Photos of readers

Ceiling Cat bless Doug Hayes of Richmond, Virginia, who sent in a “photos of readers” selection when we had none left. Doug’s captions are indented below. (Doug has recently contributed several “readers’ wildlife photos” selection of birds outside his window: the “Breakfast Crew” series.)

Lorraine has been bugging me to send in a selfie. I hate having pictures taken. Sort of odd for a photographer, I guess. I think there may be about a dozen photos of me in existence since childhood. Oh, well. Here I am with my trusty Sony A7RIV in the backyard where I shoot all the “breakfast crew” photos. You can see the feeders, the plant bed behind me, and to the right are the trees where the Cardinals nest. The second photo is of the camera setup used for shooting all my photos: Sony A7RIV, Sony FE 200-600 zoom lens and Sony 1.4X teleconverter. The camera support is an Ifootage Cobra 2 monopod that has extendable feet for extra stability. Attached to the monopod is a Neewer gimbal head which makes tilting and panning with heavy telephoto and zoom lenses a breeze and is much more portable than a traditional tripod.

I have been photographing birds and other critters for the past three years. I have about 50 years of experience in fine art and commercial photography. No joke, I got my first professional camera at age 11: a Lieca IIIG given to me by one of my uncles who won it in a poker game while stationed in Germany. I taught myself the basics with photography magazines and books from the local library and then studied photography at Virginia Commonwealth University in the early 70s.

31 Comments

  1. Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That is quite a zoom lens, Doug.

    I look forward to seeing more of your wildlife photographs.

  2. GBJames
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Nice looking rig you got there!

  3. Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that long doing photography. I bet you’ve basically seen some version of every technologically important type of photography and processing. Nice shirt and hat combo. My favorite t-shirt color is blue. T-shirts are the new (only!) shirt of COVID.

  4. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Nice story and camera! Thanks for the photos!

    • jezgrove
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Ditto!

  5. C.
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Neat gear. Sure beats my iPhone SE. Do you still have and/or use your original Lieca?

  6. Janet
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Good job, Lorraine.

    • scruffycookie
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! I wasn’t sure he was listening when I asked him–multiple times–to please send in a photo! LOL! 🙂
      Lorraine

  7. Paul S
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Nice rig indeed. I like the gimbal. That’ll be on my wish list.
    Your pictures are always welcome. I’m partial to birds over spiders.

  8. Mark
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I think that’s a good pic of you.

  9. Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Very nice setup! That Leica IIIg is a classic. Do you still have it?

    • Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      The old Leica is packed away along with some of the other film cameras and lenses I can’t bear to part with. I’ve been spoiled by the digital age, especially Photoshop and the ease of doing quality color prints. I used to be a complete darkroom rat, but the days of mixing chemicals and working under safe lights are long gone and not missed! Ironically, my 21 year old goddaughter is totally retro. She loves film and I’ve given her several of my film SLRs and accessories.

  10. merilee
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    🐾🐾

  11. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Nice camera and lens. I’m trying now to buy another zoom lens but I like the Sony 70-300 mostly because it’s black. I find my white canon 300mm startles the hummingbirds. And I can shoot completely silently with that Zoom I mentioned on my Sony.

  12. Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Very good! I love the gear. I use a monopod with little feet as well, but the feet are pretty much ruined since I keep standing in water. Fortunately I rarely used them.
    In the various online photography places that I hang out in, we always get into discussions about gear. Tripod vs monopod is a common one. To each their own (but people who lug around a full tripod for wildlife photography are wrong. Just plain wrong)…

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      My tripod is super light. I really appreciated it when I had it out for comet pictures and set it up in the dark.

      • Posted July 31, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        See, that’s different. Astrophotography, landscapes … all tripod worthy!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 31, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          I originally bought it for macro because the legs can bend to get right down low.

          • Posted July 31, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            I wish I could still do that. If I do, I can’t get up again. 🙂

            • Posted August 1, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

              I find that it helps if you groan loudly while hoisting yourself back up.

    • Posted August 1, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      The neat thing about the Ifootage monopod is that the foot section can be removed and it works like a traditional monopod. If it is damaged, that section can be easily replaced. The foot also has a lockable ball joint for additional movement and positioning options. I believe Manfrotto makes a similar monopod.

  13. Mark R.
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Nice selfie, impressive lens and gear. Thanks for the info. on that monopod; I think I need one!
    Looking forward to more photos of your “Breakfast Crew”.

  14. Edward Hessler
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    It was great to meet the person behind the lens.

    When I saw the chippie with its stuffed cheeks, I thought “when isn’t this critter stuffing its cheeks?” What high energy rascals. I love them.

    Thanks for the profile and also for the photographs you post. I’m looking forward to more in the “Breakfast Club” series.

    Cheers.

  15. Dtaylor
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    The Breakfast Crew has been delightful. So nice to go backstage and see the set. Thanks for braving the other side of the camera and privileging us with a picture of you!

  16. Laura Prail
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    How do I send you reader photos?

    On Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 2:31 PM Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Ceiling Cat bless Doug Hayes of Richmond, > Virginia, who sent in a “photos of readers” selection when we had none > left. Doug’s captions are indented below. (Doug has recently contributed > several “readers’ wildlife photos” selection of birds outside his win” >

    • Posted July 31, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Google my name along with University of Chicago. That will take you to my work email, and that’s the one you use.

  17. scruffycookie
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Great photos, Doug! Thanks for sharing them!

  18. Posted July 31, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Like the others, I’m admiring the camera equipment, Doug, but I’m also digging your property and the garden! Just for fun, I planted a bunch of corns for my daughter, and the first harvesting was amazingly sweet and juicy. I wish I had a big spread like yours. Our large back patio is now crammed with all kinds of veggie planters with very few places to sit.

  19. Gary Radice
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Doug. I worked in Richmond for 25 years before moving to the west coast in 2015. I always like seeing your bird pix since they remind me of my time there.

  20. jedijan
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Doug. Your photos are very much appreciated. I also prefer the birds over spiders although the variations seem endless!
    Don’t take many photographs myself and only use mobile phone these days. Although we live in southern Australia I find my interest is with Iceland; there are some wonderful landscapes etc submitted on Instagram. Regards. Jan

  21. Posted August 1, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I sympathize with your dislike of getting your picture taken, Doug. I have a hard enough time with the fact that I need to look in a mirror so often, let alone having more permanent images made of me. The one in my attached icon is, I think, the last “selfie” of me that I’ve ever liked.


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