Friday, January 30, 2015

Birds Before Sunset

I was able to get to Shelley Lake today about an hour and twenty minutes before sunset.  The light was pretty good, and I hoped to practice shooting common birds in flight.  Unfortunately, even the gulls and Canada geese were pretty scarce, and almost none were in the sky.  The larger birds which often perch on piers were taking off when I arrived.  I did manage, with my very first shot of the day, to catch one in an interesting position.

This colorful duck got close enough that I could get a tight headshot (with 600 mm on the camera).

From a particular angle, the water strongly reflects the color of the foliage behind it, which turns it into an incredible golden hue.

Three geese approached from the west, flying in formation, and circled over the east side of the lake and toward the north.

The trio flew by the impressive waxing gibbous moon, but they were "lower" in the sky.

Exposing for the very bright moon made the sky appear darker than it actually was, but enabled me to show all of the detail that is actually more apparent when the moon is at an intermediate phase than when it is full.  This is because the sunlight is striking it "from the side".  The effect is much like a side-lit landscape, where textures are emphasized.  The craters are almost three dimensional.

Here are the same three birds coming in for a landing:

 With a lull - or more like a total cessation - of flight activity, I did a little playing with an abstraction of shapes in a stairway.

After awhile, I moved to another area, where I saw some more possibilities beginning to develop.

Three runners, to go with the three geese, entered my field, so I used them in my composition.

My main interest at this point was in the amazing tiers of color that developed in shallow channels of the lake.  I got a few shots of ducks playing in the area, then called it a day.


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