has me reconsidering which editing program to switch to. I enjoy the simplicity of Picasa and don’t do much to my photos other than crop but thought it might be fun to add the ability to play within editing. Thanks for the input. I’m looking forward to your post on San Antonio!

  7. My camera is similar to yours but I can’t help you much. After some experimentation I leave it set on IA. I don’t know what that stands for but for me it is Idiot Auto. Lovely pictures though. You just need the little darlings to stand still for you!

  8. Fuzzy birds are my speciality Ingrid 😉 but every now and then I get lucky 🙂 I’m trying to get to grips with off focus but sometimes it can be .. hmm rather frustrating for whatever reasons Lol
    Your heron is a beauty ! As some one mentioned the DP School’s site is brilliant … trouble is I end up reading so much my mind gets fuzzy too :-/

    • Appears we have a couple things in common….fuzzy birds AND fuzzy heads haha. I’ve definitely got some reading in front of me not that’ll I’ll understand what I’m reading but I’ll give it a shot. Still have trouble comprehending my camera manual 😕 Frustration awaits!

  9. I love your photos!!!! They show such nice clarity and details…why do you think they aren’t good enough?

    • I’ve been trying to photograph whooping cranes and sandhill cranes and have been less than happy with the results. My next post will feature the whoopers even though I’m not totally happy with the photos. The whoopers are just too amazing not to share. I’m happy with my heron and pelican shots but they were more cooperative holding still and being much, much closer LOL. Thank you for the compliment and comment….appreciate 🙂

      • Yes, the whooping cranes are a treat…they are starting to come back but still there are only a few thousand of them so getting one in action would be awesome!

  10. Your birds are bloody wonderful…. if that is all on auto, stay there, I’m assuming you are using a more up market camera than I use and they on auto are sometimes better than mine on settings… I can sum up a shot pretty quickly and have favourite settings that I keep most of the time, shutter speed is one I change for the situation and I auto focus and then switch to manual for the final touch… but I’d stay on auto unless you are going to become a fanatic like a lot I know and then the shot must be just perfect light wise etc… I just take the shot sometimes and if not perfect who cares… a lot of my photos I like are critiqued badly by the “experts” and you know what they will only say that on the web, never to my face… as they would be into a major argument about why a birds eye must be perfect etc… look at my last post… they will shoot those down completely, “how can to take a photo of a bird and not have an eye and feet?” my answer would be what is wrong with flowing feathers?… your photos are great, I’d stay on auto unless you are going to become very serious about your bird photos, ….

    • Thank you Bulldog. I’m with you, I have fun with my photography and I’m not trying to be overly serious about it. I am curious though what settings folks use to get a crisp shot. Capturing the whooping cranes has been a real challenge but boy are they a sight to behold. I always appreciate your kind words and encouragement 🙂

  11. your photos are great. I have a canon rebel xti. I’m totally amature but i use the AV setting. It gives me more flexibiity and creativity. To help with the birds movement, you could try adjusting your IOS setting. I have found the higher my IOS setting e.g. 1600 the better my pictures will turn out when it comes to motion. You could shoot at an F stop of 11 and IOS of 1600, but again, by no means am i a pro so usually i just go by triall and error untill i find the suitabe setting. Thats the beauty of a digiatl camera, take as many pics as you like and either their keepers or deleters. Enjoy your blos and your pictures.

    • Thank you. I appreciate the suggestions and will give those settings a try. And yes digital is great because we get to shoot away and delete. Thanks again for the comment 🙂

    • Thank you. I guess as I was writing I was thinking more of the photos of the Whooping Cranes coming up in my next post. Those photos are just ok but the whoopers were worth a post. I’ll keep working at it and hopefully see the birds again.

  12. If you seriously want Elements, I’ll send you my disc. I hated it. COuldn’t be happier with Lightroom! BTW your bird shots are phenomenal!

    • Awesome….I’d love it. I’m afraid Lightroom might be beyond my mental capabilities at this time LOL. I’ll shoot you an email after I think of what address to best send it to. Thank you and thanks for the compliment.

  13. Looks like we’re almost neighbors. We’re in Port Aransas … if you come down this way, let me know. We hope to get up to Rockport soon … would love to find out where to go to photograph those cranes.

