As I mentioned last week, I am leaving for vacation within a couple of weeks. It’s long anticipated and also, right now, pretty expensive. Because, folks, I bought a new camera. Again.

To be fair, it’s been over three years since my last new camera. I’ve liked it. I’ve used it.

Golden Eagle, May 14, 2021 near Madras, Oregon (approximate distance 150 feet)

It’s certainly capable of good photos, but it has a significant limitation in terms of distance.

Whimbrel, May 13, 2021 near Lincoln City, Oregon (approximate distance 600 feet)

As I will be driving through Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, the National Elk Refuge, and the Sand Basin Wild Horse area, getting photos of the wild residents is a main concern for me. I had investigated renting the kind of camera that would get me the kind of distance shots I was dreaming of, but I was unable to find a company who rented a small, easily damaged piece of equipment that cost as much as a luxury car. Go figure.

I was talking to rental lead when the sales gentleman (clearly, good at his job, as it will turn out) suggested that there might be a compromise. He showed me the Nikon Coolpix P950 which had an optical zoom of 357mm with a digital range of 2000mm (I don’t know what that means, either.) In other words, without going “digital” (see whimbrel picture above) I’d be able to grab a high-ish quality image from a long way away. After some pondering, I decided to take it.

I’ve spent the last week toting the camera around, searching for things to photograph.

Day 1 – St. Louis Ponds (trouble with exposure and focus)

Day 2 – At the feeders outside my window

Day 3 – Feeders and Basket Slough

Day 4 – Cannery Slough and Yaquina Head

As a note, this is the photo I took of the Purple Martins a year ago from the same spot. The resolution is much clearer!

Day 5 – St. Louis Ponds

I’m still having some trouble with exposure, but I’m getting more acceptable shots.

In other news, the Shreiner’s Iris fields are in full bloom. Come see me if you visit! They are right around the corner!

The iris fields at Shreiner’s