Hello…I'm Don DesJardin and I reside in Ventura, California.
I became interested in
photography as a hobby while in my early teens, and purchased my first 35mm
camera when I was 14. In late 1989 I became interested in birds and birding.
I soon became hooked on a hobby that would not only require good bird
identification skills, but as I would soon discover, new photographic skills as well. It
wasn't long before my thoughts drifted towards the notion that I might capture
these birds on film, and so enjoy them long after the day ended. Hence was born
the naïve bird photographer. Just walk up and take a picture, right…Boy, was I in
for a shock! Every animal has its "circle of fear", a perimeter within which a
creature's fight or flight response is invoked, and birds are no exception. I also
discovered that the longest lens I had, a 200mm zoom, just wasn't long enough to
work from beyond that perimeter. This is when my hobby started to get expensive.
The big lenses that the pros use cost big bucks and way beyond my reach, so I
settled for what I could afford at the time, a Sigma 600mm fixed f/8 mirror lens.
Small and lightweight, it was what I needed to get "close" to the birds, without
getting too close. This lens served me well for many years, producing lots of fine
images. Even though I pushed this lens to its limits, I was never really satisfied
with the results as compared to real glass. Eventually I was able to purchase
my first affordable "real" glass lens. This was a Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO Macro.
When used with my N90s body and a Nikon TC14A, it approaches my old 600mm in
focal length and still gives me the portability that I had grown used to. Most of
the time I use Fuji Sensia/100 film. I also use a tripod whenever practical. As
seasons came and went, I worked hard to penetrate that "circle of
fear". Through careful observation and understanding of my subjects, and lots of
patience, I have been able to approach most birds within a range I had never
thought possible when I first started. I don't use blinds, exception being my car,
and pride myself in the ability to get close to my subjects, which makes up for a
deficiency in focal length. Is every photographic outing a good one…NO! Does it feel
good when it is…YOU BET!
April of 2001 was a big turning point for me when I purchased my first video camera.
Video was something I knew nothing about, and I wasn't sure what lay ahead, but
since I had a good working knowledge of photographing birds with a still camera,
I found that using a video camera wasn't that much different. On my "VIDEOS & DVD"
page, there is more about my transistion from still photography to video.
Email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO AND VIDEO CREDITS
Sierra Club Books "Wild LA"
Academic Press "Sparrows of the United States and Canada"
David Beadle, James Rising
Princeton Publications "Gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia"
Klaus Malling Olsen
Cornell Bird Library Guide "The Feeder Watcher's Guide to Bird Feeding"
Margaret A. Barker, Jack Riggs
Life Sciences "Skuas and Jaegers of the World"
Klaus Malling Olsen
Peterson Field Guides "Hummingbirds of North America"
Sheri L. Williamson
UCSB "The Birds of Santa Barbara County, California"
Paul E. Lehman
"Introduction to the Birds of the Southern California Coast"
Joan E. Lentz, Don DesJardin, Peter Gaede
Newbridge Educational Publishing "Newbridge's Ranger Rick Series"
Hong Kong Bird Report 1995
De Vogel Wereld
Spektrum der Wissenschaft
"Species and Community Profiles"
Coachella Valley Association of Governments
"Coachella Valley Multiple Habitat Consrvation Plan"
Utah State University
"Neotropical Migrants of Utah's West Desert"
Madison Metro Sewerage District
"MMSD Wildlife Observation Area"
USF&WS Shorebird Sister Schools Program
"Migrate With Us"
(Printed in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, & Japanese)
American Bird Conservancy
"Communication Towers: A Deadly Hazard to Birds"
The National Audubon Society
California Department of Fish & Game
National Park Service
DON'S BIRDS INTEGRATED INTO ARTWORK PROJECTS
Crissy Field Center, San Francisco
Artist: John Stewart
Crissy Field Center Artwork Project
"Birds of the World" Lars Larsson, Erling Larsson, Goran Ekstrom
DOCUMENTARIES FOR BROADCAST
Series: "Adventures With Birdman"
Eposode Title: "Search For The Jocotoco Antpitta"
Birdman Productions & MundoAveLoco!, Choteau, Montana
Cortina Productions, McLean, Virginia
**Click the Green Honeycreeper on Cortina's Portfolio page**
Job Assignment: Cameraman
VIDEO CONTRIBUTIONS FOR DVD, BROADCAST, & EDUCATIONAL MEDIA
Peregrine Video Productions, The Advanced Birding Video Series
"Hummingbirds of North America"
PBS NOVA Science Now
Episode Title: "Bird Brains"
Production: Lone Wolf Documentary Group, South Portland, Maine
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Visitor Media Display
Production: Swell Pictures, Inc., Santa Barbara, California
Visitor Media Display
Production: Science North Production Unit, Ontario, Canada
Royal Alberta Museum
"Life of a Forest"
Production: The Image Works Alberta Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Eco Company TV Show
Story Title: "A Living Fossil!"
Production: Red Willow Films, San Jose, California
DON IN CYBER SPACE
Just in case you find yourself with way to much idle time on
your hands, do a GOOGLE search on don desjardin.