Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Little Safari With Wildlife Photographer Kitty Kono

Let's just begin by saying
there is not much that will get me up at the crack of dawn
especially when a heavy mist blankets the ground.
But I did say I would get up at anytime of day 
to shoot with wildlife photographer Kitty Kono
And so when the opportunity came, I did.
Valley Forge National Historical Park  
King of Prussia, PA 

Kitty has an eye like a hawk
and coincidentally a hawk was the first thing she spotted
while driving through our destination in
Valley Forge National Park.
Red Tail Hawk 

We walked to a grove of trees,
our feet getting soggy wet
(Kitty had waterproof boots
so her feet were dry.)
and Kitty spotted fox kits.
How she saw them
I have no idea.
I would have walked right on past.

With the naked eye,
this fox kit just looked like a mound of dirt.
My photos were taken with a 70-200mm lens
with a 2x teleconverter on a cropped sensor camera (1.6)
giving me the equivalent of 620 mm lens.
Then I cropped the photo too,
so you can imagine how far away we were.

After we were spotted by the fox
they hid in their den
so we moved onto other things
all spotted by Kitty.
Blue Jay On A Nest
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Red Winged Blackbird (Female)
Red Winged Blackbird (male)
Eastern Kingbird
Baltimore Oriole (Female)
Baltimore Oriole (Male) 

I am not a wildlife photographer.
I do not have a honkin' big lens.
I hate carrying a tripod.
I do not know all the sounds the animals make.
I do not have infinite patience
to sit and wait for something to happen
with gnats feasting on my body.
But, obviously Kitty Kono has all of that
and this trip was about learning.
Kitty Kono in Action  
Note she carries her tripod AND a honkin' big lens.  

If you want to see what a real wildlife photographer's
images look like, check out Kitty's Flickr or Website.
I've gotta long way to go
and lots of money to spend
on the way!

Thanks to my photographer friend
Michelle Alton for setting up this outing with Kitty.
You can check out her excellent work
on her website.

My pics are a bit noisy as I had the ISO cranked  
to get a fast enough shutter speed  
to hand hold the camera (thus the tripod  
that I should have carried)  
and I forgot to lower it back down some  
after shooting the fox in the dark grove of trees.  
Typical me.  


Tamar SB said...

Rebecca, these are amazing!! Wow - the mist is just amazing, wow.

Suburban Girl said...

Thanks Tamar, but check out Kitty's work for amazing!

Out on the prairie said...

You found some treasures, you just need to take your time and find all around you.

carol l mckenna said...

Magnificent wild life photography ~ for LT ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Wayne said...

Who would have known all of this is right in out back yards, but I wouldn't want to get up before the crack of dawn either. I have the 70-200 f4, which would not cut it in that fog.

Kim Cunningham said...

Awesome experience! The kits are darling! My daughter would love to go on this trip just to see with her naked eye. My, Kitty does have a honking big lens! I can only dream!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Thanks so much for sharing your adventure. I have same dislikes you have, so wildlife will probably at the top of my list, but the world needs all of us photographers shooting different things.

Debbie said...

A birders nirvana!! What an awesome experience, your images are breathtaking!!

4 Lettre Words said..., so beautiful!

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

Oh my goodness the fox kit is SO CUTE!!! The birds are beautiful too! Great photos.

Barbara said...

I love your nature shots, now I need a lens like that.

Viv@Thoughts from the Desktop said...

Brilliant the fox kits are so good...

Kitty Riley Kono said...


I just saw your blog post now and loved it! Even with my honkin big lens, your photographs were a thousand times better. Thanks for a great day.

Unknown said...

It's always fun to work and learn with another photographer. The fox kits are adorable!

Unknown said...

I am not good at spotting wildlife either. I enjoyed each one of your shots. So glad you went and shared with us!

Ida said...

Well you may not be professional or have a huge lens but your photos were wonderful. I especially loved the Fox kits. So cute.

CJ said...

What wonderful photos and such a lovely place to take them. You did great without a big lens or tripod.

I am like you ---hate to carry a heavy camera or a tripod. I rarely use a tripod unless I'm setting up still life compositions in my home when I won't have to carry it around. I bought a point and shoot camera to take to Brazil a few years ago---left my larger/better one at home ---because I didn't want to carry a larger one around my neck. I clipped a small pouch to my belt loop under a T-shirt and carried it there. I still got some great shots. I guess I would need better equipment if I were hoping to sell my photos, but I mostly take them for myself.

I used to hate early mornings, but since I retired, I stay up all night. I look out early in the morning to see if there is fog or an interesting sunrise. If so, I grab my camera and head for back roads ---love to take fog photos. Then I return home and go to bed.

Thanks for stopping by to see my Sky Watch Photo.

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Oh my gosh, these photos are absolutely breathtaking! Felt as though I was there right there with you! Thanks for sharing with SYC.