C B Images

Photography by Chris Bates


Playful Waxwing: ISO 400, 140mm, f/8, 1/4000

Air Brakes: ISO 400, 400mm, f/8, 1/1600

Crows: ISO 400, 110mm, f/6.3, 1/500

I believe that spring might finally have arrived in Red Deer, Alberta! The snow is almost gone and the temperatures are finally starting to rise. It was a nice sunny day yesterday but there was still a nip of cold that you needed a jacket.

My camera has been collecting dust the last few months. I felt I needed to take it out for a walk and shake the cobwebs from the camera and the creative side of my brain.

I thought the best place for it was the Kerry Wood Nature Centre which is just a few paces from our backyard. I knew some of the migrating waterfowl should be there for a rest or, in the case of the grebes, their final destination.

As the afternoon went on, I started practicing my panning skills. Panning is trying to freeze a subject by following it with your camera. As I was using a long telephoto zoom this turned out to be quite difficult. If you zoomed in too close it was card to keep the fast moving birds in sight. Also a long zoom lens tends to be quite big and heavy. Yesterday afternoon turned out to be a workout both mentally and physically.

Duck, Peterborough, Ontario, feed, tame
Duck out of Water: ISO 400, 140mm, f/4, 1/60

This is another shot I took while visiting family near Peterborough, Ontario. The ducks along the river banks of Peterborough are known for being pretty tame and not really afraid of people.

I did not bring my tripod. I was lucky to get a fairly sharp image while hand holding the camera at the 140mm focal length using a slow shutter speed of 1/60th of a second.

Chris Bates Photographer Red Deer Alberta Canada duck nature pond
Like Water off a Ducks Back: ISO 400, 190mm, f/6.7, 1/350

Fall is here. I have seen Canada Geese flying south for the winter.

I took this in August at Bower Ponds in Red Deer. These ducks are pretty tame and you can get pretty close to them. These two might already be headed south for the winter as this shiny pond will soon become a cold hard surface in a few months.

Flight Path

Mallards in Flight: ISO 400, 290mm, f/11 1/500

I took a drive southeast of Red Deer last week scouting for photo opportunities. Currently migrating birds are visiting our area for a rest before they reach their final destinations to our north.

Ever since I moved to Alberta over 15 years ago I have always wanted to see Snow Geese. I thought this would be my lucky day as I seen a few white birds swimming in a small lake as I drove by. I quickly found a safe place to turn the car and headed back to where I spotted them.

As it turns out they were not Snow Geese. They were Tundra Swans. I had not seen a Tundra Swan before so all was not lost. The elusive Snow Goose still evades me. I wonder if they are related to the Abominable Snowman.

Tundra Swans: ISO 400, 400mm, f/11, 1/350