Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

March 18, 2009


Filed under: Birds, comparisons, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 1:38 pm
Northern Mockingbird at Gilbert Water Ranch

Northern Mockingbird at Gilbert Water Ranch

This Northern Mockingbird popped up on a trailside bush on a recent visit to the Gilbert Water Ranch, and I was taken with the wren-like pose resulting from the steeply angled tail. I got off a few frames before other people coming along the trail spooked the bird and I lost the opportunity to continue shooting.

I know a lot of viewers will be bothered by the twig “coming out” of the mockingbird’s head, and perhaps by the twig behind the tail, but I couldn’t avoid the first and the second is responsible for the angle of the tail. With more time to shoot I’d have tried getting a different angle on the bird that might have separated the head from the twig.

But even with this limited opportunity I came away with two shots that I like showing the mockingbird in somewhat different positions. I always try to get as many variations as possible with any subject and setting and reserve my critical editing until I get all the shots on the computer. Usually my favorite is obvious when I review the files, but sometimes I need to process a pair of shots to final jpeg before I can decide which I prefer.

In this case I felt the top image was better at the time I took it, but I wasn’t completely sure until I”d processed both of these. Let me know which you prefer and why if you’d care to comment.

Northern Mockingbird alternate pose

Northern Mockingbird alternate pose

In terms of the overall composition, both of these frames have been cropped moderately (to 63% and 70% of the full frame) to move the subject out of center, leaving more space for the bird “to look into.” I generally like the thin gray twigs as they help give the image an active feel and also because they help “fill in” the otherwise empty blue space.


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