Tomorrow I will meet up with friends at White Sands for some shooting time on my own. Then I head to Bosque del Apache NM to photograph beautiful skies along with Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese before meeting my group on the 27th. I have been going to Bosque for years, although I missed last year-it will be good to get back. I’ll be travelling on Thanksgiving Day but I wish you all the very best Thanksgiving filled with family and love-not to mention pumpkin pie!
I am also putting together my gear bag (see below) for Bosque, in- between writing blog posts 🙂 . Many folks that have been to Bosque already know that it can get darn cold there–especially in the early morning. Onto the blog post…
I often get asked what makes a good bird photo, or more specifically a good flight photo. The Snow Goose image above was captured at Bosque. There are some good points and not so good points about the image so I will share my thoughts. First the wing position and head angle are spot on. The head being completely clear of the wings is another plus. The image is tack sharp with the exception of the wing tips and I am fine with slight wing blur as it implies motion. The color balance is good and the sky is not too cyan. I like the catchlight in the eye, the fanned tail, the curled wing tips and the bird’s position in the frame and also that I captured it at fairly close range allowing plenty of detail. Keep in mind you are viewing a small jpeg.
Now for the nits– and I call them nits because that is what they are–nit picking…the sky is boring without any clouds or inclusion of the environment. The feet are hanging and that is good but I would prefer them free of the bird’s tail without touching. The shadow on the bird is slightly distracting. Is it a keeper–hell yes! It is a fantastic shot of a Snow Goose coming in for a landing.
I hope by listing my likes and dislikes it will help you decide which images of yours make the grade. BUT keep in mind that every image will have different elements and YOU need to decide which ones work well for you because afterall you are the photographer and the image must speak to you.
For more tips on bird composition or what to look for when composing your shots check out my newest eBook- “Bird Photography ~ The Art of the Composition”. Available only through A Creative Adventure.
Here is what some folks are saying about my book:
Over the years you have taught me so much! Thank you! So pleased you have covered this topic. Just purchased the new e-book. I’ve skimmed thru it and founds lots of familiar and new faces in there along with an incredible amount of helpful information on what you look for when photographing your feathered friends.
Hi Denise! Just ordered it this morning and finished pouring through it! This is a fantastic eBook, well-written and illustrated with some of my favorite images of yours and many, many I have not seen. You cover it all, you share great field tips/techniques and I am proud to add it my reference collection of your other impressive/instructive eBooks.
Thank you for your vision and hard work!!
I highly recommend this book. Denise is the guru of bird photo composition. I might be biased. But the folks at the Smithsonian who awarded her the top international bird image, and hung her award winning bird photos the last two years in a row in their Museum of Natural History, called this correctly.
“Hi Denise, Every time I read through the book, I love it. Your explanations are straight-forward and easy to follow and your photo examples are exquisite. The book is beautifully done — I’m honored to be reviewing it.
Big Hugs, Marian ”
One of your very best eBooks. It is complete and informative with amazing images and tips. Loved it!
Another great accomplishment.
You have created another gem. A quick skim confirms its gonna be very helpful. Thank you for making it available and for all that you do!
Book is great Denise. Clear concise directions. Understood everyone of your ideas and descriptions. I learned a lot. Everyone will get some great ideas here.
Denise, this looks like a very thoughtful, thorough book! Just having so many of your amazing photos collected in one place will make it worth it. Looking forward to reading and studying it.
Denise, Another of your wonderful e-books to add to my collection. Lots of great information and tips in this book – I read it from cover to cover on the first sitting, and I’m sure I’ll be reading it again and again. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge and expertise in an easy to read, clear and concise format. This book is terrific!
Finished your new book today. Great information on your thought process from capture to post as you are in the field and behind the computer. I learned a lot and will use these “guide lines” not rules in all my photography. You should be proud of this book. Thanks
270 pages of knowledge presented so well that you don’t even know that you are learning. I don’t know if John Shaw‘s “Nature Photographers complete Guide…” or Michael Frye’s “Digital Landscape Photography….” Is my ‘bible’ for landscape photography? But, I am certain that Denise’s ‘Bird Photography…. The Art of the Composition’ is my bible for bird photography. I’ve read it several times already (but I might be a slow learner).
Even Arthur Morris himself called it a great new e-book 🙂
MY GEAR BAG FOR BOSQUE:
Mongoose 4th Generation M-3.6 Action Head w/the Integrated Low Mount Arm & Integrated Flash Arm
Arctix brand Insulated Pants, I bought them last year for $24.99 from Amazon, I have washed them(not dried them) several times and have been pretty brutal with them-they have held up. They are warm enough with a pair of thin fleece under them in Bosque. I bought a $370.00 pair of insulated pants two years ago and wore them once and they ripped down the leg. So these are a great value even if you only get one season out of them. My friend bought a pair and they were slightly different than mine???
Sorel Joan of Arc Boots, I found them on Amazon but it took some searching to get the right color and I can’t find the link again. I paid $125.00 for these boots that are listed for $180.00 on Sorel’s site. They are true to fit with a thick pair of socks.
A couple of warm fleeces, I like the ones with a zipper pocket and a little bit of stretch to the fleece. I also like the super lightweight ones that I bought from Columbia.
Warm Down Jacket by North Face, I like an attached hood, it helps keep the wind off the back of your neck.
Wool Buffs, gloves, hat. I switch my hats and gloves often. I am not in love with any of the big bulky gloves, I’d rather put hand warmers in my pockets.
Smart Wool socks, a few other misc. items.