Resting Willet – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light
There are images that I have created that as soon as I see them on my monitor become listed as one of my favorites. Sometimes they aren’t all that great technically but they touch me in a way that is hard to describe. At other times it can be the subject, the setting, the light or the memories the photo awakens within me. This Willet image is one of my favorites and it was taken just about four years ago on August 26, 2007.
I remember the lovely light that morning, how warm the sand felt as I belly-crawled to get close enough to the Willet, the flock of resting Marbled Godwits in the background and how relaxed the bird was in my presence. It even dozed a few times. I remember wanting to get into the water because it was scorching hot but the angle of light would not have been as nice as it is here. I also remember a light sea breeze and the smell of salt water. Another reason could be that it was my first time out photographing birds with my new Nikon D200 and it felt great in my hands.
I almost lost this file due to two hard drive failures, I was only putting my files on two external desktop drives at the time and believe it or not within less than a week both of those drives had major issues which corrupted some of the files I had stored on them. I had taken this photo in both RAW and Basic JPEG and the RAW file became corrupted. I’m very glad it didn’t affect the jpeg file. I would have been heart broken.
I love the subtle colors of this picture and those of the Willet. It seems a lot of people prefer images that “pop”, a term I have elected to remove from my language unless I am talking to my mid-western relatives who refer to sodas as “pop”. I think I have enough hard drive space to include many different types of files from colorful birds and those not so colorful. Besides, I think all birds are beautiful and a delight to photograph.
This image doesn’t shout in my opinion, it whispers and because of that I take notice.