Another February in Florida, Part 2

Today’s Post by Jamie Zartman

Florida in February is a wonderful place to find and make wildlife photographs. The birds are resplendent in their mating plumage and the Everglades create a wildlife palette for photographers. The combination of the Olympus E-M1 Mark II and Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH lens provided many opportunities to photograph a variety of birds and reptiles in their native environment while remaining at a safe, respectful distance.

The reddish egret is a striking bird, with its gray wings, rust chest, bright pink beak and blue legs. It is a supreme fish hunter, providing a ‘protective’ shade with its wings, that attracts unsuspecting fish within striking distance.

This rather balletic turtle was sunning himself only a few yards from several alligators, close by Clyde Butcher’s Gallery, halfway between Marco Island and Miami. Clyde is an incredible photographer and the large format, black and white photos that grace his gallery are well worth the drive to the everglades for anyone who appreciates great photography.

These white pelicans were gathered on a sandbar, far across the lagoon at Ding-Darling. Note the pelican about to land, all captured in a handheld photo at 400mm (or 800 equivalent)

Here is another reason to appreciate the range of the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH lens! This was a large gator, which began to slowly swim towards me on the bank of the Turner River. The reflections of trees gave the water a wonderful texture, thanks to the shallow depth-of-field in this versatile lens.

In part 3, I’ll take a look at some of the photo opportunities in the Naples Botanical Gardens.