Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

May 28, 2009

Cormorant (on a stick)

Filed under: Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light — richditch @ 7:30 pm
Neotropic Cormorant

Neotropic Cormorant

As I’ve said many times before I like to show my subjects in typical habitat, so normally I’d be shooting this Neotropic Cormorant chasing after fish in the water. But they are a lot easier to photograph when they perch on a branch, and there are a couple of favorite places they always spend time at the Gilbert Water Ranch. So I take photos of them even if they are just “on a stick.”

I happen to like this shot from this morning’s walkabout for its clean graphic look (I’ve talked about liking strong graphics in my photos before as well), and there’s nothing like limiting a composition to the minimum elements against a solid color to bring out the graphics.

I also like how the cormorant has turned its head perfectly for the light to catch the eye and give life to the image. And the light is directional enough to bring out some texture and help with the graphics.

Neotropic Cormorant is a southern species that has been expanding its range northward as long as I’ve lived in AZ (since 1994). It has now become common at the GWR, making Double-crested Cormorant less common. This bird has a well developed white border at the base of the bill, and note how the yellow-orange comes to a point (the double-crested lacks the white border and the yellow is blunt).

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 with TC20E (2x), ISO 200, 1/320th at f/10, full frame, 5/218/09.

Oh, why not? Here’s a Neotropic Cormorant on the water (i.e., in habitat), also from the Gilbert Water Ranch.

Neotropic Cormorant on the water

Neotropic Cormorant on the water

Nikon D70, 300/2.8 plus TC20E, ISO 400, 1/25oth @ f/14, 2/02/08.

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