One Photo – Several Thoughts

Sandhill crane photo by Scott Bourne

One Photo – Several Thoughts

I made this image yesterday at Bosque del Apache, National Wildlife Refuge in central, New Mexico. I used the Olympus OM-D E-M1 X camera body, matched to the superb Olympus 300 f/4 IS Pro Lens plus the Olympus MC-20 (TC 2x) teleconverter.

This provided me with 1200mm (EFL) at f/8.

With that kind of focal length, it’s easy to fill the frame with the sun or the moon. One of the advantages of mirrorless cameras like the Olympus is that they use an electronic view finder (EVF.) When you try to photograph the sun (as I did here) you can go blind if you directly at the sun, but with an EVF, you are essentially looking at a small TV screen broadcasting (if you will) the image to the finder. Your eyes are safe. (By the way, you will see the camera forum experts tell you that your EVF will blow up or fail or whatever if you point it right at the sun – my camera has been working perfectly since making this picture so ignore that meme.)

Sandhill crane photo by Scott Bourne

This photo was made while I was standing at the crane pools. My tour group was facing the crane pools waiting for the cranes to begin to take off through the sunrise color. As is my typical practice, I took a look over my shoulder and saw the sun rising in a field of clouds that were golden in color. I advised my group to look both ways, but I am not sure anyone got this image but me. It was partly just luck. I noticed a few cranes flying through the scene and was fortunate to capture this moment.

The ability to achieve an EFL of 1200mm, hand hold it, swing it around, use it to look directly at the sun and to capture an image like this has me VERY thankful that I have lived long enough to access this amazing technology.

Photo details:

ISO 250
Aperture f/22
Exp 1/3200

Photo post-processing in Luminar 4.

Picture Methods has partnered with Hunt’s Photo & Video to bring you the best gear at a competitive price and backed by personal service. Call Alan Samiljan at 781-462-2383 or Noah Buchanan at 781.462.2356. If you cannot reach either one try Gary Farber at 781-462-2332. You will ALWAYS get the best prices if you call the store v. Using the web site. You can also email Noah at: or Gary at: Hunt’s has been around a long time and you can trust them. Make sure to mention that Scott Bourne sent you. That will get you the best deal.

3 Responses

  1. I’m looking at your image, drinking a beer at a hotel on the fringes of the rainforest on the island of Langkawi in Malaysia, listening to some very chilled out music. The serenity that your photo conveys captured the moment. Thank you 🙏

  2. I remember during the most recent solar eclipse reading warnings not to shoot the sun without a solar filter because the focused heat of the sun would burn holes in the camera sensor. Any thoughts? Perhaps this warning is valid for a prolonged focus on the sun, but not for a quick shot like the one you show in this post.

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