Avian World + 2

Today’s post is “almost” entirely about birds.

One of my favorite photography subjects ever, are owls. Certainly the Snowy Owl, is somewhere near the top of my owl list.

The male Snowy you see below, was a special bird to me. He is a young bird but has already lost most of his black striping which is what tells me that he is of the masculine gender. He posed beautifully for me and many other photographers for several weeks.

The Tundra Swans you see below were in the midst of early migration. We have below a single mature bird, an adult with an immature bird, and a fairly immature bird looking me (us) in the eyes.

It is great to capture birds doing things, but often I think eye contact, is even more powerful.

I have had amazing photographer’s good fortune when it comes to the American symbol, the Bald Eagle. In particular in Wisconsin along the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers in winter.

The fellow below performed wonderful airborne antics for me and my camera. The final image indicates that there is a fish or other prey, that might be in trouble soon.

When you see airborne action shots from me, the verticals I display are a mix of images that were created as a vertical when made, and those which were made in the horizontal format and then were cropped at home into vertical. I obviously have no issues with doing it either way. While panning and following birds in the air, is easier in my opinion with the camera in the horizontal position, the skill of action and panning in the vertical position is a skill worth learning. I of course began flight photography, in the film (transparencies) days where you “got what you shot so” to speak.

As you could see in the above photos, the verticals whether they were shot that way, or cropped that way, show the bird flying in a vertical up and down position. Conversely, the horizontal image has the bird with wings spread and moving through the picture frame in a horizontal fashion.

Sandihill Cranes searching for lunch. I purposefully while shooting, positioned the birds here in the upper part of the picture frame. I did so to show them in the context of their environment. Where and what they were eating. Composition always matters, although with wild animals, the subjects have a lot to do with what that finished composition will actually be.

Behavior, is as important in bird photography, as it is with mammals, reptiles, insects and other critters. This male Sharp-tail Grouse is dancing for what he hopes, will be his mate. I was working in a photo blind in northwestern Wisconsin. I got into that blind while it was still dark. The profile shots of his dance were great, but I loved those times when this one danced right at me. The early morning light hit just the right spots in this image.

Note that often, the courtship dances of this and other prairie birds, were copied for the tribal ceremonial dances of Native Americans.

This old image of a Black-capped Chickadee sold well as a print “back in the day”. I suppose because of the bird’s cuteness. I entitled it Cold Feet, Warm Heart.

Brrrrrrr!! I spent a lot of my winters outdoors in the cold, with a camera and tripod.

Okay, these are clearly not bird photos. I came across these Tiger Salamander photos in my files and could not resist.

I loved photographing little critters like this. The only down side, aside from crawling around on my hands and knees, was they are always, always, in a messy environment of sticks, stones, grasses, leaves and so forth. Always.

The best answer is in lens choice (300mm), and then crawling on those knees to get close-ups. Then, above all, shoot for the eyes. That will bring them to life.

Have a nice day and keep clicking.

Romans 8:1-2
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

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