High key Ring-necked Pheasant hen

Ring-necked Pheasant hen walking through deep snowRing-necked Pheasant hen – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, not baited

Just a simple high key image of a hen Ring-necked Pheasant this morning that was taken in January at Farmington Bay WMA in Davis County, Utah. The heavy layer of snow had made it difficult for the pheasants to forage and due to that they were out in the open more than normal.

Because of the amount of snow we have had here this winter in the Salt Lake Valley I have been able to take lots of high key images of birds and animals but I am looking forward to seeing some green now!



  1. Sherry in MT February 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Stunning detail as always and I’m ready to see more SNOW! Tired of the brown….sigh.

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Sherry, we sure are getting our share of snow here in Utah, I wish I could send you some. Thanks for commenting.

  2. M. Firpi February 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Mia: I hope all goes well with these “game” birds!

  3. eric c11 February 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    you have done a beautifull bird colelction on snow, it could seems easy to do when we see your pictures, but it s not, almost when we practice it and we know all the hours spent without results.
    Thanks mia ☺

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you much for your very kind comment Eric. Photographing in snow does present challenges.

  4. Ingrid February 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Mia, I love your images on snow — absolutely love them. And I have a follow-up, pragmatic, probably dumb question about high key. I always associated “high key” with “deliberately over-exposed” and I’m thinking that’s a mischaracterization. What, exactly, constitutes HK in an image?

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Ingrid, high key also includes images with white or very bright backgrounds along with images that are deliberately over exposed. In the winter here with all our snow I can get a wide variety of high key images.

      I’ll be sharing more images on snow but I also hope to be sharing some soon with spring green showing up too!

  5. Merrill Ann Gonzales February 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Dear Mia, I just love the images you send that so clearly define the feathering of these gorgeous birds. She’s lovely.
    I’m afraid you’ll be seeing more mud than green for awhile! Once all this snow melts we’ll be in it up to our necks for awhile. Enjoy, Merrill

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Merrill, there will be mud for a bit when this snow melts, that is for sure! Thanks much for your comment on this bird.

  6. Julie Brown February 23, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I like your high-key images. The bird stands out nicely on the snow.

  7. Bob Bushell February 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

    A beautiful Pheasant image Mia.

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Thank you very much Bob.

  8. Scott Simmons February 23, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Keep shooting those high key shots while you have to! We Floridians talk a good talk of having nice, sunny, warm weather all winter, but secretly we wish we could see snow. Dang, I just let the secret out.

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      You might not have the white snow we have here in Utah Scott, but you have the sugar sand of the beaches that shines as bright!

  9. Kathleen February 23, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Green would be lovely. Birding has been rubbish this week! Tried to get out on Thursday but it was too windy; today is rainy. Tomorrow is work, so that may be a wrap for February birding. But then, it’ll be March birding: a whole new ball game!

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Green sure would be lovely Kathleen! Finding birds here the past few weeks has also been a challenge but today I saw plenty of them up north. March brings migration, I can’t wait!

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