10/12/11, Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S, TC20E (2x), ISO 400, 1/800th second @ f/8
Like most photographers who specialize in nature subjects I try to show the subject in a natural setting and avoid unnatural elements. Among photographers these non natural elements are referred to as Hand-of-Man (HOM). In most cases it is a conceit of the photographer that the bird has been photographed in a purely natural setting since photographers do most of their work in convenient parks, managed refuges, and sometimes even in zoos.
Personally I have no problem taking photos of birds in non natural settings, as long as the bird chooses to be there and is free to come and go on its own. And if the HOM elements are interesting in their own right and contribute to an interesting composition then all the better – I’m happy to use them to make a unique image.
The Riparian Preserve at Gilbert (aka the Gilbert Water Ranch) has recently erected a new structure that I suppose is intended to serve as a nesting platform for an Osprey. I’ve seen an Osprey perch on it a few times, as well as a flock of Eurasian Collared Doves. Recently I’ve seden a Great Blue Heron perch there in the morning.
I’ve always liked strong graphics in my images – I relied on strong lines for a lot of the black&white work I did 30-40 years ago. I couldn’t resist this composition using the lines of the wooden planks and the pole, especially with the warm early morning light illuminating them and the heron so well.