Friday, January 27, 2012

Pic of the Day

     Sandhill Crane – Viera Wetlands; Viera, Florida:  When I was photographing a snowy egret (see January 19th post) I heard the call of sandhill cranes coming toward me.  As I looked up, two cranes were flying across the marsh and were almost upon me.  Quickly, I loosened the tension on the tripod head and swung the camera and lens toward the oncoming birds.  The cranes were so close, and at such an extreme angle, I could not even get my eye to the camera.  All I saw was the left bottom corner of the viewfinder, and in that corner was a part of the cranes body as it flew past me.  I fired two frames, and the excitement was over.
     Now, why I stopped shooting an active, feeding snowy egret to capture two images that had no hope of being anything worth looking at is really beyond my comprehension.  Perhaps it’s the hunter in me, the urge to capture something I know I can’t possibly catch; but, I try anyway.  With the cranes gone, I turned to resume shooting the snowy egret.
     Later in the evening, with the cranes out of mind, I began reviewing the images taken during the day.  As I scrolled through the images, up pops the two shots of the sandhill cranes.  The first image was out of focus, but the second image, much to my surprise was sharp.  I knew when the images were taken, that the cranes were too close; the birds would be cropped. But, the second image was sharp, and though cropped as predicted, it was framed in a manner that was esthetically pleasing. 
     Sometimes you just get lucky, and the elements of the image just fall into place.  I could try to duplicate this image in the same manner a thousand times, but I doubt that I could achieve such a sharp focus, and the subject so pleasing placed in the frame without looking into the camera, ever!

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/1,000 Second @ f8

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