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Everything posted by janzin

  1. ah yes @Alexander33 I looked at those Natural Habitat Polar Bear tours, but the price made me hyperventilate I'm dying to do it though. I've got nothing set for 2019 but seriously considering back to the Mara in February--like @amybatt I've been waiting for those non-stop flights from NYC. For fall, very possibly Patagonia for Puma tracking and birds as I had gotten quite far in planning that for 2018 but then changed course (to Australia.) I'll start thinking more seriously about 2019 when I get back from my India trip (I'll probably be planning /scheming on the flight home.)
  2. I think @xelas 's idea is a great one, no matter if a ST birding safari develops or not. I've been doing as much anyway, through our local bird club for which I am webmaster and on the "council." So I am the first to see the inquiries that come in looking for birding help around the NYC area, and if available, I usually offer to take folks around. Over the last few years we've taken birders from Denmark (twice), Ireland, South Africa, Trinidad, and the UK--and made some friends in the process. They usually just buy me lunch (we aren't really driving far so there's not much fuel involved
  3. Thanks @Botswanadreams Got it a few weeks ago
  4. I guess the take-away from this is use whatever works best for you There really is no "right-way", with a modern camera there are many options and many custom ways to set it up. Try them and see what you like! But @Peter Connan I don't quite get what you are saying about manual focus. If using manual focus, none of this would make any difference. Set the camera or lens to MF and BBF or focus lock buttons are irrelevant. What am I misunderstanding?
  5. Well regarding BBF: I don't use it, for several reasons. I've actually discovered an excellent alternative, which serves the same purpose and has some advantages. I actually got the idea from reading Ed Selfe's blog. Instead of using the AF-on button to focus, I use it to LOCK focus. You can read about the technique here: http://www.edwardselfephotography.com/skills-and-how-to-back I take it one step further; on my lenses which have "memory recall" buttons (my 500F4 and 70-200 2.8) I can set that button to lock focus. So I have a choice of either using the lens button (easily reachable when holding the lens) or the AF-On button if I want to focus and recompose. Unfortunately only the pro lenses have this button, so the 200-500 doesn't, but in that case the AF-on button works fine to lock. He cites one of the reason's I never liked BBF....and that is because I need to use my thumb to select the focus point. Especially now with the joysticks on the D500 and D850, this is naturally where I want my thumb. So if I am using it to BBF then I have to move it off to select the focus point, its very awkward. The other reason is that I have small hands and with a heavy lens off a tripod I just can't hold that position with my thumb for very long. I can do it on a tripod but on safari I am rarely using one. Since 90% of the time (on safari at least) I am using continuous AF its a lot of holding down that button which actually becomes painful after awhile. So basically, to use this, you keep your shutter button as normal--half-press to focus--but set your AF-ON button to LOCK focus. And just like in BBF, you keep your camera set on Continuous AF all the time. (For wildlife, at least; if I'm going out to shoot landscapes specifically, or city scenes, I'll change it to Single AF.) In some older Nikon cameras there actually was an AF-LOCK button but it is a little harder to reach, and also the newer bodies (like D500) don't have it.
  6. yes, we've been posting about that in another thread: http://www.safaritalk.net/topic/17176-us-kenya-direct-flights-soon/ very excited, this is what I've been waiting for to plan a return trip!
  7. Looks like it is daily, and gets into Nairobi in the morning, so in theory one could make it to the Mara (or elsewhere) by late afternoon, without having to stay overnight in Nairobi...that's a big plus right there.
  8. I've been waiting for this to return to Kenya!! http://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/news/kq-daily-flights-jkia-new-york-start-october/ Flights are already up on their website. I picked some random date in November and came up with the cheapest fare of $803. I think they are still loading fares though. Also it looks like the non-stops may not be daily. Oddly there is no news item on their site about it, yet, but I'm sure something will post in the next few days with more details.
  9. love the Bonteboklets! You got lots of great birds and bird photos, and beautiful sunny weather...not always the case in the Cape.
  10. So maybe we should do it in South Africa
  11. 42 days 22 hours until India... Just had some last minute changes--turned out one of the lodges we were booked at has gone out of business! So now in Gir, instead of Lion Safari Camp (defunct!) we are now staying at Gir Birding Lodge. I think that may end up being a better choice anyway. Additionally we added a small detour to stop at Mt. Abu for birding on the way from Little Rann of Kutch to Bera, this was at the suggestion of Wild World India. Now I am working on creating the daily bird checklist and the packing lists...
  12. So I just did a test, created a "status" that says "44 days to India." But I'm not seeing it when I hover over my profile, and in fact I'm not sure where it posts at all.
  13. 44 Days to India!

