Herring Run


River herring are born in freshwater, but live in the ocean. Every year they return to the fresh water to spawn, and start a new generation of herring. I usually catch them at the end of May going up the Charles River in Watertown. This time of year blueback  herring (Alosa aestivalis) are making the trek upriver. The other type of herring is the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). If you want more info click here. Anybody looking to go see them, I would recommend mornings before 9am and afternoons after 4pm.

As far as the photography stuff goes, I used my regular setup: Nikon D7000 with the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 plus 2X teleconverter. I debated leaving the converter off, because I haven't been too happy with the loss of sharpness when it's on. In the end I really needed the extra reach to create the images I wanted, so I left it on. I really could have used the faster glass, because it was hard getting shutter speeds above 1/1000 with the light the way it was. I also used my monopod to reduce some camera shake. Plus it was nice to not hold the camera and lens the whole time. That thing gets heavy after a while.

Some things went wrong. I thought this year I would get closer, so I tried setting up along the banks of the river. As soon as I got there all the birds flew away. That plan didn't work out, so I had to go back to the platform by the river. It isn't bad, but I think a lower angle would produce much more interesting images.

Check out the slideshow below or my gallery for more images.

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