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Kayaking Alamitos Bay

We took the kayaks down to Alamitos Bay in Long Beach earlier this week for a very nice afternoon of paddling around homes and -- most interesting to me -- some industry-adjacent wetlands. Weird juxtapositions = interesting photographs. 

I tried to put the above photos in order of interestingness. The top pic is the clear winner as I managed to capture the pelican in what appears to be the moment before hitting the water -- the pelican actually pulled up and sat down. 

I also like the photos of the birds with the smoke stacks and power plant in the background. While sitting in the kayak, I thought the photo with the egret would be the clear winner but it turned out just okay -- it's great that I got smoke billowing in the background but the bird wouldn't turn so that his/her head was in the light. I had some other shots that were better composed but focus on the bird was off. Rats. 

The kayaking was easy: we used one of the put-in areas on the beach along Ocean Boulevard and parked for free on the street (there are some meters in a parking lot). It's probably crazy crowded here in summer but on MLK Day there were few people around and the put-in area even had a boat rack and hose to clean the kayaks when we were done. Good post-paddle food: Bake-n-Broil on Atlantic Avenue. Stick your face in a giant slice of apple pie -- you'll make your face very happy. 

All pics were taken with my Nikon Df and the Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens, which I bought used for $450. There are certainly some sharper and faster telephoto lenses out there, but they're either really expensive and/or don't go all the way to 300mm. I also sometimes shoot in DX mode, meaning I sacrifice megapixels (the Nikon Df is 16mp in FX mode and almost 7mp in DX mode) but get a telephoto with an effective reach of 105mm to 450mm. Sure, it would be nice to have more than seven megapixels, but with good technique and processing that's also plenty for a nice 8 x 12 print. 

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The above photos are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. 

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