The screen shot above is what the weather forecasters said yesterday was going to look like up in northern Utah.
This… this is what it actually looked like at ground level yesterday morning where I was looking for birds to photograph. Fog that the forecasters didn’t mention. The sky was full of clouds overhead and those clouds blocked the sunlight from getting through. Clouds that weren’t supposed to be there.
Behind the thick bank of fog in the photo above there are mountains. Somewhere.
Over the years I have learned to use the light I have. There wasn’t much light yesterday morning, but there was enough.
There was enough light to photograph this Turkey Vulture perched on an old wooden fence post and still show details and sharpness in its feathers despite the fog between the vulture and me. I even got a bit of a catch light in its eye.
And when we moved forward just a little bit I was too close to get full body photos so I opted to take a few portraits of the Turkey Vulture in the fog.
I have no idea what the white stringy stuff is on the vulture’s shoulder and chest but I kind of wish it weren’t there. It is what it is though and I’m not about to clean it off using the clone tools I have available.
I could tell I was going to like the foggy Turkey Vulture images by looking at them on my camera LCD, even though I didn’t have much light they turned out well and I added foggy Turkey Vulture photos to my portfolio.
Then when I found this Red-tailed Hawk I felt I needed to increase my shutter speed because I didn’t know if it was going to perch on the leaning post or lift off right away so I bumped my ISO up to 1000 and I also removed my teleconverter so that if the hawk took off I might have a better chance of not clipping its wings.
The Red-tailed Hawk lifted one of its feet and I thought it was going to take off immediately.
It might have done just that because it lifted its wings and seemed to struggle for its balance but it may have been in the process of deciding to stay or take flight.
The hawk did lift its wings but it put its raised foot back down on the perch…
And settled itself on the weather worn post.
It might be hard to believe but in the background of this image there would be some mountains way off in the distance, I couldn’t even see them when I took this photo. That is how foggy it was.
The hawk seemed comfortable and I took a bunch more images of it as it perched on the post in the fog turning its head and body as it looked around.
Then when it looked like the hawk might fly because of its posture I got ready to take some flight photos but at the last second it turned its body slightly before lifting off. I liked the pose of the hawk in this photo though I wish I would have had a better view of the face, I can still see light in its eye though. The hawk did lift off this time.
And the Red-tailed Hawk flew to a nearby lichen-covered rock that I have been dreaming of getting images of a bird perched on for years. I didn’t get many photos of it there before it flew away but dream accomplished. Finally.
I also photographed a mated pair of Red-tailed Hawks flying in with nesting materials later on in the morning. The light wasn’t great because it was still foggy but that pair of red-tails didn’t mind the weather one bit. The stick this hawk flew in with was huge! As determined as the hawk looked when it flew in with the branch I was equally determined to get at least one decent image of it carrying its heavy load and I got a few and I liked this one the best.
It wasn’t “partly sunny” as predicted but I enjoyed myself while photographing the Turkey Vulture and Red-tailed Hawks on a foggy morning even though it tested my skills and techniques.
Life is good.
Sorry for the large number of photos this morning, I felt they were needed to tell the story but I know it can cause longer loading times.