Resting Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanolueca) Resting Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanolueca) – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/160, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Obtaining a low angle with small shorebirds can bring the viewer into the bird’s world by being down to their level. When I photographed shorebirds in Florida I was either constantly covered in sand or mud, wet or all three. I looked a mess but I really didn’t mind sand-crawling through mud and sand, sitting or laying down in the water to get the low perspective I desired. Sometimes it actually helped to cool me off when the heat was on.

I photographed this Greater Yellowlegs by sitting very low in a lagoon then bending down to get the bottom of my lens just above the surface of the water. The rising sun gave the bird a nice glow and the eye contact plus the head turn worked very well. I also liked the bubbles on the surface of the water.

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanolueca) in a quiet lagoonGreater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanolueca) in a quiet lagoon – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1,  1/750, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light

This image was taken in the evening, the bird was in the lagoon and I laid flat on my belly at the edge of the water to get this low angle shot with part of my upper torso in the shallows. How nice that the shorebirds will often look in the direction of the sunlight as there are some bird & animal species that don’t seem to enjoy the sun directly in their eyes, Coyotes and several owl species come to mind.

Four Greater Yellowlegs restingGreater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanolueca) –  Nikon D200, handheld, f14, ISO 250, 1/250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 210mm, natural light

I photographed this group of Greater Yellowlegs by kneeling in the water, bending forward and placing my elbows on the lagoon bottom to brace my arms and use them to steady my camera and lens. I used f14 for my aperture to try to get enough depth of field to get all the birds sharp and that dropped my shutter speed to 1/250, I could have bumped up my ISO to get more shutter speed but I felt that I was steady enough to get a sharp image even though the shutter speed was slow.