Photography depends on light and for bird photography the best light is often at dawn, just after the sun rises, late afternoon and just before the sun goes down. The best light can be fleeting though so it is always best to photograph as much as you can during the “golden hours”.
The Great Egret above was photographed during not long after the sun had risen and the kiss of gold of the rising sun can still be seen on the egret’s white plumage. Just a touch, but still evident.
When I lived in Florida I was quite often at my shooting location before dawn for a few reasons, one was that I enjoyed the solitude I found before the crowd swarmed the beach, secondly I loved to watch the sun rise and finally for the opportunity to photograph birds in predawn light.
Predawn light is soft and when there is water in the frame the colors are often pastel in hue. This Great Egret was photographed before the sun had actually risen over the horizon and to my delight the water reflected the predawn, pale blue sky. Not long after this was taken the light changed as the sun rose and everything took on that “golden” glow.
The light before a storm comes in can be dramatic, lighting up the foreground while dark clouds form and roll in. The light the morning I photographed this Great Egret was that kind of light. The egret glowed in front of the brooding clouds in the background. This light was fleeting too because not long after I photographed the egret clouds formed to the east and the light changed for a short while.
You might even say photographers chase the light, I know I do.
Life is good.
All photos taken at Fort De Soto between 2008 and 2009