Red-tailed Hawk In Morning Light – Wasatch Mountains In The Shadows

/, Diurnal Raptors, East Canyon, Morgan County, Red-tailed Hawks, Utah, Wasatch Mountains/Red-tailed Hawk In Morning Light – Wasatch Mountains In The Shadows

Red-tailed Hawk in sunshine with mountains in the shadows, Wasatch Mountains, Morgan County, UtahRed-tailed Hawk in sunshine with mountains in the shadows – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Over the years that I have been a bird photographer I have learned that I positively adore the rare occasions I have when my subject is lit up by early morning or late afternoon light and is in front of mountains, trees or vegetation that are in the shadows because of the high contrast and the punch the resulting images have.

Yesterday morning for a few moments I had one of those opportunities with a Red-tailed Hawk perched on top of some trees in East Canyon where the mountains in the background where still in the shadows and because of that the bird seemed to glow. The Red-tailed Hawk glowed on my camera LCD and on my monitor at home like a beacon against the shadowed mountains in the background.

Even when the Red-tailed Hawk was just perched on the tops of the tree there seemed to be a quiet drama to the photo that wouldn’t have been there if the mountains in the background had been lit up by the morning sun.

Red-tailed Hawk lifting off in front of mountains in shadows, Wasatch Mountains, Morgan County, UtahRed-tailed Hawk lifting off in front of mountains in shadows – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Unfortunately the Red-tailed Hawk turned before it lifted off so I don’t have a good view of its face or eyes in this photo but I wanted to include it in this post too because of the way the hawk’s wings lined up and how beautifully the hawk was lit up.

Life is good.

Mia

A few other images with similar lighting conditions:

4 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte November 7, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Wow! Spectacular shots! The bottom pic looks like it should be embossed on a gold coin. Such power and grace…hawks are gorgeous birds. Thanks Mia.

  2. Patty Chadwick November 4, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Both images are beautiful, but the second blows my socks off !!! Love the lift of the wings, the implied power of the down stroke about to come and the light, which makes the bird seem to glow…

  3. Jane Chesebrough November 4, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    It is great to see the effects of a good lighting condition, thanks for pointing that out. Lovely detail.

  4. Liz Cormack November 4, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Wow!!

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