  14. Yikes, get well soon @michael-ibk I hope that you won't need surgery! As for the status thing...I didn't know about it either, but it sounds like it would be a nice feature to have. I don't know if you set anything up Michael but when I mouse over your avatar I'm not seeing any status. Here's what I see:
  15. Wow, that's a lot of seals! More great photos! And the whales too! Look like you had great weather, at least so far. But you can already tell that Mel isn't a good fit...
  16. Fabulous photos! OMG that cub is too cute. Can't wait for my upcoming trip to India, although alas, Corbett is not on the itinerary (this time!) Maybe next time...it looks beautiful.
  17. Thanks @Dave Williams and @PeterHG for your kind comments! But the issue is, I don't post nearly every bird I photograph, even on my FB page...for a Big Year, isn't that the point? In fact I don't even process every bird I photograph...far from it! Just don't have the time! And honestly, although I do have a life list, I am not super attentive or obsessive about counting. BTW, I certainly don't hand-type all that Exif info The software I use for my Nikon cameras--Nikon-View NX-i-- makes it easy to get that info in one click and then I just copy/paste it into a text file.
  18. You certainly timed it right to catch the wildflowers! When we were there, it was mid-August and everything was blooming then, so it can really be variable. Wonderful photos. What a total bummer about the guide, though, especially after all the planning that went into this trip. Hopefully you were able to make the most of it, lemonade out of lemons as the saying goes. I look forward to more...
  19. Okay, I see it but I totally don't understand it, where does it show up? (sorry getting off topic here.)
  20. @michael-ibk thanks for the invite but I must politely decline--the last thing I need is another time suck, lol! I am STILL working through the Zambia photos and then I still need to do the trip report...I'm so far behind, and before you know it I'll be off on the next trip...just no time for this. In fact I try hard not to even follow these Big Year threads (although I peak once in awhile) as there's just so much else to stay on top of!
  21. Where/what is this "status" function that @michael-ibk and @Game Warden are talking about? Can't find it...
  22. ohh I like that idea of a physical countdown clock! I have an app on my phone but the concept of physically flipping the date seems more immediate. I think I may order one And yes, I think most of us do those things. I usually start about two months ahead of the trip creating packing lists (one general and a separate one for electronics/camera gear); creating bird and animal checklists, going to the website and FB pages of each accommodation to "refresh my memory", etc. The packing lists of course are all already "boilerplate" from prior trips but each one has to be uniquely edited; then I go through everything to see what I might need to buy, etc. No matter how many trips I've been on, there's always something, lol! Then maybe a month ahead I actually start packing the camera gear, because that takes the longest! I don't pack the general/clothes stuff until maybe the week before. I also will try to find travelogues for the place I'm going on Amazon Prime or Netflix (and they are usually old and terrible, but I watch them anyway!) or any other videos or media that may relate. And of course, I re-read the pertinent trip reports here on ST! 48 days until India for me.....!
  23. Me too, except that for us its still about six weeks away. But very interesting to read about this before we go to Gir and Gujarat.
  24. A wonderful holiday to all my SafariTalk friends! ST has expanded my world in so many ways...here's to another year of great travels!
  25. P.S. what I especially love about the D850/D500 combo is that all the ergonomics are exactly the same...touch screen, tilt screen, buttons in the same place etc. So no more having to even think about which camera is in my hand on safari. Its really a perfect match! I can't tell you how many times I try to review photos by touch using the "non-touch" screen on the D810 lol...

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