Best of 2002

2002 was the year I really started getting serious about photography in general, and birds in particular. I purchased the famed Canon 600L/f4 IS lens, which gave me much greater potential and opportunity, as well as considerable exercise! During this year, we took trips to several locations in southern Florida, along with visits to various sites closer to home, in Georgia and North and South Carolina. These images were shot with Canon digital SLR's - either the Canon D30 (indicated by the 'CRW' prefix) during the first half or so of the year, or the Canon 1D for the remaining time.

These images are among my favorites for this particular year's shooting, and I hope you enjoy them. You can view the rest of the photos on my site from this year by clicking here, and scrolling down through the links to the various Galleries. They are arranged chronologically, with the most recent at the top and the older ones toward the bottom.

All Content © Donald L. Cohen, MD All Rights Reserved Click on each thumbnail to open up a larger image in its own window. Just close these windows after viewing them.

These images, along with all the others present in the various galleries, are available for purchase as prints up to 13"x19". For more details on buying prints, please click here.


 

White Ibis Landing

Image # CRW_2573

JN Ding Darling

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/800 second

Aperture Priority, Center Weighted, EV +1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This is perhaps one of my all-time favorite photos, and has won awards in several different competitions. The White Ibis is a relatively small bird, but somehow appears as large as a great egret in this image.


 

Green Heron in Flight

Image # 00590

Huntington Beach State Park

Murrells Inlet, SC

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/8, 1/1000 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX/BB at -1 2/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

Green Herons are pretty fast in flight, and I was glad to have a chance to capture it as it flew by me early one morning. The EV comp of -2/3 was by mistake, as I had been shooting some white egrets just before. Fortunately, at ISO 200, I was able to bring out shadow detail fairly easily in Photoshop.


 

Male Eastern Bluebird

Image # 00318

My Backyard

Mooresville, NC

Canon 600L/f4 IS, 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 800, f/8, 1/250 second

Evaluative Metering at -1/3, 550EX at -2 EV

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

A pair of bluebirds had taken up residence in a Father's Day gourd/birdhouse I received. I was pleasantly surprised, as I hadn't even seen a Bluebird in our yard until this. I attached a tree branch to the top of a feeder in our yard, and this bluebird often perched here as he looked for food.


 

Brown Pelican at Sunset

Image # CRW_2460

Rookery Bay

Rookery Bay, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 400, f/4, 1/250 second

Aperture Priority, Center-weighted Metering

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This is one of my favorite shots from this particular trip; the sunset was glorious, and I waited expectantly for any birds to cross between me and the setting sun.


 

Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Image # 01083

Ding Darling NWR

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/320 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX/BB at -1 1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This shot was taken near the tower at the CrossDike area at Ding Darling, and was taken as the sun set. This gorgeous little YCNH landed a relatively short distance away from me, as I was geared up for the birds much farther away. He's a little tight in the frame because of this, but he moved in even closer before I had a chance to change setup. But the light was really nice, and resulted in a decent image.


 

Roseate Spoonbill

Image # CRW_2440

Shark Valley

Everglades National Park, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/8, 1/200 second

Aperture Priority, Center-weighted Metering

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I saw very vew roseates during this trip, and when I did find some to shoot, it was in the middle of the day, under fairly intense sunlight. I had to spend some time with this image in Photoshop to compensate for the harsh lighting conditions.


 

Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers

Image # 00406

Ansley Hodges M.A.R.S.H. Project

Darien, GA

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 400, f/11, 1/250 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Handheld

This type of shot might not be everybody's 'cup of tea' but it's one of my favorite images. While driving slowly down the dirt road into Ansley Hodges, we saw a huge black grasshopper slowly walking across the road. I quickly got out my 100 macro lens, but had to wait about 5 or 10 minutes for it to 'unfog' (my equipment was fairly cool from the A.C. in the car, and it was quite warm/humid outside). Fortunately, this one hung around for a while, and we soon found a number of others, including several mating pairs. At the time I had no idea what species this was, but they were by far the largest, and most beautiful, grasshoppers I'd ever seen. My son Sam provided the identification.


 

Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

Image # 00356

Stephen C. Foster Park

Fargo, GA

Canon 100-400, 2x II Teleconverter, at 800 mm

ISO 400, f/14, 1/125 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Bogen Monopod, ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

While resting in the cabin we stayed in at the park, we heard a raptor calling. I grabbed my equipment, and soon found this beautiful hawk on top of a pretty high telephone pole. I used the 2x, with the 100-400 at maximum zoom, to try and optimize the shooting angle as much as conditions allowed, and took a number of shots as he called out.


 

Green Heron Squawking

Image # CRW_2431

Anhinga Trail

Everglades, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/500 second

Aperture Priority, Center Weighted, EV +1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This was taken along the path at the Anhinga Trail, as we were returning to the parking lot after a full morning's shooting. I heard this guy squawking like crazy, and was able to set up and shoot before he quieted down. I like the almost 'oriental' quality this image has, along with showing the heron in its natural habitat. I cloned out a background branch near its beak to accentuate the open mouth.


