Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

February 2, 2009

Birds in flight

Filed under: Birds, comparisons, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light, style — richditch @ 3:11 pm
Great Egret in flight, afternoon

Great Egret in flight, afternoon

I have mostly the same composition issues with birds in flight as I have with ducks on waterI don’t have enough variation in the habitat (sky or water) to make an interesting bird-in-habitat image with the subject smaller in the frame. To deal with this I generally abandon my normal style and compose (or less ideally, crop) tighter on the bird.

In this afternoon shot of a Great Egret I’ve been able to include some habitat via the out of focus trees in the background. They are far enough away that they  don’t distract from or merge with the egret, even though there is a small amount of subject/background overlap.

Great Egret in flight, morning

Great Egret in flight, morning

Here’s another shot of an egret in flight, taken on a recent morning. Eight months separate these shots, but they have a very similar composition. This morning shot is a more typical flight shot, with just sky as background. I feel that the hint of clouds here, though, helps give some needed texture and adds subtle interest.

More striking are the differences in light. The afternoon shot appears harsh, and the overhead light flattens any texture on the upper surface of the wings. In the morning shot the light comes from a lower angle and is softer, and also brings out feather texture better.

I much prefer the morning shot.

Afternoon image: March 1, 2008, 2:25 PM, ISO 200, 1/1000 at f/8

Morning image: January 18, 2009, 9:02 AM, ISO 320, 1/1000 at f/8

Both shots: Nikon D200, 300/2.8 and 2x, Gilbert Water Ranch


1 Comment »

  1. I like the afternoon shot because you can see the detail of the flight feathers, whereas the morning shot is a little darker. The morning shot is a lot softer though. Tough choice!

    Comment by Owlman — February 3, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

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