They come in streaks
I have my good days as far as photography, then the are the not so good days. I should know that by now, and not let the bad photos ruin my mood as much as I do. One thing that I’ve done to remind myself that all my photos aren’t failures is to keep a smart collection in Lightroom of the best of the best of my photos. Currently, I have 77 images in that collection. Then, when I’m going through a time period when it seems as if I can’t get a good image for the life of me, I’ll view the smart collection as a slide show full screen on my computer. Or, I have had a few of those photos printed, and I’ll get out the prints and look at them again.
The remarkable thing about the photos in the collection is how I may add two or three photos from a single day to the collection, have several days in a row when I’m getting a couple of images a day, then go for weeks before adding any new images. As a matter of fact, in the past two days, I’ve added four photos to the collection of my best photos, bringing the total to 81 images. I decide that all of you were right, the photos of the solitary sandpiper and water-lily from the last post belonged there, and I shot these two today.
Despite the fact that Bruiser snuck up on me, coming out of nowhere as he likes to do to me, I got the image stabilization turned off so the photos of him were sharp, and I dialed in about the right amount of exposure compensation just from experience, without ever looking at the exposure compensation scale in the viewfinder.
The second one from today isn’t as dramatic, but I love it, and I can’t even tell you why I do, other than that they are pretty flowers.
I may add a few from yesterday at Muskegon, but the light wasn’t all that good then, even though I got a fairly good close-up of a juvenile peregrine falcon, both perched…
…and in flight…
…but the ones that will probably draw the most comments are the ones I shot of the sandhill cranes taking off at dawn.
Being a perfectionist, those still aren’t exactly what I had in mind, so that while there’s a great sunrise behind the cranes, I’ll have to keep trying until I get it right.
So, just how large are sandhill cranes? Here’s a great blue heron in flight before dawn…
…that dropped in for a visit with the cranes before they left for the day.
You can see that even though the heron is a large bird, it’s dwarfed by the cranes.
Shortly after the cranes left the marsh, the heron did as well, although it’s a little hard to see in these photos, I was setting up the 70-200 mm lens when the heron flew off, so I had to shoot with what I had in my hand at the time. Besides, every one loves a good sunrise, right?
Speaking of the sunrise, it was okay, good enough for a photo or two.
I was hoping that the sun would cast the color onto the underside of the clouds, but that didn’t happen. I swung the camera around for this instead.
(Note: I know, you can see my shadow. I hid the shadow of the tripod in another shadow from the brush, as you can tell because it doesn’t show, but after releasing the shutter, I stepped away from the tripod. I’ll have to remember not to do that again)
Nothing special, other than for the first time, by doing that as a HDR image, I finally caught how the sun hits the bark of the trees and casts the orange color onto the trees.
Later, I shot another practice shot, here’s the non-HDR version…
…and the HDR version.
Again, nothing special, other than what I’m learning, it’s the same with this one from yesterday…
…or this one from this morning.
Each of those contain an element that was very hard for me to get right in my photos before, from the patterns of the sun on the water, to the clouds not being blown out over the farm field, to the backlit leaves in the last image. I’m putting pieces together that will hopefully work out when the time comes that I need those pieces.
In response to a couple of people who commented on my last post, I said that the beauty here in Michigan is subtle, it isn’t like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or Yellowstone. In order to really capture the beauty of Michigan, I have to be able to get those little pieces right. I think that I’m making progress.
Now, I have to work on training young eagles not to perch on the side of the Muskegon County landfill!
This one’s training is coming along well, it has enough sense to pose somewhere at least a little more photogenic.
Even if it is on the rocks of the wastewater storage lagoon. 😉
Not very far away, these Bonaparte’s gulls were taunting the eagle.
The gulls didn’t seem to be bothered by the eagle’s presence at all. Earlier, I had seen the peregrine falcon make repeated dives at the shorebirds, but the shorebirds stayed put. The falcon’s antics did get the geese all upset, and they left. Peregrine falcons are fierce little birds, but I can’t picture one taking on a full-grown Canada goose though, a gull maybe, but not a goose.
Oh yeah, speaking of gulls, I put what I learned about the auto-focus system of the 7D to use for these.
It’s great being able to do my close-up portraits of gulls while they are flying now. 🙂
I took a break from the birds and landscapes to shoot a few flowers, some more very pretty flowers that I can’t ID, I just wish that the light had been better yesterday.
Sorry for so many of them, but if I remember correctly, these flowers don’t last long, they’ll probably be gone the next time I’m at Muskegon, and I won’t see them until next year. You maybe able to see the head of a hoverfly sneaking into the frame of the last photo, I tried for a shot of it.
But the light was just too poor for a good photo. I did a little better with these somewhat strange looking plants…
…I thought that they could be ferns, but no, they had obviously flowered, and ferns don’t have traditional flowers.
I did better with the flowers this morning.
I have two more photos from yesterday that I’d better stick in this post, a ruddy turnstone.
Like my good photos, they come in streaks as they migrate south for the winter, and I don’t see them very often.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!