 

White Pelican Landing 1

Image # CRW_2574

JN Ding Darling

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1000 second

Aperture Priority, Center Weighted, EV +1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1Wimberley Sidekick

This is another of my favorites of these often comical and less-than-graceful looking birds. It was a lot of fun watching them 'ski' along the water's surface as they came in to land.


 

Reddish Egret

Image # CRW_2589

JN Ding Darling

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/400 second

Aperture Priority, Center Weighted, EV +2/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

The colors on these egrets during mating season are simply stunning. I didn't artificially boost the saturation in this image - those colors are real, and they really are that intense! I have mixed feelings about the overall composition in this image, but hopefully it works despite this.


 

Mandarin Duck

Image # CRW_2614

Lazy 5 Ranch

Mooresville, NC

Canon 100-400L @ 400 mm

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/400 second

Aperture Priority, Center Weighted

Handheld

This beauty was swimming around in a pond at the Lazy 5 Ranch, about 20 minutes from my home. Between the bright sun, a somewhat busy background, and the bird's movements, it took me a while to position myself to get a clean image.


 

Male Eastern Bluebird with Grub

Image # 00463

My Backyard

Mooresville, NC

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 800, f/8, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0, 550EX/BB at -1 2/3 EV

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I had a great time watching this male going back and forth finding food for his chicks. On a technical note, I used the program Neat Image to clean up this ISO 800 image. I have been very impressed with what this program can do with noisy images, and with recent versions having improvements in speed, along with the ability to use it as a PhotoShop plug-in, it's a great tool to have available.


 

Barred Owl in Tree

Image # 00626

Raptor Aviary at Brookgreen Gardens

Murrells Inlet, SC

Canon 100-400L IS at 400 mm

ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/100 second

Evaluative Metering at +1/3, 550EX at -1 2/3 EV

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This is a "semi-captive" shot - this owl (along with all the other birds) were free in an outdoor area, with a mesh net way up above the trees preventing the birds from escaping. But within this fairly large area, they were free to fly around at will.


 

Pied-billed Grebe 1

Image # CRW_2435

Shark Valley

Everglades National Park, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/8, 1/800 second

Aperture Priority EV -1/3, Center-weighted Metering

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This Grebe was quite far away, in harsh sun, but did put on a nice 'show' for me. I have another shot, taken right after this one, where the grebe is comically puffed out to what seems like 2 times its actual size.


 

Black-crowned Night Heron

Image # 00417

Ansley Hodges M.A.R.S.H. Project

Darien, GA

Canon 600L/f4 IS, 1.4x II and 2x II Teleconverters

ISO 800, f/11, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0, 550EX at -1 EV

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

We found out about this location from the Colonial Coastal website. It was as obscure and unlikely a location as any, with I-95 actually heard fairly nearby. But it turned out to be a great place to see birds (and other critters, like the grasshoppers above). There was a Viewing Platform, from which we saw quite a few birds. The main problem from a photographic standpoint is that they were fairly far off, requiring the 600L with stacked converters. I saw a pair of Black-crowned Night Herons flying in the distance several times, and was shocked when they came toward me, and landed in a tree not too awfully far away, making this shot possible.


 

Short-billed Dowitcher at Dusk

Image # 00610

Huntington Beach State Park

Murrells Inlet, SC

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 2x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/8, 1/500 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

We were fortunate to have the sun setting just before the tide came in, and there was a fair number of shorebirds feeding in the mud-flats in the wonderfully warm dusk light. My original identification was "Long-billed Dowitcher" but after consulting with several more knowledgeable people, decided this is more likely to be a Short-billed.


 

Female Boat-tailed Grackle

Image # CRW_2418

Anhinga Trail

Everglades, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 200, f/4, 1/500 second

Aperture Priority, Center Weighted, EV +1

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

A very 'common' bird, but this is another of my favorite images, primarily due to the incredibly beautiful early morning light that morning at the Anhinga Trail.


 

Sandhill Crane Dancing

Image # 00388

Okefenokee NWR (East Entrance)

Folkston, GA

Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 200, f/4, 1/1600 second

Evaluative Metering at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

I was extremely fortunate to have these birds put on a nice dancing display for me, including where they toss vegetation in the air, as part of the dance.


 

Black-necked Stilt at Sunrise

Image # 196

Huntington Beach State Park

Murrells Inlet, SC

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/640 second

Aperture Priority, Evaluative Metering

Gitzo Tripod/Wimberley Sidekick

I was out before dawn, enjoying the beauty, peace and serenity of this location, when this stilt landed a little ways off from me, and spent some time fishing. The sun had just risen, throwing some incredibly warm light on this beautiful bird.


 

Snowy Egret Landing

Image # CRW_2576

JN Ding Darling

Sanibel Island, FL

Canon 600L/f4 IS and 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/800 second

Aperture Priority, Center Weighted, EV +1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

Another relatively 'common' bird, but I just love this pose, with its yellow feet shining in the sunlight, as it prepares to land.