Everglades Photography Expedition

I am headed to Greece in a couple of weeks, so I took an 8 week photography course that just ended.  My goal was to learn how to use my camera in manual mode rather than always using auto.  I have a Nikon D5300 which, so far, seems to be a pretty decent camera.  It came with an all purpose 18-140mm Nikkor lens, and I purchased a couple of lower priced Nikkor lenses: 10-20mm wide zoom and a 35mm prime.  I just got the wide angle lens, so yesterday I took it out in the Everglades for a test drive.  It wasn’t the greatest day for photography, but here are a few shots:

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A couple of alligators swimming in the canal.  1/1000 sec. f/5.6 20mm ISO100

 

We met up with a couple of alligators in the canal.  I’ve lived here in South Florida since 1995 and have never really seen alligators in the wild.  I can only think of maybe twice outside of the airboat tours.  There were two in this particular canal, and they seemed very used to humans.

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1/400 sec. f/5.6 62mm ISO100

The one above swam right up to us, and as I changed direction to take its photo, it would change direction with me.  This guy pretty much just sat there and waited for his food:

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1/500 sec. f/5.6 18mm ISO100

Basically all we did was drive down I-75 aka Alligator Alley and stop at a parking area to get these photos.  We got back in the car and drove a few miles further up the road and stopped at another parking area.  This area had a TON of giant lubber grasshoppers.  You could not walk or drive without squishing one.  I honestly don’t know how I made it walking around this area because I really don’t like these things.

 

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How many do you see?  1/200 sec. f/5.6 20mm ISO100

These guys would jump in the water and swim across the canals from one area of brush/vegetation to another.  In the picture below, you can see two swimming away from the old alligator on the top left side:

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1/200 sec. f/5 15mm ISO100

I think this is my favorite photo of all the ones I took.  I love the contrast between the green algae on the back of the old alligator and the green lily pads with the black water.  That guy has been around for awhile and lived in some dark places with that algae on his back.

I’d like to try my new lens out again on a sunny day.  It has rained nonstop for the last few days with the tropical depressions that are in the area.  Hopefully this week I’ll make it over to the levee to get some sunset photos over the Everglades.  Until then!

 

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