Bosque- My First Day Back

Image © 2017/Denise Ippolito Photography

I arrived at Bosque del Apache NWR very early this morning, actually way early and got a spot on the flight deck. My thoughts were that I should probably go to the left of the flight deck but there was no wind at all and since I never get the chance to be on the flight deck I figured why not. The Snow Geese blasted as they usually did but I kept hearing large numbers in the background as if they were repositioning but they never made it over the mountains.

After photographing the usual blast off I went looking for where the birds were since I knew I heard them. As I came up on this group featured above I was treated (along with a few others) to a symphony of blast-offs and repositionings. I handheld my 24-105mm lens and these were two of my favorites. The very top image looked like a painting to me with the beautiful sun kissed mountains in the back.

The management has not done one single thing to improve the photography there but the good thing is nobody has told the birds– as they just keep coming. Many folks complain that the refuge managers are not making things easy for photographers; well, it is a refuge for the birds…not the people. We need to respect that and as bad as it has been touted recently it is still a fantastic photography experience that is not to be missed!

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11 Responses

  1. pat lillich says:

    you are right – the top one is an exquisite painting of an image – beautiful!

    Thanks so much Pat, I appreciate it.

  2. Dennis Bishop says:

    These are two great images. I like the top one a lot, but there’s something about the gradient in both color and the density of geese from bottom to top in the second one that captivates me.

    Thank you kindly Dennis.

  3. Catherine Costolo says:

    These beautiful photos are getting me excited! See you Monday!

    See you soon Catherine!! Thank you.

  4. Beautiful Images. I like the second one. I need to learn how to take such images…

    Looking forward to meeting you on Monday.

    Hi Krishna, We should have some good chances, lots of birds–fingers crossed for some amazing skies!

  5. Lana Hays says:

    Beautiful images. Sad to hear that it is less and less photography friendly. I still go but spend little time in the refuge as I prefer traveling all over the state looking for the little birds. Even if it’s not that good….there is still something magical just driving the roads there and hearing the birds….nothing like it.

    Hi Lana, Thank you and yes it is sad, but it is still a special place.

  6. Liz Lauer says:

    Amazing shots. Glad to hear the birds keep coming. I’ll be heading out from Tucson tomorrow morning. I’ve been to Bosque only once and can’t wait to return. Looking forward to our gathering Monday at noon.

    See you soon Liz! Safe travels,

  7. When I look at your bird images, I wish I had started photographing in that genre. Your images are always exceptional and these are no exception – they are so lovely!!

    Thank you so much Marilyn, that is very kind of you.

  8. Glen Fox says:

    I’m interested in learning what shutter speed you used for these images Denise. It is very effective.

    Your point about the refuge is a very good one ..the refuge is for the birds and they know it and appreciate it. The fact that it is a wonderful place to see and photograph them is very much secondary. The US FWS is struggling to survive these days and I sure photographers are not a high priority.

    Hi Glen, I used a 1/13 second for these, but I vary my shutter speed between 1/40 and 1/4 depending on the size of the bird (small birds usually fly faster) and how far they are from me when I am photographing the blur.
    hope that helps, denise

  9. James Saxon says:

    Glad you have birds and what appears to be good weather. Hope your group gets those vivid “Bosque” skies and a lot of bird opportunities. The flight deck is always a cool place pre-sunrise but last year the geese were in the pond that was behind the main pond. As long as the birds continue to come so will the photographers. Have a safe and fun workshop.

    Thanks James, I am hoping for a killer sky! Fingers crossed!

  10. Catherine Dalessio says:

    A small group of us from our camera club will be there from Dec 10-15. Hope we have some nice skies like yours. How are the crane and goose numbers this year? Love your blurs—think I’ll try some of those there.

    Hi Catherine, the refuge conditions are odd this year but there are plenty of birds! I am hoping for a dramatic sky before I leave. Hope you have good luck when you are here.

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