San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

Like most photographers, now and again we tend to get into a rut. We go to the same locations and take the same photographs and....

Like most photographers, now and again we tend to get into a rut. We go to the same locations and take the same photographs and go through the same editing process and so on and so on.... Now don't get me wrong - the process of "Wash, rinse and repeat" is not a bad thing, its this process that makes us better at our specific craft / activity, however variety as they say is the spice of life.

So recently I was perusing my local Camera stores website and found a section giving recommendations of local places to visit and Photograph. Some of the places I had been to, Yosemite and Monterey (been there; done that; bought the T-shirt) however there were some that I knew about but had never been too. So now that we are over the "Unspecified virus of unknown origin" :-) , and we are once again free to go about our business, for the time being, I thought I might try one of the recommendations on the list.
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.

Now I have taken my share of Wildlife photographs, some of which appear on this website, however expanding on the theme of trying something new I thought I would try a new Lens. My trusty Minolta 70-300mm is ok but there are alway those shots that you end up saying to yourself "if only I had more reach, If only I could get closer" ...without the fear of personal injury or dismemberment... as that bear is looking at you, like your a Big Mac!.

So again returning to my local Camera stores website, I found that they rent gear... YES! So after some investigation and review I settled on the Tamron 150 - 500mm, f5 / 6.3 zoom lens, for that extra reach, not quiet the up close and personal - but closer than my Minolta 70 - 300mm. Now the San Luis Wildlife Refuge, in terms of travel time, is just over an hours drive from where I live, which more convenient than the 2-3 hour drives to both Yosemite and Monterey, So I packed up my gear and sandwiches and headed out....

Now the entrance to the San Luis Widlife Refuge is about 8 miles north of Los Banos, just off route 165, and is just part of the greater San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Complex covers over 135,000 acres of land stretching between Interstate 5 on the West and Highway 99 to the East, both roadways providing North / South routes through California's Central Valley . It contains a variety of land types including wetlands, grasslands and riparian habitats, that are occupied by both local Animals and Birds in addition to it being a stop for birds transiting through the state on their annual migration routes.

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