Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

February 3, 2010

Curve-billed Thrasher on Saguaro

Filed under: behavior, Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light, style — richditch @ 4:54 pm
Curve-billed Thrasher on Saguaro

Curve-billed Thrasher on Saguaro

I’ve written repeatedly that my photography is primarily about birds in habitat – I think there is a lot more to a good habitat shot than there is to a sterile shot of “nothing but the bird.” So, I tend to compose with the bird smaller in the frame than many other photographers do as it allows me to show the setting as well. But that sometimes results in images that some viewers find too cluttered.

This Curve-billed Thrasher from the Gilbert Water Ranch might satisfy both camps. The only habitat I’ve included is the top of a Saguaro cactus – hopefully enough to identify the perch and set the desert scene, but not so much of it as to overwhelm the thrasher.

There’s often a good opportunity for shots of this type just off the parking lot for the Water Ranch, especially during nesting season and when the Saguaro fruit is available for hungry birds. But the cactus stand is worth checking on any morning visit, like this one on December 2, 2008.

It can be difficult to compose these cactus-top shots – especially if you insist on putting more empty space in front of the subject and keeping it out of the center of the frame. I’ve hacked off the left side of the cactus with the frame edge here to avoid a dead center placement of the thrasher, but it still might be more centered than purists like.

The other thing I like about this image is the light – this is close to dawn so the light is very warm here.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 plus TC20E (2x), ISO 400, 1/320th second at f/8.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: