December saw the last of my 2016 photography trips. Jane had work commitments, so I traveled with my photo friend, Bruce Hollingsworth. Bruce had wanted to return to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico for another opportunity to photograph the migrating sandhill cranes and snow geese. Jane and I had traveled to Bosque several times in the past and, in fact, Bruce and I had been there several times as well. Since this was about my fifth or sixth trip to Bosque del Apache, I didn’t want to return with images that I already had in my portfolio. So, this time I planned on obtaining some new, unique images by concentrating more on environmental compositions using shorter range focal length lenses rather than close range images using long telephoto lenses. I also attempted to obtain more abstract images using a slow shutter speed while panning birds in flight.
Normally, birds in flight are photographed at pretty fast shutter speeds, over 1/1,000 of a second. I was attempting to photograph the cranes and gees at around 1/50 to 1/100 of a second. When successfully executed, the image should result in the bird’s head being in focus, its wings slightly blurred, and the background an abstract blur of colors. Sounds easy, but it is not. Thank goodness for digital photography and an infinite supply of pixels. I made several hundred attempts for each image that approached the standards I expected to achieve. I had to sort through thousands of totally out of focus shots to find the very few keepers I was satisfied with. Hope you agree with my choices. You can view them in the Wildlife Refuges gallery and then clicking on Bosque del Apache.
On our way home, Bruce and I stopped for more photography at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Rather than wildlife as at Bosque, White Sands is a landscape photography location and I have always found landscapes to be extremely difficult to compose. Landscape photography requires a serious amount of scouting to find an interesting combination of foreground, middle-ground and background. My lack of landscape photography experience showed as I wandered aimlessly among the white gypsum sand dunes looking for that perfect landscape combination. By the time the soft light of sunset arrived, I just ended up doing the best I could. Same thing occurred the following morning. It was dark when we arrived so finding a perfect location was out of the question. Again, I reverting to doing the best I could with the potential compositions I stumbled upon. My saving grace was a beautiful sky with colorful light and great clouds. Images from White Sands are located in the National Parks and Monument gallery under White Sands.
WISHING ALL WHO READ MY BLOG
A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!