Three frames of a Western Grebe

Western Grebe - Setting IWestern Grebe – Setting I – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 400, -0.7, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I photographed this Western Grebe at Farmington Bay WMA in October of 2104, all of the images are of the same grebe but with a slight change in direction the look of the water is different.

The image above was taken where there was nothing behind the grebe so only the blue water surrounds it. It is clean & simple and the bird stands out well from its surroundings.

Western Grebe - Setting IIWestern Grebe – Setting II – Nikon D810, f9, 1/500, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Eight frames later the grebe had moved further east and there was a bit of vegetation behind it that reflected on the water that created interesting patterns around the bird.

Western Grebe - Setting IIIWestern Grebe – Setting III – Nikon D810, f8, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Ten frames later the grebe had moved even further east where the vegetation was thicker so there was less blue and more greens, golds and tans reflected on the water.

I like all three versions but probably favor the third image because of the intricate reflections with swirly patterns and the open bill of the grebe.

Your mileage may vary. 🙂

Life is good.



  1. Scott Simmons February 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    All three are lovely, but I gotta go with the third–not just for the reflections but also for the open bill. I’ve only seen Western Grebes once; there were dozens of them out on Puget Sound but they were too far away for photos. They were hard to see with a scope at 60X! I’d love one day to get this kind of view.

  2. Elephant's Child February 3, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    All delightful – but the simplicity of the first speaks loudly to me.

    • Utahbooklover February 3, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      My thoughts exactly.

  3. Susan Stone February 3, 2015 at 11:12 am

    They are all beautiful, but I think I agree with you about the last photo. The water is definitely more interesting, as is the open beak.

  4. Mary Jo Adams February 3, 2015 at 10:57 am

    All three are beautiful, but I would say that the third one is the most stunning and my favorite of the three. For ID purposes, the first is the best, as it really shows all of the characteristics of the bird so well. Nice!

  5. Jolanta February 3, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Great images! Thank you 🙂

  6. Patty Chadwick February 3, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Hard to choose a favorite…the water is so different in each image, but think I favor the first and second for the simplicity, clarity and color contrast….

  7. Ian Holland February 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I really like that first shot! Very serene.

  8. Alex (stu) February 3, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I think when I view most of your posts, I end up smiling a lot .. they seem to capture not just the bird(s) , but the moment. So this made me smile a lot.. I had this idea in my head, that if we could all live like another of natures creatures , we would all be much more understanding of them. I think I would love to have been this guy in the water for some reason 😉 In fact I think its a design flaw of nature 😉 . If every 4th week we were randomly turned into another animal/bird and had to experience living as one, then we would all treat natures creations with a lot more respect.

    ( I am definitely in the ether here this morning with this thought directon of mine 😉

    Wonderful photographs as always

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