What’s In a Photo?

Part of what makes photography so interesting is the stories behind the images. And sadly, we quite often post images without any real description or detail about the circumstances that led up to the acquisition. So I thought it would be good for me to share a few of my images from yesterday’s photography adventures.

 There seems to be a very select group of photographers who enjoy taking images of birds. I think just about everyone has tried it at one time or another, but not very many stick with it. There’s probably a few reasons for that. Perhaps they don’t have a lens with enough reach, maybe they’re just not interested, or maybe they just don’t have the patience required. But there’s another very important quality that bird photographers must possess: a curiosity and willingness to observe their behavior.

 I was off work yesterday so I had a little time to grab a few images. I always keep a sharp eye out for what birds seem to be around, and I had spotted these two in particular for a few weeks but just had not had the opportunity to photograph them. At this time of year here, there are only a few hours during the day in which the light is nice. And that’s if it’s not pouring rain. So I got my gear ready, did my homework on identification and sounds, and quietly observed what was going on in the woods.

 As usual, there were lots of chickadees, juncos, and I even saw one appearance of a tiny warbler. I heard stellar’s jays squawking in the distance, Canada geese flying overhead, and the odd flap of a raven’s wings. I observed the quick Red-breasted nuthatch only a few times as he darted back and forth. And what I estimate to be about 100 meters distant, I could hear the woodpecker about once per hour.

 Trying to predict where a bird will light can be quite difficult, so I had picked out a few spots and throughout the afternoon adjusted my exposure for each as the sun came in and out of the clouds and varied in intensity.

 During 4 hours of photography, I only had one opportunity to photograph each of these birds as most of the time, they were either too far away, or in the case of the nuthatch, just wouldn’t stay still. And when I say opportunity, I mean a few short seconds.

 Just like in landscape photography, sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t. But with birds, a little knowledge, lots of luck, and even more patience is the name of the game.

 Bird photography may not be for everyone, because it’s not easy. But the rewards make it worth it 🙂

 

Happy Shooting,

 Doug

 

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4 thoughts on “What’s In a Photo?

  1. Doug, your preparation and patience definitely paid off – these are exquisite images!

    I like what you’ve said about the importance of the stories behind the photos. I have a photo show on right now (here on Gabriola Island) in which I combine images and narrative – each print has a short text piece with it, about the subject and/or what drew me to photograph it. I’m getting lots of positive response to the show, including the text component, which people seem to really like.

    • Hi Laurie. Thank-you so very much for your kind comment. Yes, the story behind the image does make a big difference because the people who view it weren’t there. I’m very pleased to hear that your photo show is going so well! Keep up the great work. Best Regards, Doug

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