Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

March 11, 2009

Hide in plain sight

Filed under: Birds, composition, favorite places, light, style, Veterans Oasis Park — richditch @ 4:24 pm
Killdeer at pond edge

Killdeer at pond edge

I spent a couple hours just after dawn yesterday at Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler, AZ. VOP is a newly opened “make the best of it” facility where the local government has created an open space park around a series of ponds whose primary purpose is to recharge the water table with treated waste water. This is the same plan implemented by the city of Gilbert with the Water Ranch about 10 years ago, and VOP promises to be another great place for bird photography. But right now VOP is too barren for the flora and fauna to be established.

In my time at VOP though I was able to get a few nice images, including this habitat shot of a Killdeer. I know that most photographers wouldn’t have bothered taking this shot because the bird is so small in the frame and because the bird is somewhat difficult to see, but it is those characteristics that appealed to me. This, of course, is the personal style I’ve written so much about here and elsewhere already, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone reading this.

I don’t normally think of the Killdeer as a cryptic bird wearing camo garb to stay out of sight – after all their bright white breast makes them easy to see out on a mudflat when viewed low from the front. But in this image we see how effective the brown back is at keeping the bird hidden even while it is in the open feeding in plain view.

I also like this image for the graphic design of the composition. I’ve got a mostly brown image with the sky on the bottom and the earth on top, a wedge of blue in the bottom right, and a touch of green in the top left. If the viewer doesn’t immediately see the Killdeer, the the green in the top left points to the subject, and if that doesn’t work there’s the inverted reflection as the ultimate give-away.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E (2x converter), ISO 250, 1/320th t f/7.1.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hello Richard,
    Yesterday I was also at the Veterans Park around 4 pm.. I was fotographing the remaining Redheads amd the wildflowers.. It is a great site and I believe that in in a couple of years it would even better that Gilbert’s as the nature matures

    Comment by Everton De Melo — March 12, 2009 @ 4:40 pm


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