Brothers win 'Virginia Wildlife' photo contest

Posted: April 10, 2012

From left: Allen Shank and brothers Shaphan and Darren scout possible photo opportunities at Silver Lake in Dayton. (Photo by courtesy photo)
(Photo by Allen Shank)
(Photo by Darren Shank)
(Photo by Shaphan Shank)
Three brothers from Union Springs took top awards in “Virginia Wildlife” magazine’s photography contest sponsored by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The boys entered the “Kids & Cameras” category.
Allen Shank, 9, won first place for his picture of a goldfinch in flight, while his brother Darren, 12, received second place for a shot of red-eyed vireo parents feeding their young. Fourteen-year-old Shaphan brought home a third-place award for his photo of a hungry hermit thrush.
The boys are the sons of Bethany and Kevin Shank, publishers of the children’s magazine “Nature Friend.”

Allen Shank: Goldfinch Flying

Last spring, my brothers and I spent a lot of time photographing birds—mostly warblers. While this goldfinch is not a warbler, I think this shot of him flying out of a serviceberry bush turned out pretty neat. Birds were perching in this bush near a feeder. To get the shot, I set the camera on manual focus where I thought a bird might be if I clicked the shutter when the bird left its perch. This one turned out pretty sharp across the eye, which was my hope.

Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV DSLR camera, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L USM lens, ISO 3200, 1/5000th, f/4.0 with a 1.4x teleconverter.


Darren Shank: Red-Eyed Vireos

We were delighted to find a red-eyed vireo nest beside our driveway. We set up scaffolding so we could photograph at eye-level. My brothers and I took turns photographing the nest. When it was my turn to take photos, I was pleased to get this shot with both parents and a baby bird. 

Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV DSLR camera, 600mm lens, ISO 800, 1/200th f/13.0.

Shaphan Shank

One morning this past October, I glanced out a window and noticed this hermit thrush in a dogwood tree by our house. While I was watching, he picked a berry and ate it. I had just gotten the camera set up when he came back for another berry, and more followed that one. He came to within eight or ten feet of me.

Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV DSLR camera, 600mm lens, ISO 1250, 1/500th, f/4.0.

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