Immature Red-tailed Hawk looking at the rising sun – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 321mm, natural light, not baited
The wind is blowing hard outside because a weather front is coming in, that means we might get some rain tomorrow which we can always use here in Utah. In previous years we have already had snow in the valley by this time but this fall has been warmer than usual.
I dug way back into my archives and found this immature Red-tailed Hawk photo for my post today. I photographed this immature Red-tailed Hawk while in a canyon going up into the Stansbury Mountains as the bird looked into the rising sun.
This photo made me think about how for for years I have avoided photographing birds in this location because the sun rises south of the east-west road at this time of the year and the images can be contrasty at times, there can be extremes in the shadows of the mountains in the distance and the brightness of the sagebrush on the slopes can be too light. Light colors can easily be blown out when trying to get details in the darker colors, in other words getting the correct exposure there can be tricky, challenging and hard. I think I have wanted “perfect” lighting there and truth be told it just isn’t possible in that location for a variety of reasons.
I have wondered lately if I have gotten into a bit of a rut, photographically speaking, of always wanting to have the sun over my shoulder with “perfect” light falling directly on my subject.
I have found myself craving opportunities with my bird and wildlife subjects in side lighting, back lighting and rim lighting situations to name a few because I find there there is visual drama and appeal to that kind of lighting and those kinds of lighting conditions challenge me, make me think more carefully about my camera settings plus they allow me to expand my knowledge and skills as a photographer. From now on I’m going to challenge myself to be more open to experimenting with light. Why? Because I don’t want to be in a rut, I want to grow.
No, make that I need to grow.
Life is good.