Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

March 4, 2010

Shrike in the Center

Filed under: Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, style — richditch @ 7:47 pm
Loggerhead Shrike on thorny perch

Loggerhead Shrike on thorny perch

In yesterday’s post I talked about breaking the compositional “rule” that forbids placing the subject in the center of the frame, and used an American Avocet as an example. Looking at recently processed images I decided this would make a good follow-up on that post as it is another centered image.

I found this Loggerhead Shrike on a typical thorny perch at the Gilbert Water Ranch on February 6, 2010, and did my best with it. These birds are associated with thorny perches and often used barbed wire f they can’t find a natural perch like this to impale their prey. Since I really like showing habitat in my images to tell the viewer something about the subject’s way of life I wanted to show as much as possible of this interesting branch. Unfortunately, that meant I had to place the shrike in the middle of the frame.

Ordinarily I would compose this sort of shot with the subject left of center since the bird is looking to the right – that seems to balance the image better. But to do that I’d have to crop off a lot of the interesting thorns on the left of the frame, so I decided to violate the rule and compose as seen here. For the message I wanted this is the composition that worked in this case.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 plus TC20E (2x), ISO 400, 1/800th second at f/9, spot meter.

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