Smoky conditions here in the Salt Lake Valley have kept me from being out in the field lately, I’ve found that my images look a bit funky when there is this much smoke especially if I am photographing birds in flight so there are mornings where I find it hard to get motivated to go out and look for birds knowing that I most likely will not be happy or satisfied with the quality of my images.
Besides, it gets depressing knowing how many fires there are out here in the West and that we aren’t even close to the end of the wildfire season. So I dug up two images taken this past winter to share today.
Drake Redhead on a snowy January morning – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/250, ISO 1250, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
This past winter I photographed the birds at the local pond quite often because they were close and abundant at times. It didn’t matter what the weather was like because I didn’t have far to go and I could be home warming back up within just a few minutes so there were days when the temps were cold, when the snow was blowing and when the lighting conditions were less than optimal for bird photography. However; I enjoy the images I take in those kind of conditions because they show how well the birds cope with what the weather throws at them. This Redhead drake didn’t seem bothered at all by the blowing snow, wind or cold, he simply faced it head on.
Drake Redhead on a clear February afternoon – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
There are of course clear winter days here when I can take photos of the birds at the local pond in beautiful afternoon light and I enjoy the images I take of the birds in good lighting conditions too. The birds certainly seem more lively and animated when the weather is better. This Redhead drake was flapping its wings, preening and splashing on the water when I photographed it on a sunny afternoon.
I enjoy viewing the image of the drake Redhead on the snowy January morning just as much as the drake Redhead photo on a clear February afternoon, they both show the ducks doing what ducks do no matter what the weather is doing.
Life is good.