Roseate Spoonbills in a sea fog

roseate-spoonbills-fog-mia-mcpherson-8667Roseate Spoonbills in a sea fog – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/180, ISO 400, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 250mm, natural light

One very foggy May morning I came across a small flock of Roseate Spoonbills in a tidal lagoon at Fort De Soto’s north beach and photograph them for about 15 minutes before they flew off to find food. The fog muffled the sounds of the waves of the Gulf of Mexico rushing onto the shore just beyond the sand dunes you can see behind these two birds and the fog felt great on my skin that very warm morning. The adult Roseates were mostly resting but the juvenile pictured above began to preen while I laid in the tidal mud observing and photographing these large, pink wading birds.

Photographing in fog presents challenges in determining exposure, aperture, shutter speed and ISO, for this image I used a lower ISO because I wanted as much detail as I could achieve and while that gave me a  low shutter speed the juvenile Roseate wasn’t moving quickly and that helped to get sharp images. This image did have a small amount of Noise Reduction applied to everything except the preening juvenile Roseate Spoonbill to smooth out some of the noise I could detect prior to post processing.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. In photographs, fog seems to bring about a feeling of serenity. This image is quite beautiful, Mia! I really like the subtle hues.

  2. You captured such amazing color and detail but wrapped it up in softness. This is gorgeous, Mia.

  3. Wonderful photo, and in the fog as well.

  4. I love these birds and yes fog is a challenge but sometimes gives the neatest emotion. Do you ever find that you get really hung up on “must get details”? I sure do. I think Yellowstone this weekend helped me with that. Hard though not to want detail with such lovely birds. One does wonder how they preen so easily with those long round bills.

    • Sherry, I do find myself getting hung up on the train of thought of “must get details” and I do try to get them in every image but in fog it can be particularly difficult. But sometimes the fog gives a mood to an image that simply would not be there if it were sunny. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I love the detail and tonal quality on the one on the left. Great image, Mia.

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