    • There’s a family of whoopers just down the road from me. I had better luck photographing them here than I did at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge. Have you seen the roseate spoonbill yet? I drive up and down Fulton Beach Road for the roseates, herons, and pelicans. The whooping cranes are off Lamar Beach Road or at the refuge. Email me if you’ll be in the area I have no cell service within the RV park 😦

  14. Those are great bird pictures…patience may dear patience is the name of the game with these adorable creatures. Would it not be great if there is a mode for Bird Photography? I have thousands of bird images deleted so you are not alone in that department. I have stopped using “auto” instead i used the SCN mode and choose either the Scenery or Sports. I think we have the same cam, Lumix DMZ-ZS19.

    • Yes I have the DMZ-ZS19 but I also have a FZ47 and flip between the two. I’ve tried the sports setting with the FZ47 and I didn’t like. Practice, practice, practice….need to play around. You would love all the birds around here 🙂

  15. I love your photos – even though it has been a while I remember how much fun January on south Texas can be… For Texans it might seem cold – but it’s all relative… Have fun and keep snapping

    • Thanks Clay…..I’m having a blast with all these birds. So very different than Colorado. And this weather is awesome….well now that it stopped raining and warmed up 🙂

  16. I think your pictures are great. Digital Photography School’s site has so many great tutorials! I have learned more there than anywhere else, for sure. Try reading this post, scrolling down to the semi-automatic modes. My standard shooting mode now is Program mode, since that is somewhat automatic but still lets you adjust for several other important settings, like ISO. Also, one of the best tips I’ve learned is to use the flash in daylight outdoors when your subject is in the shadows. If all else fails, Lightroom and or Adobe Photoshop Elements saves the day for me, especially on exposure issues! 😉

    • Thanks so much. I will book mark that site. I use Picasa for editing but am considering switching to Photoshop Elements. I’ll be looking into that as well. I’ll try Program mode. I’ve been playing with manual but the photos still turn out better on Auto. Guess the camera is smarter than me. Thus I will look into those tutorials 🙂

      • Program, TV and AV are the ones I use the most now. If you start with Program, you will soon learn how you can use the other two at times to your advantage, I think. If I take a shot in Program and it is off just a bit on the histogram, I can look at the TV or AV that the camera thought would be best and tweak it a bit in one of the other modes.

  17. When I shoot birds I like to hit them with a tranquilizing dart first. Use of a blow gun is real handy here. Then you can just lean them up against a tree or bush and shoot away. Some people will think you killed them, but since you just tired them up some, it isn’t a problem.

    • Not sure how the Game Warden would respond to those antics but sounds a heck of a lot easier than catching them in flight….LOL. Thank goodness for delete 🙂

  18. GREAT photos..You might like this blog done by a real birder enthusiast. We call her the “Birdlady of Blogland”, and she takes some wonderful photos…her name is Judy..Here is the link.
    We are arriving at Goose Island on Jan. 29th…and staying 2 weeks..

    • I don’t think we’ll be leaving Hidden Oaks RV Park until the 31st. I’d love to show you where the Whooping Cranes can be photographed if you’re interested. No need to drive to the Aransas Wildlife Refuge when they are within a bicycle ride of your campground. Thanks for the blog link.

      • We will be passing briefly…Maybe we can follow you on the 30th to see where the Whooping Cranes are…followed by a glass of wine???

          • OK..We won’t know until we get there..our reservations are not site specific..My email is I can’t call you, or email you…I’ll send up a smoke signal..Please don’t change your plans to hang around and wait on us, though.

    • Thank you. He was kind enough to hold still for me 🙂 Hector’s shots at the Sonoran museum are stunning. Catching a moving bird is so challenging!

  19. Your colors are so vivid…. Automatic, you? I’d never guessed that….how do you put your name on your pictures…. I try not to use auto but never remember which ISO, etc. from session to session so get the manual out again and again. Glad temps back to normal….more in flight practice in the sunshine!

    • I use Picasa for editing and when I export the photo to my desktop to be uploaded to WordPress, Picasa gives me the option of adding the ‘water mark’. Not sure if I’m doing this the right way, but it seems to work for me. I too will be getting out my camera manual 😉

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