Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk – Small in frame – Sawgrass County Park
Five days ago I posted a Bald Eagle image where the eagle was small in the frame and explained that I felt that the setting was as important as the subject, I also feel that way about this image of a Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile perched in a tree. I photographed this young Red-shouldered Hawk at Sawgrass County Park in Pinellas County, Florida a few years ago as the early morning light lit up the grasses and Bamboo in the background.
The subject doesn’t always need to fill the frame to have impact and appeal, sometimes the background or habitat has as much appeal as the subject.
Bald Eagle – Small in the frame – Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah
Yesterday Ron, Brian Gatlin and I went to Bear River National Wildlife Refuge and the Golden Spike National Historic Site area in bad light, falling snow and lake fog looking for birds to photograph and we came up pretty much empty-handed but we did find this adult Bald Eagle perched on some snow-covered rocks going towards the Golden Spike National Historic Site Visitor Center as the snow fell. The eagle was quite a distance away but I loved the rugged habitat so I decided to have the raptor small in the frame rather than over-crop and reduce the image quality. For me the habitat in this frame is as important as the Bald Eagle.
It was about 5 degrees Fahrenheit which was cold for us even photographing from inside a warm vehicle so I imagine the Bald Eagle was cold too.
We didn’t come away with the images that we hoped for but the company was terrific and we all had a great time while surrounded by the beauty of nature.
More Bald Eagle images
Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow in a snow storm – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 1600, +2.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
The White-crowned Sparrow in this image is small in the frame, the bird isn’t super sharp and there isn’t a lot of contrast or color to the photo either yet the image speaks to me.
When I look at this image I see the snow-covered shrub and can compare the size of the bird to how high the snow is piled up. I can see an icy ring of snow around the base of the bird’s bill. I see harsh conditions but I also see the small sparrow’s ability to survive and adapt to the environment.
I see more than the image itself.
It is a challenge to photograph in low light and even more so with snow falling heavily which is why I selected a higher ISO than I normally do, ISO 1600 is pushing it with my Nikon D300 and I also had to use positive exposure compensation so the image wouldn’t be too dark.
More White-crowned Sparrow images
Very small in the frame juvenile White-crowned Sparrow – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 800, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
Normally I wouldn’t take or present an image where the subject is as small in the frame as this juvenile White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is but I couldn’t resist because I like this image a lot.
I like seeing the sun-bleached “bones” of last years Phragmites along with the tassels of those from this season plus the dried tan color from the playa and some green growth from recent rains in the background. I enjoy the pastel bands of colors, the graphical lines of the old Phragmites stalks and even though the juvenile White-crowned is very small in the frame it still draws my attention.
A small bird in a large world.
Nonbreeding Laughing Gull – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
On occasion I like to take images where the subject; in my case it is usually birds, is small in the frame instead of nearly filling it when the background habitat is as visually interesting as the main subject itself.
On the day that I photographed this Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) either Hurricane Ike or Gustav was out near the center of the Gulf of Mexico that was churning up the water and sending large waves towards the shorelines of west-central Florida. These were Atlantic coast sized waves not the smaller, more gentle ones we were used to on the Gulf coast.
When I saw the gull standing on a shelf of sand just above the shoreline with the crashing waves behind it I liked the contrast of the calm look of the water where the bird was compared to the tumultuous waves in the background and the varied shades of blue so I backed up to allow more of the water to be visible in my viewfinder.
I like the resulting image a lot.
More Laughing Gull images