As someone who takes many photos of wildlife in“Motion.” I am always looking the right approach to catching that feeling. One of the primary ways of doing that is to try and freeze important parts of the scene while letting the motion blur other parts of the scene. This photo was taken at the Bosque Del Apache last year – two snow geese coming in for a landing. It was early morning so I was using a slow shutter speed and panning the camera with the geese. I was trying to capture the bodies of the geese in focus while the background and the wings of the geese were blurred by the motion.
This is my second response to this week’s challenge”Yellow.” I took this photo two weeks ago at the Bosque Del Apache, in New Mexico. This time of year, thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate to the area for the winter. They take off from the ponds each morning to dine in the neighboring fields but every night at sunset they return to the ponds for the evening. This is a typical sight that you see as the sandhills return against the colorful NM sky.
No – not a snow storm. This is a photo of the 30-40,000 snow geese taking off together at the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico. While the sight is amazing in itself (the entire sky is blotted out just after dawn), the sound is just as impressive. The beating of the wings and the honking sound immediately like a jet engine roar! A great way to spend a morning. The other things that strike you are that there is no warning to the launch, you can’t see any collisions, and when you look back at the pond after the launch there is not a single snow goose still on the ground – Just a bunch (again in the thousands) of sandhill cranes standing around with a dazed look wondering what just happened.
I was out and about yesterday and didn’t get a chance to look at this week’s challenge. When I saw it this morning, it just so happens I was “playing” with an image that I think might fit the description. I made my reservations earlier this week to return to the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico for the annual migration gathering of thousands of snow geese and sandhill cranes. I decided to go back and look at some of my images from two years ago to see how I might interpret them differently now. This image was nice but it was kind of cluttered with lots of detail in the background distracting from the Cranes and the patterns in the water. I decided to simplify the photo into a more painterly type image and see what that might look like. As it turns out, this version of the image brings me back to a quiet, graceful and dreamy place….. hope it does for you also.
I couldn’t let this challenge go by with only an artificial light example. This one is all about the best light source we all use – always changing, always challenging, and always creating interest – the sun. It also highlights the golden hour surrounding sunset – in this case at the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico. Since my previous post for this challenge featured a silhouette, I thought I’d use another silhouette, this time a Sandhill Crane coming in for a landing, against the sunset sky. I think this photo also goes well with Thanksgiving – how can you not be thankful to see something like this?
Great topic with many wonderful opportunities. Here’s a couple from the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico last December. All of these are Sandhill Cranes during their winter stay in the south. All three of these are at different stages of the Golden Hour. The first is just when the sun is slightly above the horizon, lighting the crane but not the surrounding hills.
The next was taken about 20 minutes later – Sandhills on the pond as the magnificent New Mexico sun slips behind the mountains and paints the sky….
The last photo was taken almost immediately after the previous one. One of the final Sandhills coming in during the last light of the golden hour.
As a photographer who is always interested in nature first, I immediately started thinking about natural patterns which led me to formation flying in geese and this photo taken at the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico last December.
But then I thought about what it would look like with this pattern repeated over and over – so, given the magic of photoshop, I made lots of copies of the birds and put them all in formation – a different “pattern”. That looked pretty good but then I tried it in B&W and I liked that better……I hope you like my final Pattern.
One of the great photo opportunities at the Bosque Del Apache are the fantastic silhouette photos against the New Mexico sunrises and sunsets. You can get shots of huge flocks of the geese or cranes against the sky but I think that some of the single bird shots are the most compelling. This is an example of a single sandhill crane on final approach to its evening landing place.
I wouldn’t say that these are my “best” but they are all photos that I love and that capture the local inhabitants of places we went this year. Happy New Years to all!
As some of you may know, I try to do only minimal post- processing on my photos. I normally crop them to my taste, adjust the levels, and maybe sharpen the subject of the photo a little – thats it. During my trip to New Mexico I had the opportunity to photograph some wild horses with a professional photographer, Lynne Pomeranz (if you’re ever in NM and would like to go see the wild horses, I highly recommend you give her a call). Anyway, during lunch we went through some of the things that she does for her work to get it ready for commercial galleries. She is a photoshop user and she also shared some work from a friend of hers who is another great photographer and a certified photoshop expert. In talking to both of them, I think it is probably time learn how to use more of the postprocessing tools to get the most out of my photos. All that being said, I probably will still use most of the tools very sparingly. For the past week or so I’ve been using a trial version of the software and just trying things to see how they work. You can do some interesting things so I thought I’d share one of my experiments. One of the things that you can do is “layer” photos on top of each other and pick out specific parts of the photos that you want to remain visible. Here’s my first experiment with that process – the background of the this photo was a sunset photo of the reserve showing one of the ponds with sandhill cranes resting for the evening. The foreground was a separate photo of a snow goose landing that I took about two hours before the sunset photo. I think it makes a nice composite and captures two great experiences of the Bosque – the sunsets as well as the wildlife. What do you think??