Red-naped Sapsucker flying away from its nesting cavity – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/8000, ISO 1600, -4.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Last month I wrote about the difficult time I had photographing Red-naped Sapsuckers on July 11th in Idaho, how the extremes in lighting conditions ruined the evening of shooting for me because I had to focus more on setting exposure levels than enjoying photographing the birds and how my frustration level was extremely high. It ranked between number #1 and #2 of my worst shooting days ever. I was ready to go rogue (shoot from outside the mobile blind) or go home.
I am working hard on getting caught up on culling images and came across the folder with the images of the Red-naped Sapsuckers at the cavity that evening that frustrated me so deeply. It was such a disappointing time for me that I didn’t even want to go through the images I took that night. I took well over 1000 images of the birds that evening as the sapsuckers flew into the nesting cavity to feed their young chick and I deleted them one after another as I scrolled through them. I could feel how crushed I was that evening all over again, out of more than a thousand images I kept 15 and most of those were just for documentation.
But I did find one jewel in the images, a photo of one of the adult Red-naped Sapsuckers flying away from the nesting cavity looking like a bullet. One gem amongst the thousand I tossed onto my digital darkroom floor.
I just don’t know if this single photo is worth the frustration level I felt that evening or how sitting in the direct sunlight made me feel like I was dizzily on the edge collapsing because of the heat (my phone stopped functioning it was so hot) but at least I got one decent image from that frustrating evening. One.
Life is good.