Monthly Archives: February 2014

Birding Along the River

This past Sunday, I was invited to tag along with a handful of Audubon Society members for an impromptu photo shoot along the Cheboygan River. Led by local birding “phenom,” Steve Baker, the group met at Washington Park where we took shots of several varieties of ducks and a few swans.  From there we worked our way south along the river stopping at a half dozen other riverside sites ending near the M-33 bridge.  It was great fun and I was pleased to have been invited.

welihan 20140209 Ducks & S Baker-6499

The shoot started with overcast skies, but the clouds soon dissipated giving us a mostly sunny afternoon.  The sunshine not only brought out the plumage on some of the birds, but also perked up winter-weary photographers.     

welihan 20140209 Ducks & S Baker-6517

From the start, I struggled with my Sony a7.  I bought the camera just a couple days before and this was my first adventure in the field.  In bright sunlight, I had difficulty seeing images on the LCD screen.  (Which is standard with an LCD screen in bright sun.)  What really bothered me was the minimal visibility through the electronic viewfinder.

I knew there had to be a camera setting to fix the situation, but while in the hunt I just couldn’t find it.  (Can I say “hunt” around my Audubon friends?) 



So, I faked it, tried not to complain too much in front of the others and managed to get a few usable shots.  (Thank you back-button focus…) 

welihan 20140209 Ducks & Swans-00382

Once home, indoors and out of the sun, I located the camera set-up page and a “monitor brightness” setting called “sunny weather” (Check ON) and a “Viewfinder Brightness” manual adjustment. (Increase +2)

I ventured out in the sunshine yesterday and discovered when properly adjusted for sun and snow I could see images on the LCD -pretty much- and EVF work well… and that was a big relief.


welihan 20140209 Ducks & Swans-00346

Tom Cadwalader (L) and Steve Baker “focused” on their photos





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