Welcome to Back Bay Birds!

This site is being created to facilitate appreciation and documentation of the bird life of the Upper Newport Bay, and to combine my hobbies of kayaking and photography! Several years ago I began paddling my light-weight 14 ft. Solet Perception kayak through the waters of the back bay, and recording some of the beauty of the scenery and the birds. Although I began with a standard autofocus SLR Canon EOS7, I migrated to a six megapixel Canon 10D in 2004. Most of the photos on this site were taken from my kayak with this camera and a Canon EF100-400 mm 1:4.5-5.6 L IS zoom lens. However, others were taken on walks around the bay and at the Interpretive Center with the gracious assistance of the ranger staff. While a few of my early film photographs have been converted to digital format, most of the images on this site have been obtained with my EOS 10D.

My photographic approach has constantly changed and evolved. My initial efforts in digital format were largely saved in JPG format, but with ever expanding electronic memory, I am now working in RAW format. I use Adobe Lightroom 2.0 and Photoshop to produce .DNG and .TIF. and then .JPG images for web viewing. The images are saved on my Toshiba laptop in a series of folders according to common bird names. These folders are accessible through a Lightroom catalog , where each image is associated with keywords, metadata, the original camera filename. Data are backed up on CDs and a separate hard drive.

This site has been made possible through two collaborations. The first was with Jack DeLap, a naturalist, a skilled wildlife artist, and a web designer. Jack entered this project, at the point where I had over one thousand incompletely catalogued images. He designed the Back Bay Birds website, classified these images, and selected those for you to see here. The second collaboration was with Mark Sundstrom, a programmer, fellow birdwatcher, and long-time friend, who developed the website to allow easy uploading of images. He watches out for mistakes I make and is still working on improvements! Our collaborations have been a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoy the results as much as we have!

Suzanne Sandmeyer