Thursday, February 25, 2010

Birds - 1, 2, 3, Many!

My recent presentation had a section of images devoted to flocks of birds. I spoke to how shooting those initial images of larger numbers of birds (100's, 1000's at once) is easy. You can get walls of Snow Geese in flight, or all on the water or ice. Or maybe 100's of Red-Winged Black Birds (and grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, etc)...

This past weekend I was lucky enough to see 10,000+ snow geese. I shot them during mid-day Saturday and again on Sunday from sunrise to mid-day.

With that many birds, it seemed logic to try to isolate them, shoot them one, two, even three at a time....

One
Flapper

Two
Incoming Geese

Three
3 Stacked Up On Approach

So, trying to shoot huge numbers of birds I wound up focusing on a few at a time on some occasions.

I DID also shoot the larger flocks as well, and I think I got some new to me images like this one with some depth created by the different sizes the snow geese appear in the image as... There's a real foreground and background as a result.

More Incoming Geese!

To get these images, different ones, took me thinking a little differently. The spot I shot from didn't line up all that perfectly. The light was coming from the back and side of the birds as they approached. But that made it unique and better / different than my previous Snow Goose shots/days.

Sometimes trying to control things, trying to follow certain rules, leads to non-unique images. Moving beyond that is a worth while effort.

That reminds me of Bombay Hook and the snow geese there. Shooting right as you arrive at sunrise from the T in the road just past the visitors center, the sun can be right behind any flying birds in Raymond Pool. And in the past I've stopped there briefly, but never setup and tried to shoot from there for more than a minute or two. Given the above shots and experience at blackwater I will try to recall this, and not try to work from a script, or move to the 'good spots' without thinking it through a little more.

The lesson I took from last weekend was to have good habits, work hard, get up at 3 or 4am, drive 100+ miles (I went to Assateague Island on a day trip AND went to Blackwater Refuge the SAME Day) - but to also be flexible, try new things, spend time (I spent around 2 hours at this spot), and also go with what is working or has worked! I went back Sunday too, after Saturday afternoon had worked at Blackwater...

I took this funny shot of a pony at Assateague Saturday morning.

I'm Ready for my Portrait Mr. Nikographer

--50--

-Jon
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3 comments:

black eyes said...
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Brad Myers said...

Great photos, I have you linked to my site and have followed along for sometime now but for some reason never commented.

When you skipped a couple of weeks recently I went into with draw. I have learned from your site, enjoyed your photography and learned of many new places to explore and photograph wildlife.

Thanks Brad

Xo Gina Xo said...

I ran across your page and am in total awe! Your photography is excellent. Your pics are just soooo tack sharp it's hard to stop staring at them! wonderful job! love them! keep up the good work!! ......