Friday, February 5, 2010

Red-shouldered Hawk

In keeping with the bird theme from yesterday, I thought I'd post this very elusive (to shoot) Red-shouldered Hawk. I think I forgot to mention that we also saw him at Sawgrass. This guy just sat there with his back turned to us and I can 't tell you how long I waited for him to turn his head enough to get a decent shot of him.

I tried going in front of him, then on the side of him and everywhere I tried, he was blocked by brush. This was the only angle I could catch him, so I was forced to wait until he turned his head. I got only 2 shots off while he was looking in my direction. The rest of the time, he was preening and just ignoring our presence. I'm sure he knew we were there.

Among all the things you learn when you take up photography the two most important are patience and quick reflexes. You need to be ready because you may only have a split second to get the shot. I think I may have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating; the hunt is as much fun if not more fun than the getting the shot itself. That's the reason my passion lies in nature photography--even though it's family photography that pays the bills.

Settings used for this shot were ISO 400, aperture priority, partial metering off the bird, 1/200 at F7.1 to ensure I was using my lens' sweet spot and +2 stops exposure compensation because he was backlit by the sky and in a dark area with a lot of foliage around him. I shot this through the only hole in the foliage I could find.
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