Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

April 26, 2009

Thrasher Variations

Filed under: Birds, comparisons, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light, style — richditch @ 3:06 pm
Curve-billed Thrasher on Saguaro

Curve-billed Thrasher on Saguaro

For various reasons both good and bad I do most of my bird photography at the Water Ranch in Gilbert, AZ, where these two photos of Curve-billed Thrasher were made. Making repeat visits to a familiar location has both good and bad aspects. I’ve written about some of the good things here before, like learning the preferences of the resident birds, when and where the light works in your favor for photography, and the seasonal movements of migrants.

Curve-billed Thrasher on Saguaro

Curve-billed Thrasher on Saguaro

On the negative side of working the same place and the same birds a lot is avoiding having all your images start to look alike. It can be hard to ignore the Curve-billed Thrashers at the Water Ranch as there are always a couple around the stand of large Saguaro cacti directly off the main parking lot. So, I look for these thrashers doing different things, and in different light. And I also vary the composition whenever possible, including the amount of the frame devoted to the thrasher.

In the top image I’ve caught a thrasher in very early light, and on a cactus short enough that I’m not looking up at too strong of an angle. I’ve captured the beak open as the bird sings. The view shows the back and tail; the framing is “landscape.”

In the second image I’m caught a thrasher stretching its wings, or doing some sort of wing fluff. The light is not as pleasing as in the top image, but still soft by desert standards. My view is bit more upward, so I’ve made the composition in “portrait” format and shown more of the cactus to help account for the upward angle.

I like both images, and the differences between them mean that they could serve different purposes, which is always nice to have in a portfolio.

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