Photowalking 8, Shooting Birds and Surfers with a Canon Super Telephoto

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Had a great day yesterday hanging out with Robert Scoble and a bunch of photo geeks filming Photowalking 8. Robert rented a monster piece of glass, the Canon 600mm f/4 lens and we shot birds and surfers and nature and anything else we could find in our viewfinders.

About 25 of us in all came out. Dave Sifry, Matt Roe, Anderw Moore and I got down there early at about 6am and caught some of the interesting Half Moon Bay stuff between darkness and sunrise.

The Canon 600mm is an impressive piece of glass. Robert rented it from Keeble & Schuchat. I also bought on Saturday a Canon EF 1.4x II extender to use with it which gave us an overall reach of 840mm. The 600mm is a beast that’s for sure and that’s exactly what I nicknamed it after carrying it around for most of the day. We had it on a monopod, which you definitely need to handle it.

Robert got a great shot of a father and his son at 840mm here.

I gave Robert a print I made up for him on my Epson R2400 printer from our very first episode of Photowalking back at the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m having more and more fun these days screwing around with printing my stuff up. I’m pretty blown away by the quality that I’m able to get out of the Epson for 13×19 prints. That’s the largest size that it handles, but it handles them really well, better than most photolabs that I’ve seen output work. It’s also relatively affordable for a high quality ink jet for $850. And no, Epson didn’t pay me to say that, I just really like the printer 🙂

I’m hoping to try and print some even larger stuff out here at some point in the future.

Anyways, a great day was had by all. To see the shots that I’ve processed and gotten up so far you can check them out here. I was also really impressed by the shots that 16 year old Matt Roe got. Matt and Andrew came out to our last photowalking in Chinatown and I think it’s super cool that they are getting into photography so seriously as young as they are. They have a photography class in high school, but the really good photography stuff is learned hands on out in the streets and these guys are going for it.

I’ll post again on this episode when Robert has the video up. In the meantime if you want to catch any of the previous episodes you can see them here.

And anyone have any good suggestions on where we should film additional upcoming episodes of Photowalking? We’d love to get some unique and interesting locations (likely confined to the Bay Area for now). Anyone know how to get us to the top of the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge? We’d love to find some unique places to shoot that would be interesting to viewers.

Also if you are a manufacturer of camera gear and make cool and interesting stuff worth showcasing let us know too. I mostly shoot Canon but am always interested in trying out interesting other stuff.

Update: Michael Doeff has a photo of that Beast of a 600mm as well as some video footage from yesterday’s walk here.

Update #2: Dave Sifry has a post and some of his pics up over here.

14 Replies to “Photowalking 8, Shooting Birds and Surfers with a Canon Super Telephoto”

  1. Yeah, the Canon 600mm f/4 is a luxurious piece of glass that would make bird photography much easier than it is with my current bird lens (Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM and a 2x extender). However, the $7-12000 price tag is a bit stunning. How much did you rent it for?

  2. Thanks a bunch for everything. The day was amazing. Oh, and I’m only 15, Andrew is 16. Doesn’t really matter, just thought I would point it out.

  3. Thomas,

    Here are a few ideas for future photowalks.
    1. Santa Cruz beach boardwalk and municipal pier. There is all kinds of interesting stuff to shoot there. Steamer Lane is just a short walk away and if the waves are right, there is a great opportunity for some great up close surfer shots. A 200-300mm lens is plenty long for this location. Shooting the boardwalk at night is also very intertsting.
    2. Down town Santa Cruz street shooting on a weekend evening. I’ve done this several times and there are always interesting people and events to shoot. Here’s some photos from a shoot I did last summer.
    3. Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.
    They offer group tours and it appears that they can coustom tailor a tour for specific types of groups. It would be really cool to be allowed to tour the house and grounds from a photographers perspective.
    4. Filoli Mansion & Gardens in Woodside. They offer after hours access to artists and photographers. I did a shoot at Filoli two weeks ago.

    Jeff H

  4. Looked like a fun Photowalk. I hope to make one sometime 🙂

    Great pictures for sure!!

  5. I think taking a group over to Alcatraz for an episode could be really interesting. Lots of great things to shoot over there.

    The San Francisco Zoo is also a fantastic spot to get great pics.

    There’s also wine country up north, UC Berkeley, Golden Gate Park, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Marin Headlands, and the various museums throughout the city. The San Jose Tech Museum might also be cool.

  6. Wow, there’s a lot of amazing photos from Sunday.

    I was the cyclist in grey and I’m flattered to be one of the subjects of your photowalk.

  7. I would recommend Point Lobos state preserve in Carmel, CA. Lots of places to explore, easy walks, amazing scenery and plenty of wild life.

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